Dancesport Grooming Tips

Whether you are a seasoned pro or a newcomer, here is a laundry list of “must have” items & advice for ballroom dancers:

10 Things You Can’t Live without at Competition

1. A good attitude
2. A water bottle or Gatorade. Drink fluids before and after dancing to avoid dehydration.
3. Safety pins or mini-sewing kit
4. Your “heat list” or dance schedule/program
5. A good luck charm, —something that will make you feel good.
6. Makeup removal wipes. Natalka’s favorite: Korres Milk Proteins
7. A note pad. Take notes on the music you liked, including steps you saw in other dances.
8. An open mind. This is a learning process and you will grow as a dancer from your experience.
9. Spare dance shoes in case your shoe strap breaks
10. A smile.

Costume Check

11. Check your costume. Make sure the seams & hooks are sewn one well
12. Be organized. Put all costumes, shoes and accessories together
13. Put your name on your dance bag & inside your dance costumes
14. Men, please wear matching underwear in case your pants rip
15. To avoid panty lines, don’t wear any.
16. Pack everything a day or two before your leave

Tight Tips

17. Bring extra fishnets & pantyhose!
18. Cut off the top elastic band of your fishnets to avoid “muffin tops”
19. Cut off the toes of your fishnets if they are too painful

Shoe Savvy

20. Bring a pair of practice shoes to practice in
21. Don’t wear black shoes for competition unless your dress is black
22. Don’t wear worn out looking shoes for competition
23. Rubber heel covers help keep your heels from slipping
24. Air out your shoes after wearing to avoid odor
25. Always break in new shoes before a performance

Makeup Musts

26. Get a makeup case like a Caboodle to store all cosmetics and hair supplies.
27. Pack Travel size cleansers to save packing space. Natalka’s favorite cleansers: Dermalogica
28. Lights give you a washed out look, so make sure to use sunless tan or spray tan!
29. Be generous when applying makeup. You need more for stage than you would wear every day.
30. Stay away from colored eye shadows that are distracting, like blue.
31. Use false eyelashes. They help your eyes stand out!
32. Face hydrating sprays help “revive” your makeup! Natalka’s favorite: Evian Spray
33. Practice applying your makeup before the day of competition.

Heads Up on Men’s Hair

34. Avoid men’s hair cuts that are loose and let hair flop around
35. Use a good hairspray to keep hair from moving. Natalka’s favorite: Aveda Firmata
36. Wash hair in shower to get hairspray out instead of brushing it out
37. If you color your hair, do it several days before your competition
38. Condition your hair after competition to keep it healthy!

Hair Helpers

40. Keep it clean and simple
41. Use a good hairspray to keep hair from moving. Natalka’s favorite: Aveda Firmata
42. To avoid a shadow on the face, pull back your bangs.
43. For buns: Use bobby pins and a hair net that match hair color.
44. For French braids: Spray all wisps into the braid and use an elastic that matches hair color.
45. For wigs: Fibers should match your hair color and texture perfectly.
46. Be sure the wig is of good quality.
47. Securely attach the wig to your head with bobby pins of the same color.

Jewelry Rules

48. Only wear jewelry that stays on securely. Practice with it before competition.
49. Jewelry should accent the costume, not distract the judges while you are dancing.

Don’t Forget to…

50. Make sure you are packed and ready to travel to your competition to reduce stress
51. Be sure you have been registered in the correct category
52. Double check time your hotel & travel reservations
53. Get plenty of rest the night before
54. Videotape yourself practicing. Watching a tape of yourself helps you improve!
55. Practice dancing in full costume.
56. Arrive an hour before your scheduled time to dance
57. Have fun! Relax and enjoy yourself! Judges will see that in your performance!

Spray Tan Savvy! 

58. You MUST tan for competition! Exfoliate first & don’t shower, swim, sweat or cry after!

Natalka’s favorites: Add DHA powder to Super Braun or Contest Color. Use it for two nights before competition. Apply it lightly on dry areas such as elbows, knees, and ankles.

For the BEST  Spray Tan/Airbrush tan in Detroit, Michigan, use Spray Chic

Upcoming Events


When: Every Tuesday
Where: Franklin Club
Time: 7:30pm in the Aerobics Room