Regardless, here are some basics you can pack in your dancer bag (along with all of those costumes you're going to need to bring):
- First Aid Kit. C'mon, folks. You're a dancer. Anything can happen. You can twist your ankle and need a cold-pack. You might get a heinous headache and need some serious ibuprofen. You might even get cut up on the stage space. I've been cut, bruised, and even broke some bones (but you go to the ER from that; your First-Aid ain't gonna help you there) that it's worth it to have a first aid kit handy.
- Makeup. Even if you do makeup at home, a performer always wishes they had packed some extra makeup in their bag as soon as they get to the show. Besides, you sweat and makeup runs off, so do yourself a favor and bring something with you to do touch-ups with.
- Makeup wipes. For quick makeup changes, or just to get out of your makeup as fast as you can by the end of the show.
- To-Go Sewing Kit. I think its fairly obvious why this is a must. If its not, I'm just going to let you know that one or two stitches can be a costume LIFE SAVER.
- Bobby pins. This is not just for your hair, but for quick attachments. I can't tell you what I've used bobby pins for. Its too many things. Plus it helps turning your hair into a sexy beast.
- Safety Pins. You never know when something is going to snap or pop, something beyond the simple stitch that can be fixed by your to-go sewing kit. Besides, there is always going to be at least one person in the Green Room (or backstage) that is going to need a safety pin for something.
- Deodorant. No brainer, kids. This is a no-brainer. You're probably going to share a tight space with a lot of people at once, and you KNOW you don't want to be smelling anybody that hard (which means they probably don't either). Also, there is always going to be at least one person backstage that is going to ask for deodorant.
- Extra Eyelashes. While this could seem frivolous to some, to others this could mean whether or not the audience actually gets to see your eyes from a distance. Not only that, if something goes terribly wrong with the pair you are wearing, a back-up is always a nice thing to have.
- Eyelash Glue. Eyelashes come off. Just because you put your eyelashes on well before the show and they seem to be doing alright doesn't mean they are totally secure. I have a friend who has a terrible time with eyelash glue, and has actually resorted to using super glue, but that means she would just have to pack extra super glue in her dancer bag. Also, I don't recommend that.
- Double-Sided Tape. Raise your hand if your titty has flopped out of your dance bra? Yeah, you know who you are. In the burlesque world, this may not be a super-necessary thing (although I've used it for securing pasties, so don't rule that out), but in other forms of dance you might want to actually keep your nipples inside. And when I say double-sided tape, I am not talking about the scotch tape you find in the office supplies. I'm talking about the thick roll that you may have to find in the hardware section at Wal-Mart.
- Sheer to Waist Tights. Tights aren't for everybody, but I sure as hell like them. For one thing it keeps my panties secure. For another, if I have multiple costume changes and have to slip on fishnets or different types of stockings, it's easier pull them over the sheer tights. Also, my sweat will only stick to tights and not to the costuming I'm wearing. Tights tear easily, so it's probably worth it to you to have an extra pair in your bag--besides the one you are wearing.
- Glitter. Again, this one is optional but I feel like glitter, especially body glitter, is always going to make the audience viewing you ten millions times better. For one thing, if you are on a big stage and your viewers are quite a distance away, glitter helps them see what to look at. I saw a trio of bellydancers in Vegas last year that had put an intense amount of glitter all over their abdominals--I could see their undulations through the TV screen in the Green Room! It was awesome.
- Hairspray and Gel. Totally optional. For someone who goes through wig changes, its a great and wonderful thing to have. Hairspray is also really helpful in making your hair as big as the 80's, which is what you want for big-stage productions. Big hair makes your dance personality bigger, too.
- Change of clothes. People always forget that they probably don't want to drive home in their bedlah, or in the 5-inch stiletto heels they walked in on. Pack some flats, some pants, and shirt. That way if you go get something to eat afterwards you can do so in comfort.
This is what I put in MY bag. Sometimes it varies, depending entirely on what sort of show I'm doing. Got anything to add? Please do! List it in the comments below so we can all read 'em!