packing for a festival

these days – in addition to A-list performers, favorite instructors and loved pool parties – dance festivals and congresses are quickly becoming known for their creative and outrageously fun nightly themed socials.

and some…welp some even have after-party themes!

so how do you best pack for the 20 hours of workshops, 15 hours of social dancing, 9 hours of after-parties and pool parties without shipping your whole closet with you?

follow these 5 tips for packing without fear of leaving something behind or hauling more than a couple suitcases along with you.

1. follow your event’s Facebook page & check for updates.

you’ve already committed to go, so don’t play hard to get now. most events or companies putting on your intended event will have a Facebook page or link to their site. show some love and support by clicking their like button.

life happens and plans change. when they do, you’ll want to be sure get all the updates as they happen. most events will begin posting their nightly themes anywhere from at least 2 weeks to a month prior to the event date.

for example. Chicago Salsa Bachata Festival. only 8 days left. here’s their event link.

2. make a list. check it twice.

it’s not Christmas, but just as you did when a kid…make a list of all the things you want to bring or be prepared for.

I organize my packing list by the individual day and night. once you can see clearly what’s happening per day it’s an easier feat to master when packing.


and don’t forget. check your list multiple times to ensure you haven’t forgotten anything important like your toothbrush, your charger or your traveling stuffed moose named Charlie. #dontjudgeme

#ontheDL tip: ladies…pack spare tampons. if you don’t need them, I’ll bet at least one lady will ask a friend “hey, do you have a tampon?” before the end of the festival.

3. decide to participate or pack to impress.

no peer pressure here, but participating in the nightly social themes is what makes the event even that more memorable. for instance, CSBF has some pretty funky fun themes slated for this year.

but if themes isn’t your niche, be sure to dress to impress.

and don’t be ashamed to have a mini fashion show. try on your choice outfits and choose what you’re most comfortable and confident in. confidence will always enable the best version of the dancer that you can be.

4. wash it. dry it.

either way, for which ever you choose, make sure you’ve washed it ahead of time. there’s not a worse feeling than having an awesome outfit planned just for you to pack it and upon arrival realize there’s a stain or worse…

my trick…after washing my clothes, I lightly spray some of my signature scent of perfume onto the clothing. that way, as I move and dance (and of course sweat) my partner will smell sweet scents of vanilla cookies and ice cream.

5. roll it up. pack it tight. 

when it comes to packing I employ two techniques. the rolling method and tight square folds methods. pack based on your bag type. if using a duffel bag, rolling is the best and you’ll get the most out of a smaller space, especially as you get towards the top.

for rectangular shaped suitcases, I do tight square folding. after you’ve picked your day/night outfits begin folding and stacking like pieces. for example, fold all the shirts into tight squares and stack them into one pile. do the same for your dresses, pants and leggings.

now identify any larger items that can be easily arranged and placed in a square-like shape. like shoes (heel to toe, toe to heel), make-up boxes and such. pack those items on one side of your suitcase while you place your stacked piles of clothes on the other. start with your heavier stacks, like pants, first. if you have additional storage pockets on the inside lid of your suitcase, this is a great place for hair accessories, those liquid items that they always make you take out at TSA and for your socks and undies!

Check out my favorite Pinterest articles for packing methods:

8 Packing Techniques

The Right Way to Pack Your Suitcase

10 Packing Hacks


hopefully at this point – especially if gearing up to head to a dance festival – you can breathe a sigh of relief, you have a plan of attack and now you can pack like a pro.

Chicago Salsa Bachata Festival is my next big dance festival I’ll be attending this month. I hope to see as many of you all as possible and share just as many dances.

let me know how your packing went!

  • muah.

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