The Ultimate Competition Suitcase

We’ve all done it. We’ve been halfway out the door or at the actual event, and realize that we managed to leave behind something crucial. At a ballroom competition, the solution can range from a quick trip to the convenience store or a full-out catastrophe. Here is a handy checklist to help you pack for your next competition.

  1. Costume(s)– This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised at the number of people that manage to forget their entire costumes or pieces. Needless to say, this isn’t always an inexpensive fix on competition day. Save your wallet and pack those costumes!
  2. Shoes– Again, a seemingly obvious mistake. As with costumes, at larger competitions, there are vendors available with shoes but it’s better to have the ones that you have been practicing in and broken in. This will allow you to better mimic your practice.
  3. Hair supplies
    1. Hair gel and 
    2. Hair spray–the two combined create that sleek and shiny look
    3. Comb/brush
    4. Bobby pins and hair pins
    5. Bun/hair net
    6. Hair jewelry
    7. Rhinestones and glue
  4. Makeup
    1. Foundation
    2. Setting powder
    3. Bronzer
    4. Blush
    5. Eyeliner
    6. Eyeshadow
    7. Lipstick or stain
    8. False eyelashes and glue
    9. Makeup remover
  5. Snacks– For further detail see The Competition Survival Kit
  6. Water bottle
  7. Sewing kit
  8. First aid supplies– Again, for further detail see The Competition Survival Kit
  9. Notebook– In Dancesport judge and coach Dan Calloway’s opinion, one competition is the equivalent of ten practices. Amidst all the chaos, try to write all of your findings down so you can take the time to soak it in later at a more leisurely pace.
  10. Toiletries– Because life continues off of the dance floor
  11. Pajamas/Change of Clothes
  12. Sleeping bag/pillow– For many collegiate competitions, student housing is available. However, you will frequently need to supply your own bedding.

Did we forget something? Share more of your competition necessities in the comments below!


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