Are you performing in an upcoming competition for the first time?

It can be easy to let the little details go unnoticed – you’ve put so much work into building a show, perfecting a routine, and choosing the perfect song. What more could there be?


Packing your dance bag essentials for The Big Day.

Not to mention that, if you’re flying to the competition, airline restrictions will apply as well.

It doesn’t matter if your destination is pole dancing championships, a local showcase, or your first novice competition – having that grip aid and warm sweatpants at your fingertips will be essential!


Pole Dance Bag Essentials for Competition Time


  • Stage costuming

Remember, always bring a backup as well! On the very, very slim chance that you have a wardrobe malfunction in the bathroom, it’s nice to have a plan B.


  • Stage makeup

Plan your makeup out beforehand and bring what you need – if you have to, write down notes about how you did it so you can layer correctly beforehand.

If you’re having your makeup done by someone else, make sure they use setting spray or cream to help keep everything in place.

Remember, it’s OK for stage makeup to be flashy! You’re on stage!

  • Grip aid

Ideally, you’ll want to bring a variety of grip aids with you. Some for dry skin, some for sweaty skin. If you’re layering grip aids, it’s best to test everything out before competition day. Remember, most competition poles are newer and taller than many home or studio poles.


  • Comfortable, warm clothes

Think like sweatpants and a long, comfortable sweatshirt. You’re going to potentially be waiting for several hours before you’re due to go on stage, so keep yourself warm and cozy!


  • Competition heels (if applicable)

Bring your competition heels! If you just got a brand-spanking-new pair of heels in, then you may want to bring a pair that you’re more comfortable in as well.

Every pair of heels is made a little differently, and artisan heels can have different weights, so practice in your new heels – and don’t be afraid to go in a different pair if they don’t feel right!


  • Food and Water

This is absolutely an essential item. Bring food that travels easily, like protein-filled granola bars or fruits. Bringing a water bottle allows you to carry water in a sealed container, and it can always be refilled.

If you’re traveling, plan to eat a fresh and healthy meal at the beginning of the day – snacks will help tide you over throughout the day, but it’s not a replacement for a healthy breakfast!


Flying with Your Dance Bag Essentials

There are a lot of fears about flying with pole gear, so we’re going to say it up front: when in doubt, check the regulations for your airline.

We always recommend bringing a checked bag with you to store your competition heels and other dance bag essentials. It’s a hassle to worry about carry-on luggage, and it’s much easier to toss everything into a dufflebag and check it.

If you can’t afford a checked bag, then be sure to research your airline’s guidelines for carry-ons and personal items. Be sure that any grip aid powders, gels, liquids, or creams adhere to the size and material guidelines as well!


Are There Any Extras You Might Need?


  • Chargers

Don’t forget to pack the charger to your phone, laptop, ipad, or other electronics you’re bringing with you.

While many pole dancing championships are held at large venues like hotels and convention centers – meaning you’d have easy access to a shop or some sort of charging station – you aren’t likely to find that at smaller, local venues. Sure, if you were to ask, someone at the competition is likely to have a charger with them that will fit your phone, but you don’t want to be scrambling for a charger right before you’re due to go on stage.


  • Identification and Currency

Be sure to bring personal identification which can help you during travel or at check-in for the event. Likewise, if you’re traveling internationally, double-check to ensure any necessary visas are valid.

If you’re traveling domestically and need to take public transportation, you may find yourself at a cash-only station, so it’s a wise idea to bring physical currency with you.

For international travel, many banks and airports have services for currency exchange. It’s wise to fill up on enough money to pay your way through public transportation and a meal or two per day.


  • Medications or Other Essentials

If you take medications, be sure to pack enough for the trip! This includes any headache medication or supplements you take daily.


  • Extra Pairs of Layering Clothes

If you’re traveling to a new region, the weather may be different than you expect. Especially if you’re staying the night before or after, you may want to pack a few pairs of clothes that layer easily. Layering clothes lets you take items off or put them on depending on the weather.


Is there something you always bring to a competition? What is it, and why? Let us know in the comments below!