Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dance Competitions: What to Bring to Survive the Day

The dance competition season is in full swing and while our young performers are thrilled and longing to take the stage, dance moms and dads are busy pulling our hair out. Each competition brings the hectic rehearsal times and the constant dilemma of what to bring to the dance competition, there are instances that you feel as if you could be preparing for a excursion across the country and always turn out failing to remember a little something really important. Follow this advice to make certain that you have exactly what your kid requires the day of the competition.

The Basics: Collect the obvious stuff first, as these are the pieces that you are most likely to leave behind as you focus on the smaller details. The dance competition basics change from dance studio to dance studio, but these are the across the board necessities.

Dance Costumes

Dance Tights (a few of each color needed)

Dance Shoes for Routines

Jewelry (only if part of costume)

Advanced: These are the pieces that you obsess about and still forget. As your dancer gets older, the list will grow longer, but this is a good place to start.

Hair Brush and Comb

Extra Hair Pins

Extra Hair Nets

Hair Spray

Hair Gel

Extra Elastic Hair Bands

Stage Make-up

Parent Essentials: These include the items that will assist you through the tension filled day. I strongly recommend these objects to be included in any dance parent's strategy.

Coloring Books and Crayons-Excellent for occupying small children between shows

Bandages- Clear bandages for blisters

Snacks for you and your dancer

Bottled water for your child (safe drink when dressed in costumes)

Wet Wipes-Perfect to fix make-up smears and to wash little fingers after snacks

Sewing Kit for quick costume repairs

Safety Pins for even quicker costume repairs

Oversized Shirt for little children-Dressing rooms are crowded and sometimes it is less difficult to change little children under a large T-Shirt.

Nail Clippers

Camera-nearly all competitions have policies about photography, but you’ll want candid shots backstage.

Try to arrange these items into different bags; doing this will prevent you from having to rumage through so many things to locate what you desire. Consider using one bag for hair and cosmetic items, another for snacks and amusements, and place costumes in an actual garment bag.

On the day of the dance competition, remember to bring the most crucial item: Patience. Your dancer will be excited, but that can quickly give way to nerves. Be calm and bear in mind that these performances are intended to be for your dancer's enjoyment, do not let your anxiety level spoil it. Be reassuring and cheer your dancer on, with any luck , you’ll have to prepare for this experience a number of times!

Don't Give Me That Look

Okay, I've had enough! I'm minding my own business, creating this blog, and in no time I find myself getting THAT look. We all know the look I'm talking about. It's that judgemental expression that comes over people's faces whenever you tell them that your child is involved in dance.

I ran into a few people that I went to school with (didn't like them then, don't like them now). They did the usual, "OMG, I haven't seen you in soooo long. How have you been?" So blah, blah, blah. I give them the usual polite answers, wishing I had talked my daughter into having lunch somewhere else. Then I get to hear all about how they are on their way to soccer and softaball practice. Their kids just love it. (Wonderful for your kids, now go away) Then comes the dreaded question, "Is your little girl in to sports?"

There it is, I know what's coming, but I do it anyway and tell them that my daughter dances. Then there it is, THAT look. I can see it in their faces, they both think that all I do is throw money away on silly costumes, slap some make-up on my daughter, and prance her around on stage. It's that look that is normally reserved for pagent moms.

Here's what I would like to tell them: I didn't like you in high school and don't understand why you are talking to me, but since you insist, just wipe that smirk off your face. Yes, my daughter is in dance. At six, she has probably suffered more pulls and strains that your little mini-me has ever thought of. Dance is a very physical activity that makes a lot more cultural sense than chasing a stupid ball or standing in a field waiting for some ball to come to them. It takes dedication (far beyond a once weekly practice), skill (anyone can run after a ball), and grace. Most kids can't hack it. And by the way, soccer is highly overated and no one likes a soccer mom, softball is the equivilant of watching paint dry, so drop that "You crazy stage mom that dresses her little girl up like a prostitute and throws her out on stage" look from your face and go bother someone else with your sterotypical "stuck in the '90's" past times.

I want to say these things, but I don't want to get thrown out of McDonald's, so I stew in silence and type away as they leave, wishing that my parents had the foresight to home school me so that I never had to endure speaking to old classmates.

"Athletes dance...everyone else just plays games."

Attention All Dance Moms!

Welcome to my new blog about the trials, joys, and frustrations of being a dance mom! We all know that it can be a crazy, but rewarding experience as we watch our children enjoy the rewards of dance in its many forms. It can also be a lonely experience as non-dance parents won't understand the demands that are placed on us!

I've decided that since this is something that takes up so much of my time, why not blog about my experiences, deals on dancewear, competition tips, and other little tips and tricks from the web regarding dance. So, give a shout out to other dance moms!