When I was preparing for my first pole competition I had noooo idea what I needed to take with me. Whether I was taking too much, not enough, what I would use, and so on. So I thought it would be useful to show you what I recommend packing for your pole competition.
1. Wheeled Suitcase
For my first competition I took what I needed in a sports shoulder bag. This was a BAD idea! Firstly, not everything I needed actually fit into the damn thing, and secondly, it was so heavy that carrying it to the venue was a pain in the ass. Learn from my mistake and take what you need in a suitcase with wheels, this is so much easier.
2. Costume & Shoes
Make sure you pack your costume, and check you have the top and bottom bits if you are wearing separates! (DUH). I also packed a second outfit choice that fitted with my overall theme, just in case there was a tragic and unforeseen costume malfunction that I couldn’t Macgyver my way out of. If you are wearing shoes make sure you have both. If you need it, make sure you pack things like body / boob tape, pasties, a nude thong to wear underneath, or anything else you might need to ensure your costume stays in place and you do not need to worry about it during your performance.
When choosing your costume make sure you check the competition rules so that you do not get penalised for your costume breaking one of the guidelines. Some competitions have specific rules on how much skin the costume must cover, whether or not you are allowed to wear shoes, what kind of accessories or jewellery can be worn, and so on.
If you have any props make sure you pack those in advance too!
3. Grip Aids
Bring your preferred grip aids with you and make sure they do not contravene the competition’s rules. Some competitions ban certain types of grip aids, so it is best to know this during rehearsal so you do not become reliant on a specific grip aid only to find out at the competition you are not allowed to use it.
4. Makeup & Mirror
Even if you are going for a very neutral look in your performance, it is important to wear some kind of makeup to make sure your facial features do not get ‘lost’ under the stage lights. Check my recent makeup tips HERE, (these do specify photoshoot, but many of these rules apply for stage makeup too).
Bringing a good sized mirror with you is a good idea as many competition venues may have limited facilities, and what mirrors they do have could be in a room with very poor lighting, making it difficult to see what you are doing.
5. Hair Styling Products & Electronics
Whether you use gel, wax, hairspray, volume spray, or other products, make sure you pack the styling stuff you need to make sure your hair stays in place during your performance. If you need curlers, straighteners, or crimpers, pack these before hand so you do not forget them.
6. Yoga Mat & Block
To help you warm up before going on stage it could be useful to take a yoga mat and block with you. I used mine to lie on to stretch out before my performance.
7. Resistance Band
As my shoulders are a problem area for me it is important for me to get them really warm before I pole dance. The best way to do this on the move is with some body weight exercises and resistance band exercises. Using a resistance band warms up the muscles, can help with flexibility, Range of Movement, and injury prevention. It is important to get really warm before performing so you do not hurt yourself and you can perform to your best ability.
Bring along some change with you so you can pick up snacks and drinks throughout the day, as you will want to keep well fueled. You may also want to pick up some pole clothing as competitions often have well known brands selling their merchandise, which is great if you are wary of buying online because of sizing and returns policies.
If your phone is anything like mine it gets halfway through the day and it is ready to drop dead. Pack your charger so that you don’t have to deal with no phone, after all, you will need to post all your happy and celebratory statuses on social media after your performance!
It is a good idea to bring your headphones as it allows you to listen to your performance song whilst you warm up, so that you are prepared once you hit the stage. You’ve been chatting to your fellow competitors all day, but the 30-45 minutes before you go on you want to get into the zone and ready to dance. Nothing achieves this better than sticking in your headphones and mentally rehearsing your routine whilst you stretch.
11. Baby Wipes
Baby wipes are useful for a number of reasons. If you mess up your makeup a bit they can help you correct it, and once you stagger off stage sweating and exhilarated they can be used to quickly clean up before heading out for a celebratory drink. I got cheap ones with alcohol in as they dry quick and are less likely to leave a slimy residue that would get in the way of your grip on stage.
12. Snacks & Water
You will want to well hydrated and fed throughout the day as you prepare for the competition. Some venues may only have limited food facilities available, and if you have special dietary requirements such a veganism or gluten-free then your options may be even more limited. By packing your own snacks, such as trail mix, avocados, bananas, and salad, you make sure you won’t be left starving hungry and munching on something gross from a service station.
There you have it! I’m sure there are a couple of things I am missing but that is the basics covered. What do you pack in your competition bags that I have missed out? Do you have any ‘lucky’ items you take with you? Let me know in the comments!