Pack your bags! (And don't forget ANYTHING...)


It's competition time for my team! I will be headed to Bristol, Tennessee for the Dance Matrix event next weekend.

No matter how the awards fall, competitions always leave us with new inside jokes and special bonding moments. It will be a great time once I get there! BUT...

Does anybody else freak out about packing for competition?!

It can't be just me!  So many details to remember: Gotta pack the right dress, spankies to go under the dress, maybe a crinoline, the correct bra, belt, hair bow, earrings, etc. Repeat the whole process for every dance category entered. Whew!

My team director had us bring costumes to practice the other day so she could clarify exactly which outfit is to be worn for each dance. (Only a couple of us remembered, but it was helpful for me - thanks, Evie!) Due to this exercise, my garment bag is currently packed, although I will need to remove two costumes for performances taking place before the competition. I am determined to return these outfits to the garment bag immediately after laundering!

Team earrings and hair bows live in a separate bag, along with essentials such as bobby pins, safety pins, clear nail polish, and extra hair ties. This will also be needed for the performances before competition, so it won't be formally packed for the trip until Sunday.

Since the popularity of pantyhose has waned, it is difficult to purchase more than 2 pairs at a time locally in the size/color/style needed. I have recently learned to order them online in larger quantities, so I am set!

Downy wrinkle releaser has become my best friend when traveling with costumes. Gets the wrinkles out AND smells great! This will also get packed after our performances.

Forgetting an item is not the end of the world. It happens. Adjustments get made. Maybe everyone else takes off the hair bow because two people forgot it. A dancer may need to perform with a slightly different belt or the wrong color spankies.  (Of course, a team director may choose to deal with a habitual careless packer more severely, maybe even benching the dancer for that routine. That's your prerogative as director. What I see more often is the occasional honest mistake for which the team is willing to adopt a Tim Gunn "make it work" attitude.)

One of Fancy Free's funniest "make it work" moments occurred after a teammate's vehicle was broken into during the competition trip. The thief made off with a bag containing the, um, fake buttocks another dancer was to wear in our artistic expression routine. (Can you imagine the thief's facial expression when he/she opened that bag?)  A new fake tush was improvised using sweatshirts and many punch lines were created about the situation!

I have witnessed acts of excellent sportsmanship in competition dressing rooms, such as a dancer from one team loaning a pair of black pants to a dancer from another team. Kudos to those willing to help a fellow clogger!

I'll be packing carefully for Dance Matrix. Looking forward to seeing some of you there!

Remember to pack your clogging shoes!

Many of you deal with way more costumes and props than I do! Got any packing tips/tricks to share?