Inside the Dancer's Bag: How to pack for a dance competition
So...what's inside the dancer's bag? Or, if you will indulge me for a moment, “What has it got in its pocketsess, Precious?” (Brownie points if you get the reference, just sayin')
What do I mean by that? Well, it’s competition time. And every competition I laugh because I have more bags than I do when I go on holiday for two weeks. The main culprits are the garment bags holding my costumes. My partner can get away with minimalism because gentlemen don’t have quite the same issue. So he just smirks at me. You know who you are.
THAT BEING SAID. How, exactly, should you pack for a dance competition? Whether you’re new to the competition scene or whether you’ve done several, we’ve put together a checklist to help keep you sorted. And if I missed anything, let me know in the comments! And for anyone interested, I’ve added a list of some of the cosmetics I use at the end. You will also find a printable version of the list at the end, to keep in your bag.
|Ok, this is an important one. Do not rely on your partner or instructor to keep track of your heats. Do it yourself. If you are dancing Pro-Am, the Pro to your Am is likely dancing with multiple people so keep track of when you’re supposed to be on the floor and present yourself in a timely manner.
|(for women, optional)
|(earrings, bracelets, necklace, as needed)
|Wrap for the ballroom, to keep warm
|(in case you perspire)
|Day clothes & shoes
|Makeup remover & sponges/Q-tips
|Makeup brushes for eyes & face
|Eyeshadow & primer
|Optional. I have a hard time wearing falsies as the glue irritates my skin and my skill at applying them is ZERO. You could always have someone else apply them for you or opt to get your makeup done professionally. IF, however, you are like me and have sensitive skin you can opt for a bold mascara. One I recently discovered is by Benefit cosmetics and is called BADgal BANG! I’ve worn it several times and have had no irritation. And it also really pops my eyelashes.
|To crimp your eyelashes upwards and makes them seem longer. We see more of the eye.
|Lipstick & lipliner
|Hair elastics & bobby pins
|Hairbrush & comb
|Toothpaste & toothbrush
|If you opt to get your hair done professionally and are dancing on multiple days, it is possible to sleep on the hair (just make sure you tell the stylist this is what you want and they will proceed accordingly). However, if you want to shower you’ll need to cover it. The same applies if you choose to get a spray tan. The first time you shower after a spray tan is ONLY a rinse to get rid of the excess. Soap or shampoo will wash away more than you want.
|For sleeping. If you get your hair done and need to sleep on it, a hair bonnet will minimize the overnight messiness.
|First aid kit
|Bandaids, disinfectant, antispeptic cream
|Face & body, as needed
|Nails scissors & nail file
|For sleeping. Trust me.
Note: for a truly excellent post on pre/post competition nutrition, see the following blog post: The Best Pre and Post Competition Nutrition for Dancers
|Tasty & will keep you satisfied.
|Good energy booster.
|Good energy booster.
|Fruit & nuts
|Energy & protein.
|Cottage cheese/yogurt/hard-boiled eggs
|Light protein to keep you on your feet while between heats.
|I'm a sucker for 85% Lindt myself.
|Think of your partner.
|Many competitions will have a water station, but it's always a good idea to have one filled and close to hand.
|Phone & charger
|Most vendors at competitions take cards now, thanks to technology, but there may be an odd case where cash or cheque is preferred.
|Or something else to keep you occupied if/when you need a breather. I always have a book. Because I’m a bookworm. If I need a break, you’ll find me next to the nearest window with my book.
And lastly...but certainly not least...YOU. Bring your energy and your sparkle and your love of dance and get ready to shine. Don’t focus on the result, focus on the experience. Because standing on the podium lasts 30 seconds and then it’s over. You love to dance and that is why you do this. Take that with you and the rest will follow.
I’ll see you on the floor.
(Printable version and cosmetic brand list below)
Eyeshadow: Jeffree Star Blue Blood Palette. Pricey, but the colours and the pigmentation are perfect for a ballroom floor.
Eyeliner: Sephora Collection Colourful Wink-It Felt Liner Waterproof (black)
Eyeshadow primer: Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
Mascara: Benefit Cosmetics BADgal BANG!
Lipstick: Besame Cosmetics Red Velvet Lipstick
Lip liner: Sephora Collection Rouge Gel Lip liner
-fishnets (for women, optional)
-jewelry (earrings, bracelets, necklace as needed)
-a wrap for the ballroom, to keep warm
-towel (in case you perspire)
-day clothes & shoes
-makeup remover & sponges/Q-tips
-makeup brushes for eyes and face
-eyeshadow & primer
-false eyelashes (optional) (4)
-lipstick and lipliner
-tanning spray/cream (if necessary)
-hair elastics & bobby pins
-toothpaste & toothbrush
-first aid kit (bandaids, disinfectant, ointment)
-moisturizer (face and body, as needed)
-nail scissors/nail file
-earplugs (for sleeping)
-tampons (ladies only)
-fruit & nuts
-cottage cheese/yogurt/hard-boiled eggs
-gum or mints
-phone & charger
- Posted in COMPETITION ADVICE