If you have a child (or yourself) in activities that involve multiple costumes, then I have some tips for you! I am breaking down all the ways to organize a dance bag for the multiple costumes, shoes, make-up, and more.
This could include competitive dance, cheer, ice dancing, figure skating, pageantry, videographers, film-makers, costume designers, and more.
This post is sponsored by Dream Duffel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Where To Start When Packing A Dance Bag?
The first time I had to pack a dance bag, I thought of it like a diaper bag. I pulled everything I thought I possibly, maybe would need. And threw it in a bag. With no organization what-so-ever.
And I did this because I had no idea what I needed, but wanted to be overly prepared. Not overly organized.
So I did this same thing for our first dance competition. I threw everything we maybe could need in a bag. And I am talking, everything. From 4 cases of bobby pins to a fourth pair of tights to a sewing kit. Everything went into a bag.
But not any bag, a Dream Duffel. And yes, it is just as amazing as it sounds.
What Is A Dream Duffel?
Dream Duffel is your all-in-one supply carrier and storage bag. It is a garment rack on wheels that can easily fold up into an easy-to-transport suitcase.
Dream Duffel was founded out of frustration over a lack of products designed for dancers to travel. When you have costumes to hang, and dance competitions to attend, there is rarely any space to hang your things.
That is where the Dream Duffel is here to help.
The Dream Duffel has a built-in costume rack that can pull in and out of the duffel. The rack can become longer with rack extensions. You can use the extensions to create a privacy cover for those quick changes. And the duffel comes with so many pockets, there is no way you can be disorganized.
Plus, the Dream Duffel has clips to hold the top rack inside the duffel. This means when you pull the side bars of the rack out, you can easily grab the connecting rack because it is clipped in on the side of the costumes. So nothing gets lost.
There are two patches on the Dream Duffel that can be customized or used to collect all the dance competition pins.
The inside pockets are perfect for storing shoes, extra clothing, make-up bags, and anything else you want to store. Costumes can fit nicely inside the Dream Duffel, along with all the other supplies you need to get through those competitions.
How Do I Keep The Costumes Organized?
When you are packing for a dance competition, I like keeping each costume (or groupings of costumes) together in a garment bag.
Dream Duffel has garment bags with solid zippers and pockets for writing on notecards what is inside each garment bag.
You can write down all the accessories and shoes needed for that costume as well.
Now there are a few different sizes when it comes to garment bags. Long garment bags fold over and hook on a D-Ring. This is great for longer costumes of ones with pants. This year, Adleigh has a hip hop routine with pants, so we used a long garment bag to keep everything together.
Garment bags also have different widths. This is called a gusset. You can decide if you want a garment bag that is gusseted depending on fluffiness and how many costumes you want to put inside each garment bag.
If you have multiple costumes in a bag, then get a garment bag that has a gusset.
The Dream Duffel also has a special tutu bag that can be attached to the outside of the duffel. That way nothing gets smashed.
The idea size of the hanger should be 15″ for everything to lay flat inside the Dream Duffel. So if you are noticing the sizing of the hangers isn’t working, try 15″ hangers!
How Do I Organize Make-Up?
With make-up, I try bringing all the make-up with us. Because you never know how hard your dancer is going to perform on stage.
So I like to keep all the brushes together, along with the make-up in the hanging cosmetics case from Dream Duffel. The hanging cosmetics case can hold all the make-up in different pockets, along with having a mirror for any touch-ups we may need to make.
I found when I am keeping everything organized in the cosmetics case, everything stays together nicely. And I know we have all the make-up we need for the competitions.
What About The Accessories And Hair Products?
I have learned that different routines, costumes, and performances call for different accessories and hair products.
Some studios want different hair for every routine. Others want one look for all their routines.
So no matter how your studio does it, you need to keep all those accessories and hair products organized.
When we go to competition, I like having a travel size of the hair products I use because some of the big bottles of gels can get heavy. But I have seen other dancers come with their full bottles and use them.
This means that you have to decide which option is going to work better for you.
Dream Duffel has a hanging accessories case that has a shelf and box holder for extra clips, and travel-sized items. This option is perfect if you have lots of smaller items and need a space to collect everything.
There is also a hanging accessory roll. This is a great option for smaller items you may have for your competition. The hanging accessory roll does exactly what it says…it rolls up into a small cylinder so it doesn’t take up too much space in your bag.
If you have a lot of hair products, the hanging cosmetics case is perfect for that. The big cans of hairspray and gel fit nicely into the case. And you can place that bag at the bottom of the Dream Duffel. Then place costumes on top.
So no matter what items you bring, you are sure to keep them organized by grouping them together in an accessory case.
How Do I Keep Shoes Organized?
With so many different shoes for different routines, there are a few ways that you can keep them all organized.
First, you can store the shoes in the garment bags. Because the bags have zippers, that can work well for the smaller shoes like ballet and jazz.
You can also use the 6-Pocket Caddy with expandable shelves for organizing shoes and creating a shelf for things! Plus, you can grab the hanging mirror to add to the side of the rack, making the shelf the perfect spot to hold your accessories while you touch up between routines.
Anything To Eat?
If your dancer is scheduled for a variety of dances, you must pack snacks!
The front pocket of the Dream Duffel is lined with an insulated bag for snacks. I like packing things that aren’t too sticky or can stain. So things like fruits, veggies, and nuts are a great option.
What Else Do I Need To Pack?
So here is my running list of things I also include in our dance bag…just in case.
- Make-up remover
- Clorox wipes
- Wet wipes
- Slip-on shoes
- Change of clothes
- Travel hairspray
- Travel hair gel
- Extras of everything
- Nail polish remover
- Clear nail polish (to put on tights if there is a hole)
- Phone charger (newer Dream Duffels have USB port with small pocket for phone)
- Stool (Dream Duffel offers a folding footstool that can be stored in the side pocket)
How To Pack A Dance Bag For Competition?
When it comes to packing for a dance competition, you need to bring everything. Which is why keeping all those things organized is so important.
Make sure you have the right dance bag to carry all your items.
Collect everything for costumes and store together in a garment bag.
Bring all make-up and either full or travel-sized hair supplies.
Don’t forget to bring snacks.
And make a running list on your phone so you remember other items to bring to the next competition. It really is a learning curve!