As a crazy dance mum, there are a few must haves, that you absolutely, on no account, should attend to attend any dance related event without. I’m talking absolute basics here, before we even get into dance specific items, that’s a whole other list.
- Headache tablets – I’m just going to go right ahead and put this on top of the list. Places where Crazy Dance Mum’s hang out, are, typically, headache inducing. They are often noisy, lots of artificial lights, sometimes (most of the time) stressful. If you dancer is old enough, they may need a headache tablet too!
- Scissors – I cannot even begin to imagine how many times the call has gone round the dressing room, ‘anyone got any scissors!’ Pack a pair. You’ll be glad you did. And you can be the Dance Mum who saves the day! (just make sure you get them back)
- Safety Pins – The uses for these are endless. Sometimes parts of costumes need to be pinned, sometimes you need to make last minute repairs. Once when using a vintage style teddy bear as a prop, the arms and legs randomly fell off the thing 5 minutes before going on stage. Had it not been for my stash of multi sized safety pins my goose would have been well and truly cooked! The other day I got a pass at an eisteddfod and had no way of attaching it to may lanyard, no way until I used my handy safety pin stash to make hole in it that is!
- Sewing kit – I know, I know, so many of us don’t like to sew but there are ‘sew’ many times when you need to. Last minute repairs to a costume (when the safety pin won’t cut it), extra security for those butterfly clip closures, ballet shoe ribbons, the mouth of the annoying dance mum next to you in the change room!
- Wet wipes – how can these be used, let me count the ways! Make up removal wipes are even better, especially for removing make-up from places where it is not supposed to be! They can also be used to clean ballet shoes, dirty tights (allow time to dry), sticky hands, you name it!
- A pen – Sounds simple enough, but how are you going to note down the results in your program without one, let alone put in your order for photos and videos. Even better, get one of those light up pens so you can see in the dark.
- Food and Water – always, always, always bring food. A range of quick, easy, clean, healthy snacks are a must, plus a few little treats (NOT CHOCOLATE) for when the energy lags and the mood is low. Even if you think there will be a canteen, bring snacks, trust me.
- Money – where there is dancing there is a need to spend money. A card will not always cut it. Many times you will need cold, hard cash to buy tickets, merchandise or to purchase at the canteen (when you have failed to heed point number 7, have eaten all your snacks or are entering your 10th hour straight and feel that a dim sim may be the difference between life and death).
- Mobile Phone – goes without saying really but mobile phones have a special place in a Crazy Dance Mum’s arsenal. First and foremost, it will allow you to document all the exciting moments of the day, getting up, hair and make up, packing the car, arriving, costume shot/s, costume shots with friends, costume shots with other friends, waiting to go on stage, after being on stage and maybe even a trophy shot. You can then Instagram all of the above. You can contact your child’s dance teacher, send them a photo of the crit sheet, check out social media to see how everyone else is doing, use the camera as a mirror for touching up make-up, keep bored dancer and their friends amused by allowing them to play with your phone, check the time, check the time again, message a friend who has nothing to do with dancing so you can imagine what a weekend would be like when you are not stuck in a theatre dressing room, the list is endless really.
- A friend – being a Crazy Dance Mum can be tough sometimes, but having a friend can make it SO MUCH MORE FUN. So find a friend. If you don’t know anyone, try to talk to people and make new friends. Everything is better with a friend and the crazy world of dance is definitely no exception. You may likely spend the next 10-15 years of your life with these people, find some good ones and have some fun.