How to organize your dance bag

How to Pack a Competition Dance Bag – Center Stage

Competition season is here!  After all the time spent preparing for competition, it should be a fun, rewarding experience both for the dancers and the parents.  One way to help ensure you have a great experience is to make sure you have a well-packed competition bag.  Realizing you have forgotten your shoes, tights, or part of your costume at competition is stressful, and it doesn’t create a fun, positive experience.  From packing my own competition bags to now packing bags for my daughters, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips over the years.  Hope these tips will help you feel better prepared for some great competition experiences ahead of us this year.

Tip 1 – Punch a hole in a large ziploc bag.  I like to reinforce the area with packing tape before I punch the hole.  You can write your child’s name on the bag and/or hair style info. or specific instructions for that dance.  I then place all items needed for that dance in the bag such as tights, hair accessories, hats, gloves, etc.  This works both to keep your items organized as well as to make your child’s name very visible as costumes get mixed up backstage sometimes.

At Center Stage in Leander, we recommend hanging all accessories with your dance costume.

Tip 2 – Visually go down the body to ensure you have everything packed.

Head – Know how your child’s hair should be fixed.  Pack hair ties, bobby pins, hairspray, and hairbrush.  Does your child have a hat or hair piece?  If so, place it in the Ziploc bag.

Face – Remember to pack your competition make up.  Check with your child’s teacher for any specifics.  Older dancers usually wear false eyelashes, so don’t forget to pack those.  Remember to remove earrings and only wear jewelry that is specified by your child’s teacher.

Body – Check all pieces of your child’s costume to ensure proper fit before competition.  Make any alterations necessary.  If your costume has small extra pieces like briefs or a bra top, place those in the Ziploc bag.  I suggest steaming your costume before competition.

Legs – Make sure you have the right color/style of tights packed.  I recommend buying 2 new pair of tights for competition in each color you need.  Ripped tights at competition will cause stress.  If you don’t use the extra pair, you can always use them in class after competition.

Feet – Shoes!  In my years of teaching, we have had students forget their tap shoes for a tap dance or forget their pointe shoes for a pointe dance.  Check that your shoes fit properly.  I recommend cleaning leather ballet shoes, jazz shoes, and tap shoes with a baby wipe or cleaning wipe.  It makes them look like new.

Tip 3 – Look over each costume, accessories, tights, and shoes before placing them all in your bag.

Tip 4 – Include some “emergency” items too.  I suggest packing safety pins, band-aids, nail polish remover (no painted nails), make up remover wipes, water bottles, and clean snacks.

Tip 5 – Bring clothes to change into after competition.  Remember to bring your team warm-up suit for the awards ceremony and when watching other dancers between your dances.  You may want to bring some comfy clothes to travel home in.  This may sound strange, but be sure to pack underwear.  If you come to competition in your tights, you might forget to bring some to change into at the end of the day.  (No panties under tights!)

Tip 6 – Bring items to make your dressing area comfortable.  Some students like to bring a blanket to sit on while doing make up.  At Center Stage, we like to make team signs to hang up in our dressing area too.  If you have several dances, you may want to consider purchasing one of the dance garment bags with pop-up clothing racks like the one pictured below.  They are expensive ($150-$200).  I ordered one this year, so I can give a better review after this competition season.  If you have several dances, it may be worth it to keep all of your costume changes organized.

Many of our competitive dancers at Center Stage in Leander use bags like this to organize their dance costumes and dance shoes.


hair accessories and styling products including bobby pins, hair ties, hairbrush, and hairspray

costume – all pieces

tights – extra pairs


warm-up suit

company make up including false eyelashes if required

safety pins, band-aids, nail polish remover, make up remover wipes, water bottles, and clean snacks

clothes to change into at the end of the day

small blanket and dressing room signs (optional)

Hope this helps as you pack your child’s dance competition bag.  Do you all have any suggestions or items I forgot to share with other readers?  Happy packing!


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Dance Bag Essentials - Practical Perfection

My cute daughter has such a love and a passion for dance. She has been dancing since she was 4 years old and she has always had a talent for it. I’m not sure where she got her talent because it wasn’t from me! It has been a huge learning process for me to learn to navigate the dance world but I like to think that I’ve learned a few things that I could share with others, especially the newbies!

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Being Prepared

I am always looking for ways to organize every aspect of my home. And I have a firm belief that if we stay organized, we spend less time running around looking for things! This school year I really wanted to have my daughter prepped and ready for dance class so she can grab her backpack quickly as she is running out the door. I don’t want to waste any more of my life in a panic wondering where her dance shoes are!

Supply List

Here is a Supply List of things she uses for dance class:

  • Backpack
  • Water Bottle from Cuptomaniac
  • Dance Keychain (with her name on it, but I don’t want to show her name online so you get to see the front side!)
  • Hair Elastics
  • Bobby Pins
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Body Lotion
  • Snacks
  • Gum
  • Mints
  • Safety Pins
  • Chapstick
  • Extra Money
  • Bandaids
  • First Aid Ointment
  • Foot Soles
  • Ballet Shoes
  • Leotard
  • Hot Shorts

Storing the Small Stuff

The key to keeping everything organized is having a place for everything! I found the most PERFECT container to house many of the supplies listed above. It is double-sided and holds twice as many things in one small container. I found it at Michael’s Craft Store in the Jewelry section. It holds bandaids, First Aid Ointment, Safety Pins, Gum, Mints, and small elastics. And on the other side, it holds, chapstick, bobby pins, hair elastics, and emergency money.

I have a separate bag to keep all of her dance shoes organized and a smaller bag to hold her sanitizer, tissues, and lotion. Because these are all contained in one bag, they aren’t rolling all around her backpack and it is easy to find. And it stays looking nice!


Hydration is so important for athletes so I wanted to get her a water bottle that she would be excited to drink out of. I wanted one that had a closing lid so that it didn’t spill in her backpack. I found this awesome Etsy store called Cuptomaniac. This was by far my favorite one that I have found because of the quote on the front. It says, “Throw Kindness around like Confetti”. One of the most important things that I can teach my daughter is to be kind and so I thought this quote was a perfect reminder for her. I also had her name put on the opposite side so if she leaves her cup behind, people will know who it belongs to. Go check out Julie’s shop called Cuptomaniac and you won’t be disappointed, her customer service is THE BEST!

Label Everything with her Name

I also like to label most of her things so that they don’t accidentally get taken by others. If her things are clearly marked, we will easily be able to find them if they end up in the lost and found! My favorite thing that I have found is her cute little dance keychain by AOK Custom Designs. This is the perfect way to label her backpack (or this would be SUPER cute for her competition bag as well!). Go check out Kelly’s shop to see how many color and glitter options she has! And the quality of her products is super impressive.

I hope you found some helpful tips that will help you and your dancer stay organized!

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Post Tags: #athletics#bags#dance#Kids#kids travel#sports

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6 reasons why dance and ballet shoes wear out quickly and what to do about it!

Dancers put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their art, and the same goes for their shoes! Ballet and dance shoes can wear out quite quickly for several reasons, and dancers and parents are always looking for ways to extend the life of their shoes.

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Poor quality materials, overuse, growth spurts and mistreatment are just some of the reasons dance and ballet shoes wear out quickly! To get the most out of your dance shoes, follow our tips and tricks!

While it's not the end of the world to go to a pair of ballet lessons with a pair of holey shoes, there will come a time when they're just useless!

Why do dance and ballet shoes wear out quickly?

Dance and ballet shoes wear out quickly for 6 main reasons. It's perfectly normal that some dance shoes don't last the entire dance season, but with care and our tips, you can help prolong their life.

1. What materials are your shoes made of?

Dance shoes are made from a variety of materials, from canvas to leather and synthetics. The stronger the material, the longer the dance shoes should last.

For example, leather flats worn by a dancer whose legs have stopped growing can last more than a year. Some ballet dancers have been known to keep their favorite pair of perfectly worn ballet shoes for years!

On the other hand, canvas shoes worn by the same dancer can fall apart much faster because the canvas simply wears out much faster.

What to do about it?

Parenting Tips for Repairing Dance Shoes Materials:

  • If your dancer's shoes are made of canvas, it's easy to fix by mending the holes in the shoes.
  • If the shoes are made of soft leather, as a last resort you can use athletic tape to patch up the hole. As a rule, stitching leather is difficult, so darning holes in leather shoes is not recommended.
  • Tap shoes with loose soles can be revived with a strong adhesive such as Moment glue or superglue. Be careful not to get your fingers dirty because these adhesives dry very quickly and require a lot of effort to remove.

2. What is the quality of the shoes?

Workmanship plays a big role in how long dance shoes last. Bargain-priced basement shoes won't last as long as dance shoes from a well-known dance-focused brand.

When shopping for dance shoes, resist the temptation to shop at non-specialized "big stores". Making dance shoes is an art, and the companies that do it best are specialized in the specific needs of dancers.

What to do about it?

Tips for Parents on Finding Quality Dance Shoes:

Reputable dance stores stock famous dance brands.

Find your local dance shop or visit these brands' websites to find the highest quality shoes for your up-and-coming ballerina, little dancer or jazzman!

3. How often are dance shoes worn?

Dancers who wear shoes several days a week will have to buy new shoes more often than dancers who only wear them one session a week.

You will find that more durable shoes, such as tap shoes, actually benefit from more frequent wear. Breaking in quality tap shoes takes time, but it's kind of a trick! The more you wear slippers, the more comfortable they become, but at the same time, they will last longer if you wear them less frequently.

What to do about it?

Parenting tips for shoes that wear out quickly due to overuse:

If you have the financial means, buying a second pair of dance shoes for your child can be a good way to reduce wear and tear.

With a pair of performance shoes and a training pair of dance shoes, your dancer can look their best in recitals, competitions and performances!

4. On what surface does the dancer dance?

Dance shoes last longer when used on the correct dance floor. In your dance studio, you most likely have hardwood floors, Marley (a type of special dance floor covering), or laminate flooring, so keeping your shoes in good shape while in the studio shouldn't be too difficult.

Some dance shoes can be used with care on concrete, mud or grass.

Hip-hop sneakers, for example, are made from materials similar to regular sneakers and can be used on a variety of surfaces. Be sure to clean the soles of your hip hop shoes before wearing them in the studio after you wear them outside.

Hard soles and tap shoes can also be worn with care on surfaces such as concrete. Just keep in mind that the rough surface will scratch the soles of your shoes.

However, it can be useful considering that many hard-soled dancers' shoes and tap-dance shoes are very slippery!

5. Is your dancer still growing?

One of the main factors to consider when thinking about how long a dance shoe will last is whether the dancer grows. If your dancing pet has not reached adolescence, he will most likely have a growth spurt (or several!)

If your child's dance shoes are too small, he will most likely complain about how uncomfortable he is in class. Watch shoes like flats and jazz shoes for holes or split seams, two signs that shoes are getting too tight.

What to do about it?

Parenting Tips for Growing Dancers:

Most dance shoes can be safely purchased half a size larger to accommodate growing room. Any size larger than half a size will cause the shoe to trip, fall, and slip off in the middle of a dance step.

Your dancer can wear thicker socks at the fitting and continue to wear them in class. One of the benefits of wearing thicker socks is that the extra pressure will also stretch the shoe a bit.

When it becomes uncomfortable to wear socks with dance shoes, switch to bare feet or tights under dance shoes. Half a size up plus a sock tip will give you an extra few months before you have to buy a new pair.

6. How are shoes processed?

Finally, dance shoes that are well treated between sessions will last much longer than shoes that are neglected. Taking good care of dance shoes means storing them properly, giving them some air and protecting them from damage.

What to do about it?

Parenting tips to help your dancers take care of their shoes:

For ballet flats and jazz shoes, you can purchase bamboo charcoal air purifier bags to wick moisture away from the shoes.

Pointe shoes are expensive and with proper care they can last longer. Consider a mesh bag that allows the shoes to breathe.

Tap shoes and hip hop sneakers can benefit from deodorant spray, sneaker balls or deodorant powder.

Finally, all dance shoes appreciate a little respite. Instead of storing your dance shoes in your bag between sessions, open the buttons or zippers to give them some fresh air!

While most dance shoes don't last forever, with these tips and tricks you can make your child's shoes beautiful and usable a little longer!

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Dance shoe accessories

Dance is something that undoubtedly unites all peoples of the world without exception. Each nation traditionally has its own history of dance, its folk costumes, their names and dance techniques. Dance is the creativity of the soul and body of a person. The language of dance is visually capable of conveying much that oral speech is not capable of. The grace, fluidity and flexibility of the dancer's movements captivate the viewer's eye.

For many hundreds of years there have been many varieties of dances that have gained popular popularity in most countries of the world. These are such as ballroom and sports dances, and many others. The essential attributes of any dance are shoes, a dress or an outfit that replaces it, as well as the necessary accessories for the care and maintenance of dance accessories in proper and good condition.

First of all, dance shoes require constant care. The fact is that dance shoes, whether they are ballet flats, czech shoes or stylish patent-leather tap-dancing shoes, have the greatest load. And if the shoes are not properly cared for, they will become completely unusable in a very short time.

Essential dance shoe accessories have been developed specifically to keep dance shoes clean and in good condition. Here are the most necessary ones that should be an essential attribute of every dancer:

1. Sole cleaning brush. Any professional dancer knows that shoes need to be carefully looked after and the soles of shoes must be thoroughly cleaned before entering the floor. This must be done, since contaminated areas of the sole can affect the quality of the dance movement, or, more simply, the quality of sliding on the parquet. To avoid damage to the brush itself, before using it, it is advisable to put on a nylon stocking on it - this will prevent it from wearing out quickly.

2. The headband is a special piece of plastic. This device protects the heel with a heel from premature, early erasure and destruction. For greater ease of use, transparent-colored plastic headbands are most common. But today there is no way to find heels of a specific color, for a specific color of shoes. The type of your future heel protector will directly depend on the shape and height of your heel. There are quite a lot of varieties of heel shoes, since in turn there are a large number of dance shoes of various types and shapes. Heel protectors also differ in their rigidity.

Beginner dancers who have recently started using this accessory sometimes have difficulty putting the heel cap on. But the way out of this uncomfortable situation is quite simple - you need to place the headband in hot water for a while. After that, he can easily put on the heel. Also, novice dancers may face the problem of removing an already old heel cap from the heel. For quick removal, experienced dancers cut the old heel caps and use small scissors to easily remove it.

There is an opinion of critics and dance experts that heeled shoes should only be used during training dances, but not during public performances. This opinion is controversial and not universally supported. Without the use of a heel cap, dance shoes wear out very quickly when performing European ballroom programs. The only replacement for a heel cap can be a special leather sticker, which also prevents heel wear, but to a lesser extent. It should also be mentioned that in some international competitions, the entry of dancers to perform is possible only when using heeled shoes.

3. Back sticker. This accessory is intended for gluing dance shoes inside the heel area. To prevent the formation of calluses and various skin lesions.

4. Special strap. This device is designed to more securely fix the shoe with the foot of the foot. This is necessary so that dance shoes do not accidentally fall off your feet during a performance or training. It is very easy to choose such a strap for your shoes, as they come in different materials and different colors. So there will be no problems with the selection of your shoes. They come in leather, silicone or satin. These straps are very good and comfortable attached to the leg. During the dance, you don't even remember them. For the viewer, this device will be completely invisible.

5. Heel holder. This is a special device that functionally resembles a strap for fixing the foot and shoe. It can be and even advisable to use simultaneously with the strap.

6. Metatarsal insoles.

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