Who better to give packing advice than dancers who’ve been there? DS consulted several competition veterans for their top tips on getting ready for the big event:

On the Fly

Even the most prepared dancer can’t predict disasters like lost luggage! To avoid such a scenario, Lauren Sigler, a dancer at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy in Greenwood Village, CO, packs all of her costume gear in a carry-on, so “there is no possibility of it getting lost.” Of course, when carrying on, it’s important to remember the airlines’ “3-1-1 Rule” for liquids: all bottles must be 3.4 ounces or less and fit in a quart-size clear plastic bag (one bag per passenger).

It Takes Two

“I’ve learned to bring double of everything because tights snag and hair nets tear,” says Alexandria Vandiver, a dancer at North Harris Performing Arts in Spring, TX.

Dressed for Success

In a hectic dressing room, organization makes a major difference! Janaya French, a dancer from Michelle Latimer Dance Academy, puts each costume and its accessories in a separate zip-close bag marked with her name, studio and specific routine, then packs them in performance order in her suitcase. Nicole Wasserman, an on-site coordinator for L.A. DanceMagic, suggests creating labels with masking tape or sticky notes to wrap around the necks of hangers.