Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ten Items You Don't Want to Forget for a Dance Competition

I'm in the thick of dance competition season over here, with my students having danced in one with one more on the way and also having danced in one myself with two more on the way. Over the years I have become a veteran dance competition packer, so I thought I'd share with you my top ten things to make sure you pack amidst all the excitement and nerves. The following list is geared towards dancers, but as a dance instructor I also ensure I have these on hand when at a competition, in case a student is in need.

Ten Items to Bring to a Dance Competition

10. Safety Pins - You will need these. Even if your costume is perfect and you don't have to pin it, you will. Something will come loose, your bra won't stay put, or someone else will need one.

9. Comfy Clothes - You'll want to pull a pair of sweats or yoga pants over your tights between dances to run to the concession or to warm up. Make sure you choose clothing that will not transfer fuzz to your tights or costume.

8. Normal Outfit - You'll also want a normal outfit that you can change into when leaving the competition. There were so many times that I found myself without a suitable outfit to wear because I just wore my costume to the venue. You never know when a group of you will decide to grab a bite to eat or if the competition runs behind schedule and you need to rush somewhere else after. Don't be stuck in a costume or sweats.

7. Static Guard - Costumes cling, enough said.

6. Hair Stuff - Hair pins, bobby pins, hair ties, hair nets, hair spray, gel, brushes, combs, straightener, curling iron, etc. Whatever you need to get your hair done for your different numbers, bring it with you! Even if you only have to have your hair one way and you do it at home or at the hotel before arriving at the competition venue, you never know when you will have a freak hair accident (or someone in your group/studio will), so be prepared for the worst.

5. Makeup - In the same vein as the hair point above, bring all needed makeup and makeup tools you need. Even if you do your makeup ahead of time, you never know when it will need to be touched up or completely washed off and re-applied. I'm not saying bring absolutely every bit of makeup you own if you've got quite the collection, but bring what you need to have an acceptable stage makeup face. Especially your red lipstick. You'll need to reapply that no matter how "long wearing" your formula is.

4. Snacks - You're going to get hungry, and most concessions don't have the best options available, but they do have crazy long lines. Bring a little cooler or lunch kit with some healthy snacks to keep your energy up, and if you want you can bring a little treat to share with your team (I'm always a fan of gummy worms).

3. Multiple Water Bottles - I say multiple because sometimes you don't have the best access to a water fountain when you need to be changing. Sure, you could go searching for one, but when you're pressed for time you'll be happy to have that second (or third) water bottle when the one before it runs out.

2. Proper Undergarments - Too many times have I had a student show up to competition expecting to wear her bright blue bra underneath her costume. Nope! No matter how not-see-through you think your costume is when you're trying it on at home or at the studio, remember that the bright stage lights bring on a whole new level. Stick to nude if you must wear something underneath.

1. Costumes - The most important part - don't forget your costumes! This includes the tights required for each dance, the accessories, the shoes, and any additional items specific to each dance (props, different coloured makeup/lipstick).

What is a must-have for you at competition? Anything that I missed?

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