So your girl (or boy) is a dancing queen. And you decided they are ready for that next step, competitive dance.
Don’t. Pull her or him out now. Don’t spend another penny. You are going to regret every second.
Just kidding!! Competitive dance is fun!! Expensive, but fun. If you’re wanting to know just how expensive, check out my other blog about the expectations before joining. This blog will be more of after the fact. You’ve joined, now what to bring.
Okay so I wouldn’t call myself an expert dance mom but my girls have been dancing recreational for at least 6 years now. This is our second year in the competitive world so I’m still learning but we have two annual productions at our dance studio that we have been a part of all these years so I had some knowledge of what to expect.
One of the main things, and this is obvious, would be a dance bag. A large duffel bag or a suitcase. I’ve mentioned this in the previous blog but if you can afford it, get the Dream Duffel or similar brand which is a bag with the garment racks inside that pull out so that you can hang all of the costumes up while you’re backstage. Now I don’t have one of those, yet. So I can’t speak for the durability, the simplicity, blabitty blah. I just feel that it would be so much easier to have everything hung up and ready to go.
However, they are really pricey. Depending on how you want it to look but be prepared to spend a couple hundred dollars. BUUUUTTTTT..I did a little researched and decided that I am going to make my own. Yep. Yes, I am. So be on the lookout for that blog because I will share it with you. (If I don’t fail.)
Anyway, obviously a large dance bag. It’ll need to fit all of your costumes and the million other things you will need to bring.
Make-up! Even if you have a boy dancing, you must bring at least the bare minimum. Bronzer, blush, and highlighter. Now this is for the boys. Girls, if you look like you have way too much make-up on, you’re doing it right. The lights on stage are harsh. They will wash out anything that’s not colored on. So contour the crap out of the face, make them cheeks blush like your grandmother pinched you, and highlight, highlight, highlight. Girls look beautiful on stage with all that light shining on them and their highlighter is just popping. Darker eye shadow would be the best, eyeliner, falsies, and bright lipstick. If your dancer is wearing a certain color of nail polish, bring that just in case.
And then with that, you’ll need wipes. Baby wipes will work fine but if you want to go that extra step, get the make-up remover wipes. I always mess my dancer’s make-up up. Especially if I’m hurrying. (That dang eyeliner. I hardly ever wear it and it’s even harder to put it on somebody else.)
Hair. Most dances will have certain hairstyles that every dancer must have. So you might need more items than I will mention but the essentials would be brush (duh), hairspray, hair gel, hair ties – ones to match your dancer’s hair color (unless dance requires a certain color), and the little rubber bandy ones (lots of extras), bobby pins (lots of extras), curling iron, straightener (Most of the time, a studio will choose one hairstyle for all dances. Chances are there will not be enough time to completely redo a hairstyle so you might only need to bring either a curling iron or a straightener depending on which route they go), and a teasing brush if needing some volume.
Don’t forget that deodorant. You don’t want your dancer to be the one stinking up the place.
So I like to show up to competition at least two hours before the first dance especially if hair and make-up will be done backstage and not already done at home or hotel. There is a change that the schedule is running ahead so you want to make sure you’re ready to go much earlier than expected. You also want to allow yourself time for any disasters that might happen; costume mishaps, make-up or hair not working with you, losing of garments, etc. And if everything goes according to plan, you get to sit back and watch the other parents that weren’t prepared as you run around like chickens with their heads cut off. Or go watch the other dancers. I prefer the parents. 🙂
Snacks. Your dancer could be stuck backstage literally all day. You might not get a chance to run out and grab a bite. However, try not to get anything that would get messy. No cheetohs, oreos, greasy chips, etc. Granola bars, apples, grapes, cheese cubes, Ritz crackers all would be a good snack. And obviously, water. Make sure your dancer is nice and hydrated.
You never know what’s going to happen backstage so you must be prepared for whatever that means bringing items as the Tide Pen for any unexpected stains. A small sewing kit. This should include threads matching the costumes, a needle, small scissors, and a couple of different sizes of safety pins. It would also be a good idea to bring hot glue in case something major comes off or fabric glue. Fortunately, I haven’t had to use any of those yet. I feel I would use the hot glue for any embellishments issues and the fabric glue, well for fabric issues.
Lint roller. Especially for those black costumes. No one is going to see that little piece of fuzz or hair on stage but still, I would like my dancer to be lint-free.
Next up would be the extras. If you have an extra pair of tights, bring. An extra bra, bring. I know when you order things, you’re not ordering two of everything but if you have last year’s tights that are a tad too small or same color of jazz shoes just not the ones for the dance, bring. In case your dancer gets a huge rip in their tights, wearing a slightly smaller pair is better than wearing none. Same with the shoes.
Even if not for you, you might save a dancer in distress. We had an issue just this past competition. I thought I had a pair of tights so I told the studio we didn’t need any to order. Well when it was time to start packing, I couldn’t find them. It was too late to order any. Thankfully another dancer had an extra pair that we were able to use. Moral of the story, don’t wait to make sure you have everything until the day before.
Lastly, don’t forget your camera. Or your phone. A lot of competitions don’t allow you to take any photos or videos while dances are in progress but there is always backstage where you can capture each costume.
I think that would be the majority of it. Please let me know if there is anything I forgot.
I made a printable checklist so that you it’s a little easier to make sure you have everything ready! You can download it below 🙂
Thanks for reading!