10 Must Haves to Survive Competition Dance Season

With competition dance season right around the corner, it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. There are some essentials that every dancer needs to include in their bag to gear up for a day-long (sometimes more than one day) competition. 

10 Must Haves to Survive Competition Dance Season

Here are the top ten must haves to help you survive competition dance season.

  1. Hair ties and Bobby Pins: Are you constantly losing your hair elastics? Maybe they snap at the worst time -right before show time. Among the more durable options for consistent use and movement are the Goody Ouchless Elastic Hair Ties.
  2. Makeup: Anyone who has completed a day-long dance competition knows how makeup can get smudged as well as sweaty under the bright lights. Most studios require dancers to wear certain makeup and/or colors for performance. Be sure to pack your train case or makeup bag with your essentials for touch-ups throughout the day.
  3. Costumes: One of the worst nightmares is arriving at the competition venue and realizing the costumes are still hanging up in a closet at home. Most dance costumes come with accessories including a hairpiece, tights, shoes, and undergarments. An easy solution would be to use clear garment bags with a few pockets. This way you can quickly check for everything you need. Hang these by the door the night before.
  4. Sewing Kit and Safety Pins: Dancers’ costumes endure wear and tear during every dress rehearsal and performance. This allows room for snapping, popping, and tearing in hard-to-cover places. Be prepared for every possibility with a mini sewing kit and safety pins.
  5. Extra Tights: Always include an extra pair of tights for each color required in case of snags and runs. Many studios will not allow dancers to perform with missing tights or torn tights.
  6. Comfortable Shoes: Dancers are notorious for walking around without shoes or convertible tights when going between tap, ballet, and jazz shoes. However, having a pair of warm-up boots is an easy and comfortable alternative to bare feet.
  7. Water and Snacks: Snacks like bananas or granola bars keep dancers full, energized, and ready to hit the stage. Make sure to avoid calorie-dense foods that might cause fatigue, feeling too full, or nausea when it’s time to perform.
  8. Phone, Charger, and Headphones: During the downtime between numbers, moms can get some candid and step-and-repeat photos. Also, for day-long competitions, you are going to want to check your messages, and social media, or get some work done. Be sure to bring everything you need to stay connected and charged.
  9. Hand Sanitizer and/or Wipes: With continued surges of COVID, flu, and other viruses, it’s important to continue keeping hands clean and germ-free. Dancers typically go onstage right after the previous group exits the stage, so be sure to carry sanitizer to ensure hands are kept clean when the lines to the restroom get long and you need to freshen quickly.
  10. Positive Attitude: Rehearsals and the months of training and practice leading up to competition can be stressful, but getting on stage and showing friends, family, and judges the progress made over the season is rewarding. Bring your best self and supportive attitude with you to the stage and backstage.

Be sure to pack your bag the night before and run down this checklist to pack the essentials. In addition, make sure you write your name on your garment bag as backstage costume changes can get hectic, and you will most likely need the outfits for the next competition.

Lastly, get a good night’s rest, and a filling breakfast, and stay on pointe!

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Marian Muldrow
Marian lives in Dallas, Ga with her husband, Carl, and their two kids, Kingston and Marlee. Marian holds a doctorate degree in Higher Education Leadership and Administration from Georgia Southern University along with four degrees from the University of West Georgia. She works as a senior executive at an Atlanta-based management consulting firm and as a part-time Associate Professor of English. Marian has been a published writer for the last 15 years as well as written professionally for several corporate websites, blogs, and social media platforms. When she isn't reading or writing, Marian enjoys traveling and trying new foods and absorbing various cultures with her husband and kids. They've visited more than a dozen countries and been all across North America.


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