For most studios, competition season is done, and it is the beginning of dancers going off to summer intensives. So, this post is really to prep you for the Fall season and get you ahead of the curve. You should have three types of bags walking into every competition.
First and most important is you dance bag. This bag should include every type of dance shoe you own. Don’t take a risk that even if you don’t need a certain shoe, don’t take them out of your bag. You never know when a fellow dance may have forgotten his/her shoes and you happen to be a perfect match for their feet. At that point, you’d be able to come in like superman and save the day. Second, you should always have a small first aid kit including neosporin, band-aids, medical tape, gauze, peroxide, and an ice pack. It may sound silly to have something like this in your bag, but having cut myself more then once at a competition I had to keep learning the same lesson multiple times. Third thing is extra tights. Tights are constantly getting runs in them, and you never know when you are going to snag them on a piece of wood of the stage in the middle of a performance and they become unfix-able. Fourth thing is a change of clothes, because who seriously wants to be constricted by tights or have to explain yourself when you walk into some place public like a restaurant? No one. Final and fifth thing in your dance bag should be multiple bottles of water. Always stay hydrated. Find where the closest water fountain is and continue to refill as needed.
The next thing you should have is a caboodle. I’m not sure if that is what they call it anymore, but it is basically a makeup case. It has every kind of makeup from foundation to eye shadows to lipsticks, to eyebrow pencils. Being a competition kid you learn about various kinds of makeup at a young age. You should also have miscellaneous items, like tweezers, nail clipper, clear nail polish (to stop runs in tights), make up remover, cue-tips, cotton balls, and nail polish remover. This little kit was everything that was needed to make me not look washed out under the harsh lighting on stage. I have very fair skin, so I had to wear a lot of makeup…I always felt like I had to shower three times before I could get it all off my face.
Third and final bag is your food survival bag. I wish I had known now, what I didn’t know then about food, because I feel like I would have had more energy at shows and better eating habits as an adult. Anyway, don’t have your parents or another parent get you fast food like burgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, or soda. You are not helping yourself in anyway! Bring nuts, apples, bananas, water, Zero Vitamin Water, and veggies that you can pick at in Tupperware. Don’t, and I repeat do not eat starbursts and goldfish all day. It will give you a high and then you will seriously crash and feel like crap.
Do yourself a favor and follow my bag rule. You will be a much happier dancer, performer, and student.