Preparing for competition can cause butterflies and anxious energy and anticipation. You have to think about not only your performance, but also if you have everything you need packed. Let your many hours of dance practice shine, stop worrying about what you may have forgotten.
Having a checklist ahead of time can put your mind at ease. You will perform at your highest level if you are correctly prepared.
I have sought out advice from moms, dancers, cheerleaders, and teachers and put together a list of have to haves for performance weekends. Let these seven categories guide you to make certain you have what you need to make your next competition the best experience you’ve had yet.
Makeup: A large part of your appearance as a dancer is your make up look. You’ll need to include the makeup needed to execute the look your studio owner/director/ or cheer coach has designed. It is important that your makeup be water-resistant, highly pigmented, and long lasting.
You will have your makeup on for long hours, choose your products with care, the last thing you want is to end up with red irritated or broken out skin. Your makeup should be hypo-allergenic/non-comedogenic, talc and paraben-free products that are as naturally derived as possible.
Application tools, for example foundation brushes, sponges, and makeup brushes for the lip, eye, blush, and brow need to be packed as well. 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 water-resistant, smudge-resistant eyeliner.
Beauty Aids: If in the rush to get packed and out the door you forget to shave a razor and shaving cream will save you the sinking feeling of panic when you realize your slip. Likewise be prepared for a damaged nail with a nail clippers and file, nail polish remover and clear polish. And since you’ll be washing and moisturizing 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: When performing it is important that your hair remain locked in place. A supply of hair gel, hairspray, hairnets, and bobby pins will help you reach this goal. Make sure to pack in your back any needed hair pieces, hair jewelry, or hair glitter. A spray bottle of water, brush, hair dryer, and if needed curling iron will put the finishing touches on your look. Having the proper hair supplies will remove one more distraction between you and your best performance.
Costume Stuff: If you have multiple costumes make certain you have the head/arm/leg/and body pieces for each outfit. You’ll also need all the necessary jewelry or props you are responsible for. Remember a mini sewing kit and thread that matches all of your costumes. Your sewing kit should include needles, safety pins, and scissors. This will spare you having to scour the event or your teammates’ things looking for something to fix a last minute snag.
Hot glue or super glue, double sided tape, and body adhesive will keep everything in its’ place, both on your costume and you. You won’t worry about 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: Don’t let a bump, scratch, or ache remove you from your game pack the necessary first aid supplies. Tylenol, Antacid, and Dramamine are good basics. Clear Band-aids, Neosporin, Icy Hot/Biofreeze and instant ice packs are essential. Pace an ace bandage in case of emergency, if you need this to perform cover it with foundation so it matches your skin and is as inconspicuous as possible.
Food/Drink: Keep up your energy throughout the day by packing snacks. It will also help you resist less then healthy alternatives that may not sit well in your stomach. Water and juice boxes will help keep you hydrated. Food that is easy and portable such as veggies, granola bars, cheese sticks, raisins, trail mix, or goldfish are a good choice.
Miscellaneous/Comfort Stuff: The more relaxed and comfortable are the better you will perform. The “extra” things will help you do this. 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.
The list of things to remember is long and varied when prepping for a competition, but remembering the things you need will make for a much more enjoyable and positive experience. Having everything you need to perform to your highest level is key. In order to be prepared and successful at your next event please view my complete competition checklist.