The Competition Survival Kit

Packing for ballroom competitions is a flurry of noise and activity. It’s easy to remember the big things: costume, shoes, hair, and makeup supplies, but the little things that aren’t immediately on the floor with you are a bit more difficult to recall in the heat of the moment. Here are a few other supplies you ought to consider to make your day more pleasant.

  1. Snacks
    1. Dark chocolate is a great source of energy. Plus the flavonoids in dark chocolate help combat the blood-pressure raising effect of dancing. Dark chocolate is also more filling than other chocolates, keeping you fuller for longer on the dance floor. It also reduces the effects of stress and optimizes short term performance with those helpful flavonoids.
    2. Almonds contain a lot of protein, which is a building block for many components of the body and helps curb appetites during the busy comp day. Like dark chocolate, almonds contain many flavonoids to reduce cravings, as well as a bevy of helpful vitamins.
    3. Bananas not only carry high amounts of potassium, know to help with blood pressure and cramping, but they also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps elevate mood.
    4. Fruit is another good source of quick energy for the body. Some particularly beneficial ones include apples, watermelon, cherries, and oranges
    5. Granola bars
  2. Water is always an important part of your competition supplies. Remember that you may be dancing a lot, which means sweating a lot. Water replenishes your fluid supplies without the excessive sugars of some sports drinks.
  3. First aid kit – There’s nothing like walking off of the floor to realize that you’ve developed a huge blister and are only half-way through the day. Have a first aid kit with the following handy:
    1. Band-aids
    2. Ace bandage
    3. Ice pack
    4. Ibuprofen
    5. Arnica/Icy Hot/Tiger balm  (gels used to reduce swelling and pain)
  4. Sewing kit – Costume mishaps happen on and off of the dance floor. I can recall one competition where my partner stepped on a nearby follower’s float and tore it off in the middle of a heat. Keep a sewing kit handy with the basics: white and black thread, thread that matches your costume, a sewing needle, scissors, tape, and safety pins for quick fixes. I like to also keep a bottle of Elmer’s glue around for shoe repair and clear nail polish for runs in tights.
  5. A sweatshirt/sweater/wrap – Ballroom competitions are full of short bursts of energy followed by periods of waiting. Keep your muscles warm with some extra layers!
  6. A towel or paper towels – In between those periods of waiting, you’re probably working up a sweat. Enough said on this one.
  7. A notebook – You can learn a lot at competitions but let’s face it, competitions are long days. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted and tend to forget details of the day. Instead of relying on the bits and pieces I can recall the morning after, I like to bring a handy notebook to write down my observations and notes.

Tell us some of your ballroom competition necessities below!


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