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ICE - In Case of Emergency: What to bring on Competition Day

The day has arrived, it's competition time! Whether you are a dancer, a dance mom or a studio owner, there's packing to do. Some lucky few get to compete close to home so if they forget something, a quick trip home by dad will solve any problem. But many traveling studios do not have that luxury. Here are our tips for being prepared for every competition attendee.

Studio Owners & Teachers

You give them packing lists, you explain the list, you remind them about the lists, and yet, you just know someone is going to show up to competition unprepared. While you can't plan for every inevitability, here's some packing ideas and some "quick fix" ideas to help you get everyone on stage!


Hair Supplies - All dancers should be instructed to arrive with competition hair done and backup supplies for when things start to droop. But a few extra supplies can help in a pinch! Don't come prepared to do 20 heads of hair right there in the dressing room. That's a great way to annoy everyone else who needs to share your space!

A few essentials are: bobby pins, hair rubber bands (black and brown to replace the girls that show up with neon pink ones), a comb, hair spray and gel. Whatever style your studio chooses, make sure you have to supplies to touch up the 'do as the day progresses.

Makeup - Most studios have required makeup colors for their performers.

Having the main pieces on hand can be a big time saver, especially the team lipstick, blush and eye shadow. We also highly recommend having a few disposable makeup sponges and q-tips on hand for application to prevent germ sharing.

Costume supplies - It's unnecessary to have a backup pair of tights for every dancer but one or two can get you through in a pinch. Also, a bottle of clear nail polish may be able to stop that nylon run before it becomes a big problem.

Missing shoes can seem like a catastrophe. How can you perform a tap number with only one tap shoe? Instead of being down a dancer, try checking to see if another dancer in a different routine has similarly sized feet.

A few other miscellaneous items include: band aids, tylenol/advil, safety pins, quick grab high energy snacks, water, and of course, don't forget your props!

Dancers (and your parents!)

Costumes - This may seem obvious, but dancers, don't forget your costumes. Don't forget the accessories that go with your costume. Don't forget the head piece. Don't forget the right set of tights. There is so little that can be done about a forgotten costume and it could mean the different between performing and being left backstage. So check, double check and triple check for good measure. Then have mom go through your packing one more time because she's sure to realize the one thing you've overlooked!

Seriously parents, whether your dancer is 8 or 18, double checking their costumes is never a bad idea. Your studio owner will thank you for it! And there's sure to be a "Super Dance Mom" shirt you can proudly buy for yourself at retail.

Hair & Makeup - You should arrive to competition with your hair and make up applied whenever possible. This saves on overcrowding in dressing rooms and extra stress if the competition is moving faster than scheduled. Make sure your bag is packed with everything you need to touch up your hair and makeup! Even the best slicked bun may need a spray of hairspray or an extra bobby pin at the end of the day.

Also, don't forget to get ready for the Dance Off! Bring your favorite dance outfit so you can shine in our audition style contest. If you don't already have the necessary dance shoes (jazz shoes, turners, foot undeez, etc.) with you for the competition (maybe you're only competing your tap solo today!) make sure you bring a pair with you.

Competition days can be LONG, and depending on how your routines are scheduled or the venue location, you may not have time to run out and get food whenever you get hungry. Make sure you bring a spill-proof water bottle and some non-mess-making snacks to get you through the day (check with the policies of the venue first to make sure food and drinks are allowed in your dressing area). Some great clean and filling snack ideas are: trail mix, veggie sticks, and fruit snacks. For the sake of your costumes please leave the greasy burgers and orange-dust covered Cheetos at home!

You have worked all year long to come and show off your moves, so don't let a little last minute packing procrastination keep you from having the best competition day ever! If you follow these tips you can be sure that the only stress you're going to be dealing with on competition day is how you are going to get all those trophies home!

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