Monthly Archives: April 2013




A confession: I hate to practice.

This might seem odd from a woman who has chosen a career in dance, where practice is one of the most important and time-consuming activities. And I love that period when you pick out a new piece of music and start to play with it, explore it, discover all the accents and arcs you can illustrate with your body.

But then comes the time when you’ve settled on a path for that song, and you need to put in practice. My brain will come up with almost any excuse to avoid this – I’m tired, I have email to read, I need to organize my sock drawer (OK, not really – my socks live in total anarchy). This is where I drag myself into my studio, tie on a hipscarf, go through my warmup routine, and put on my music. Sometimes, once I’m there, I really enjoy it. But lots of the time, it feels like slogging.

And that’s OK. Just as literally slogging through mud builds strength, slogging through practice builds skill and focus. Just because it doesn’t feel fun and joyous doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes, down there in the mud, you’ll find unexpected insights and inspiration. But even if you don’t, the slog itself is worthwhile.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some practicing to do.


What’s on your gig packing list?


Princess Farhana has a fantastic blog post on costume and gig bag organization (my own “emergency packs” which live in my gig bag and class bag are based on her post, and have things like extra earrings, makeup wipes, and eyelash glue).

With a couple of my students starting to dance more frequently, I thought I would share the standard generic “gig checklist” I use for packing for a performance.

  • costume bra & belt
  • skirt
  • gauntlets/armbands
  • zills
  • veil
  • dance pants
  • safety pins
  • wig tape/roll on glue
  • energy snack
  • coverup
  • earrings
  • burned cd of music
  • mp3 player with playlist and appropriate cable
  • lipstick
  • address and contact# set up in phone/GPS
  • bluetooth earpiece
  • portable speakers
  • business cards
  • water bottle
  • towel
  • travel mirror

I edit the list depending on the specifics of the gig (e.g. – I don’t pack speakers if I’m dancing at a club or restaurant I know to have a sound system), but the above makes a pretty good base list to start from. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get cracking on my packing list for tonight.

(For more detail on things like makeup, what kind of bag, what to wear to the gig, etc, check out So You’re Going to Start Performing.)

What’s on your standard gig packing list?  🙂