Competition Checklist

Island Fantasy Ball is coming just around the corner. Since it’s an out-of-town competition, I thought it would be a good time to bring out my old Competition Checklist (with a few amendments), to make sure that you don’t forget anything for your trip!

shirtlessThe competition atmosphere is nerve-racking enough, without getting to the venue and discovering that you forgot your favourite lipstick or your competition shirt!  From experience, we know that forgetting things can cause added pressure which is really unnecessary.  (As you can see, not only will your partner be unhappy with you, but DSBC might have something to say about your infringement of the dress code!)

Here is a list of typical items that we normally bring to a competition. Make sure you check for these items a few days in advance, so that you still have a chance to go out and buy whatever you’re missing, or do any last-minute cleaning and repairing of your costumes.

Gentlemen’s costume· For Standard: Shirt, tie, vest and pants for syllabus; maybe a belt if necessary and for sure black socks!  Make sure everything is clean and pressed.  For Open level, check your Tailsuit and all accessories: bowtie (makeup stains can be easily removed with soap and water using an old toothbrush), plastic collar, cufflinks, studs and collar buttons, suspenders and waistcoat.

For Latin: Shirt and pants.  If you have a bodysuit, check the buttons to make sure they’re still working properly.  Check your zipper and look for tears on the seat of your pants (as you could prevent a very embarrassing situation from happening, which I have witnessed on more than one occasion!).  If you’re wearing a white shirt for the comp and you have more than one round, consider bringing a change of shirt in case the first one gets completely smeared with makeup and tan.  Finally, touch up your costume if there are big patches missing stones.

For all men: Don’t forget your black socks (as nothing’s worse than white socks on the competition floor (unless you’re doing the Michael Jackson thing!).  Always bring some extra safety pins (in case of emergency and extras for your competition number).

Ladies costume: Standard or Latin dress: Make sure everything is clean and pressed or steamed.  Especially check the contact point, which often gets residue from the man’s costume rubbing onto your dress.  Make sure that stones and/or decorations are touched up, and that any float attachments, straps, buttons and/or hooks are secure.  Check the bodysuit buttons to make sure they are working properly.  And again, bring some extra safety pins (in case of emergency).

makeupAccessories: Make sure you have your stockings (if you wear them) and check for snags or tears; check to see that the colour of your stockings somewhat match your tan (as there’s nothing worse than pictures of a beautiful dark tanned face with white legs).  Make sure you bring your favourite underwear (preferably nude coloured and seamless to avoid showing extra panty lines).  Jewellery:  Don’t forget your earrings, necklace or bracelets, hair pieces, hair jewels or flowers.

Makeup : Eyelashes, eyelash glue, eye shadow, eye liner, eyebrow liner, mascara, blush, lipstick, lip liner, lip gloss, powder, foundation, makeup brushes, bronzer, tanner, small mirror, tissue, and fake nails or nail polish. Hair products : gel, hairspray, comb and/or brush, bobby pins, elastics and hair nets.

Shoes: Competition shoes (make sure they are clean and brushed), extra pair of competition shoes (just in case), extra pair of black shoe laces (in case you break yours as you’re lacing up), shoe glue (in case your sole starts to peel off), shoe brush, castor oil (in case the floor is too slippery), Vaseline (to prevent men’s patent shoes from sticking together), heel protectors, and slippers (to rest tired feet in between rounds).

Snacks and drinks : Energy bars, thirst quenchers or energy drinks, water bottle, water (if the venue is not a hotel and does not provide water).

Additional items: Towel, deodorant, mp3 player (to visualize, prepare and inspire yourself before your event); $5 deposit for number (sometimes required); DanceSport association membership card or in some countries, your competitor booklet.

Throughout the day and during the event: Be sure to keep yourself hydrated.  Keep your body well-fuelled, but be careful not to eat too much or too little.  Don’t test out new foods on the day of the event.  Anything new needs to be tested out prior to the competition day to make sure it works for you.

Good luck and see you there!  If I’ve missed anything, please post a comment!

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