Drink lots of water, starting now! We are water creatures! Losing as little as 1% of your body weight in fluid can decrease performance by up to 10%. A priority should be to start dancing with your fluid reserves at full capacity. Only consume enough fluid so that your urine is very light to clear in color. Continuing to drink past this point could affect your electrolyte balance and also negatively impact your sleep pattern, oh no!! Zzzzz Get good rest! I know it’s hard, but try…
Food! Carbo-load 1 week before a comp. Most of the fuel you use during exercise doesn’t come from the food you’ve recently eaten! It actually comes from the carbohydrates (called “glycogen”) and fat that’s stored in your muscles, liver, and fat cells days before using it. That’s enough to fuel 1-2 hours of very intense jiving or 3-4 hours of slow foxtrot. It takes time to completely fill glycogen stores, and what you eat after exercise can help or hinder this process. Eating the right foods at the right time after practicing is essential for recovery and being ready for this weekend! Stock up your energy reserves! This includes foods such as pasta, fruits, whole grain breads, energy bars and drinks.
AVOID: Foods with a lot of fat or fiber can be very difficult and slow to digest and remain in the stomach a long time. They also will pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion, which can cause cramping and discomfort. Meats, doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided in a pre-competition meal.
1 hour or less before competition
- fresh fruit such as apples, watermelon, peaches, grapes, or oranges and/or
- Energy gels
- up to 1 1/2 cups of a sports drink.
2 to 3 hours before competition
- fresh fruits
- whole grain bread, bagels, pasta
3 to 4 hours before competition
- fresh fruit
- whole grain bread, bagels, crackers
- pasta with tomato sauce
- baked potatoes
- energy bar
- cereal with milk
- toast/bread/crackers with a bit of peanut butter, lean meat, or cheese
Friday night: Skip the beer or wine and get to bed early.
Some girls/guys like to tan for competitions. This is completely optional! If you’d like to try it out, I would recommend a sunless tanning lotion or spray. Here are some products that work well for me:
Neutrogena micro-mist airbrush sunless tan (available at drugstores)
Victoria’s Secret Self Tan (available in-store sometimes, also online)
St. Tropez Bronzing Mousse (available at Sephora and Ulta)
A few notes on tanning:
Do not try to tan all at once! Don’t do orange, try to find a natural tone. If you are using lotions you should start applying several days before the comp to build a gradually darker tone.
OVERALL PACKING LIST
- Cash for food (stops along the road, meals during comp day, team dinner, etc.)
- ID of some kind (BRING YOUR MCARD)
- Cell phone, camera, chargers
- Medicine: Advil, Pepto Bismol, prescriptions, medications etc
- Toiletries: DO for the BO, toothpaste, floss, lotion, etc whatever else you do to keep your studliness
- All shoes and costumes, appropriate undergarments NO FLASHING See below for details!
- Healthy snacks and Water bottle for competition day
- Homework/books/things to do in the car
- SLEEPING BAG, towel, pillow for crash space: info on this coming soon!
- Makeup, extra hair accessories, jewelry, etc
- Icepacks, I throw a few in my bag just in case
- Black Tie
- Black Belt
- Black dress pants or dance pants
- White dress shirt (for standard)
- Black dress shirt (for Latin)
- Dance shoes
- Black dress socks (2 pairs)
- Vest (if you own one)
- Clothes for post-competition
- Bring extras for the men who will forget (but don’t forget!!! Seriously just don’t)
- Skirts/dresses: solid, bright colors with movement.
- For Latin, skirt should be just above the knee. For standard, skirt should be mid-calve or above the ankle.
- Tops: bright colors, you want to stand out on the dance floor! Leotards or nice tank tops/long-sleeved/short-sleeved shirts work!
- No sparkles are allowed on outfits but go all out on jewelry:)
- Makeup: Bright lipstick, eye shadow, eyeliner, blush, fake lashes if you want, tanner, etc…
- Jewelry (go crazy and big!) EXTRA EARING BACKS (I usually lose/forget mine…)
- Bobby pins-LOTS OF THEM, hairspray, hair nets, hair ties, hair bling
- Toiletries, appropriate undergarments…cover you bum!
- Bandaids/moleskin (works great for blisters), masking tape (there is a strong likelihood that your feet will hurt after all the rounds you have to do in order to get to finals!)
- Clothes to wear on comp day- comfy sweatshirts/pants for breaks and flip flops! Your feet will appreciate them:)
- Clothes for post-competition
Important things to remember!
- Money/credit cards for food. Bring enough to cover 2 dinners on the road and food throughout the comp day.
- Proper comp attire
- SHOES. It really really sucks to forget your shoes.
- Smile! Comps are supposed to be fun! There’s nothing better than dancing your heart out and cheering for your friends and teammates.
* Portions of this information were also written by the wonderful Daisy Howlind (So remember to thank her as well)*