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Essential Items to Pack for Ballroom Dance Competitions

# Dancesport

Compared to your practice dance bag, there is more strategy at play when you’re packing for a ballroom dance competition. We love this tip from Center Stage Dance: go from head to toe to ensure you've remembered everything for your special day.


Whether you hire a professional, or you doing your own hair, we recommend coming prepared with suppliesNo hair emergencies here!

  • Extreme-Hold Hairspray: Our favorites for Dancesport hairstyles are Got2BeGlued and Silhouette.
  • Strong Hold Gel or Mousse: Some prefer these as a base layer before hairspray to help smooth and hold. 
  • Bobby Pins and U-Pins: Work for securing hair and lacing hair with finite embellishments.
  • Hair Nets: Hold buns and/or details in place. It is imperative that they match the color of your hair. 
  • Brush and Comb: We recommend this slicking brush and fine tooth comb.


Earrings are easily forgotten! Consider keeping them in the same place, like a small bag attached to your costume. Pro tip: dab a little bit of eyelash or school glue on the back of earrings to help them stay securely in place. These glues are washable, so simply remove with soap and water or makeup remover.


Like hair, even if you are hiring a professional, we suggest coming prepared with your own skin and makeup supplies. Better safe than sorry.


Like stage makeup, ballroom makeup can be intense. Keeping up with your at-home skincare routine before and after dancing can reduce the chance of breakouts and irritation. If you are traveling to compete, or staying in a hotel, revive your skin with your favorite face mask.

Makeup Application Supplies

We recommend you print this out 😀 

  • Makeup Brushes
  • Tweezers
  • Eyelash Curler
  • Primer
  • Foundation
  • Concealer
  • Eyeshadow
  • Glitter or Sparkly Pigments
  • Eyeliner: Both a liquid and pencil can come in handy.
  • False Eyelash Glue
  • False Eyelashes 
  • Mascara: Great for bottom lashes and to bind false eyelashes to real eyelashes.
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Highlighter
  • Lipstick: It's best to bring options! 
  • Setting Spray
  • Makeup Remover Pads/Wipes/Micellar Water

Seeking a little more guidance? Check out makeup guru Hope Jackson's favorite beauty products to create a simple and elegant ballroom competition look.

Body: Tanner

This is not a must-do, but many dancers like to get a spray tan or self-tan prior to competition day.

Body: Costumes and Practice-wear

Beyond your costume, these may not all be necessary. But hey, maybe you'll help someone else in case of a wardrobe malfunction.

  • Your Costumes and Accessories: make that list and check it twice! This is one thing you don't want to forget (make sure to include jewelry, floats, hair pieces, cuff links, and bow ties when you're packing!).
  • Practice-Wear/Warm-Ups: many dancers like to bring along practice-wear, a jacket, or robe to warm-up in before they dance. Need a couple ideas? Check out our What to Wear to a Ballroom Dance Lesson blog!
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Extra Rhinestones and Glue
  • Fashion Tape


Want to know more about the ins and outs of ballroom shoes? Check out our comprehensive guide here

  • Competition Shoes
  • Shoe Brush
  • Nail Polish or Press-On Nails 
  • Vaseline (for buffing patent leather shoes)

Other Supplies

It's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared...

  • Small First Aid Kit
  • Pain Relievers
  • Bio Freeze or Icy Hot
  • Snacks
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Headphones
  • Scissors
  • Safety Pins
  • Sweater or Cardigan for the Ballroom (it can get chilly!)
  • Flip flops or Slippers

The "Go Bag"

Our number one tip? Keep those items you ONLY use for dance competitions (maybe self tanner, rhinestoned earrings, competition shoes, and more) in one place at all times when not competingconsider this your competition "go bag." When you are packing for a competition, grab your “go bag,” add in anything missing from your list, and you're set.

This may seem overwhelming, but not to worry; when you've packed for a competition more than once, you’ll create habits that make the process more efficient. Happy competing!


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