Everything you need to know before you leave for dance competition!
Competition Checklist for Dancers
Everything you need to think of and remember to help your competition experience run smoothly and stress-free! Here are some tips and reminders that you will want to read and share:
- Label everything! Dance shoes, tights, costumes, bags, accessories, etc. tend to go missing at competitions. Wherever possible, label your stuff (you may have to get creative about how to do this conspicuously). Changerooms and dressing rooms tend to be crowded and messy!
- Bring pins of all kinds! Safety pins, bobby pins, hair or bun pins are always needed and these can pretty much attach or fix anything costume or hair related. Using a resealable sandwich bag or plastic lunch container with a lid keeps them accessible but contained.
- Stay calm and positive! Your little dancer(s) will pick up on your stress, anxiety or nervousness so keep your mood light and positive. Kids are amazing little athletes and they will always do their best!
- Bring extra tights! If something is going to rip or tear or get red lipstick on it, it will be the tights. Always be prepared with an extra pair. They will either save your life or someone else's and they never go to waste!
- Use a separate clear garment bag for every routine. These bags are amazing and have multiple zippered pockets for shoes, tights, hair accessories, jewelry and can be labelled using a cue card. It is easy to see that you have everything for a routine because these bags are clear!
- Prepare a costume and accessory checklist by routine ahead of time. You can use this list while packing before each competition and this will eliminate the need to "remember" everything. Simply go down the checklist.
- Trust your dancer's teacher! Studios have different rules about when and how to drop off your dancer to their care but in general, your dancer will be in good hands and will be warmed up and rehearsed appropriately. Have faith that these experienced dance teachers know how to prepare your child to compete!
- Bring lots of water and clean-eating snacks! Water is the best way to hydrate your dancer and snacks should be mess-free and nut-free where possible. You never know if there is a little dancer in your changeroom who has a nut allergy. Cut up vegetables or granola bars make great clean-eating snacks.
- Be prepared for the competition to run ahead of schedule, or behind schedule! It is extremely difficult to keep so many dancers, routines, studios, and judges running perfectly on time. Last minute changes or re-scheduling does occur so you have to be prepared to be early and be patient when they are running behind.
- Have a sewing kit on hand! Whether you are a seamstress or not, these little kits can be a life saver when a strap or costume detail is loose. A few stitches is all it takes to tack something in place so that a dancer feels secure and put together.
- Trendy booties can save tights and ankles! There are a variety of booties on the market from several suppliers such as Grishko and Bloch. These are cute, soft and warm but they are also functional. These booties can be worn over ballet shoes, tights, or bare feet. They keep feet and ankles warm, clean and dry. This is often the area where tights get dirty during practice and cold ankles lead to injuries.
- Lots of hairspray and a fine tooth comb! These two basics can tame any mane and fix any stray hairs in a pinch.
- Don't over-rehearse! If you have some time between your routines, don't rehearse your kids over and over again. Too much day-of rehearsal will produce tired little dancers on stage and it doesn't often improve the routine. Leave the rehearsals to the teachers!