Competition naturally brings with it nervous anticipation and butterflies. Not only do you think about your performance, but also if you have packed everything you need. By being prepared with a checklist ahead of time can stop your worrying about forgetting something and let your many hours of dance practice shine through. Being prepared will help you perform at your highest level.
I have consulted moms, dancers, cheerleaders, and teachers and compiled a list of must haves for performance weekends. These seven categories will guide you to ensure you have everything you need for competition to make your experience the best you can.
Makeup: A dancer’s makeup look is a crucial part of their appearance. Make certain you have the makeup to execute the look that has been determined by your studio owner/director/ or cheer coach. Remember you’ll need your makeup to be water-resistant, highly pigmented, and long lasting.
Choose the products you pack to use on your skin with care. You are going to be wearing your look for a long time you don’t want your skin to end up irritated or broken out at the end of the weekend. Look for hypo-allergenic/non-comedogenic, talc and paraben-free products that are as naturally derived as possible.
You will want to make sure you pack all of your application tools, such as foundation brushes and sponges, as well as your makeup brushes for lip, eye, blush, and brow. If you are using JAM cosmetics, bring a small water dropper bottle with you, it can be used to turn your black eye shadow into a water-resistant, smudge-resistant eyeliner.
Beauty Aids: Knowing that you have a razor and shaving cream packed will spare you the panic when you realize you have forgotten to shave! Be ready for a broken or torn nail with a nail clippers and file, nail polish remover, and clear nail polish. Keep in mind you’ll be cleaning and caring for the skin that will be in performance makeup for long days. Makeup remover wipes, tissues, cotton pads, moisturizers, and skincare products are a must.
Hair Products: A supply of hair gel, hairspray, hairnets, and bobby pins will ensure that a hair is never out of place. If your look requires hair pieces, hair jewelry, or hair glitter make certain you have it packed them in your bag as well. Finally a spray bottle of water, brush, hair dryer, and curling iron will help you complete your look. Knowing your hair is firmly locked in place will eliminate one more distraction between you and your performance.
Costume Stuff: Double check that you have all of your costumes, including the head/arm/leg/and body pieces. In addition you’ll need all the necessary jewelry or props you are responsible for. Save yourself from having to dig through bags or beg those around you when an emergency hits pack a mini sewing kit and thread that matches all of your costumes. Your sewing kit should include needles, safety pins, and scissors.
You can make certain that everything stays in place not only on your costume but also on you by packing hot glue or super glue, double sided tape, and body adhesive. Save yourself from the worries of tears, scuffs, or snaps by packing shoe polish to match your shoes, spare tights in the appropriate color, and a spare set of clear and tan bra straps.
First Aid: The occasional bump, scratch, or ache won’t take you out of your game if you come with the appropriate first aid supplies. Tylenol, Antacid, and Dramamine are good basics to have packed. Clear Band-aids, Neosporin, Icy Hot/Biofreeze and instant ice packs are a must. And also remember to pack an ace bandage, if you need this to perform cover it with foundation so it matches your skin and is as inconspicuous as possible.
Food/Drink: Having snacks on hand will help you keep up your energy throughout the day and help you resist less healthy alternatives that make not agree with your stomach in the long run. Water and juice boxes will help keep you going. Pair them with food that is easy and portable such as veggies, granola bars, cheese sticks, raisins, trail mix, or goldfish.
Miscellaneous/Comfort Stuff: The more relaxed and comfortable are the better you will perform. For that reason don’t forget the “extra” stuff. A pillow, blanket, warm-ups and slippers or flip flops will help make your down time more comfortable. So will something to do, remember to pack pens, a notepad, an iPod, and magazines for quiet time you may have. You will likely be in a busy venue so packing extra tissues for the bathroom in case your location runs out may make your day much more comfortable.
When packing for a competition the list of things to remember is long and varied, but having the items you need will make for a much more pleasant and positive experience. Make certain you have everything you need to perform to your highest level. In order to be prepared and successful at your next event please view my complete competition checklist.