By: Amberlyn Jones with contributed support from PBD Parents & PBD Staff
Those of us who have been to Nationals a few times are aware that it can be overwhelming the first time; but, as returning veterans more experience brings along smarter ways of not only doing things but also finding hidden gems within the area. Here are just a few of the things our PBD community has learned along the way.
Dance bags can be packed in a suitcase! Empty the bag, fold it flat and put it in the bottom of the case and pack clothing and bag contents on top or use the bag as a carry-on!
Bring backups! Fishnet, tights, leotards, white dance shirts, ties, accessories, lashes for those that need them. Check out the list on the PBD Website resources page for an idea of what to bring.
Don’t forget your PBD gear! Wear it with pride to cheer on our dancers!
Dancers do not need to pack a lot of extra “normal (school) clothes”. They will wear dance or syllabus clothes to and from the Marriott and change into costumes on site.
KEEPING DANCERS HEALTHY
WATER! Pre-hydrate before nationals and drink lots of water at Nationals! The elevation is very high and the climate is very dry- drinking lots of water helps with energy and exhaustion. Hydration Multiplier powder (Costco) or NUUN Hydration tablets with electrolytes are a great way to get extra hydration in.
Pack a bag or soft-side cooler each day with healthy snacks. Freeze a water bottle to keep things cold (and have a cold drink for later!) Dance parent and registered dietitian, Holly Trujillo, suggests:
Sunflower seed butter can be used in place of nut butters if there are nut allergies. Justin’s Nut Butter individual packs are great for travel. Combine nut butters with a banana or apple slices.
Banana roll ups: banana rolled up in a wrap with sunflower butter or nut butter.
- Chomp sticks or Epic sticks
- RX bars, Lara bars, Warrior bars
- Homemade trail mix: nuts + no added sugar dried fruit, dark chocolate chips
- Orgain drinks
- Plantain chips
Stay moisturized- ChapStick, a good body lotion, and Visine drops for red eyes. A travel humidifier is a great option too to keep nose bleeds and dryness at bay. The elevation can sneak up on you!
Take care of your muscles, stretch; roll them out, watch for blisters and hot spots on feet. Sleep when you can!
When choosing a water bottle to bring, consider one with a straw to keep drips off of dancewear and costumes (dancers are not be eating in costumes!).
If a dancer has an early morning event, ladies have done their hair the night before and slept on it. A higher hairstyle will work better for this. This will help the dancer have more time in the morning for sleeping or getting ready to go.
Seating at the Marriott: There are often general admission seats available pretty close to the floor during the daytime (syllabus) competitions- a great option for people who want to get down closer for those events.
After teams compete in their final events and have awards- head back to the changing area to grab some close up pictures of them in their costumes before they change!
Food vendors are usually set up on the concourse in the Marriott center, but you can also take a 5 minute walk on campus and head to the Wilkinson Student Center where you can find a food court, the BYU Bookstore, and Jamba Juice. The BYU Creamery on 900 East is a great on-campus option for a treat or to grab a few grocery items.
Plenty of food options exist close to (but off) campus as well- I love Kneaders for delicious from-scratch breakfast and lunch options, Einstein’s Bagels, Costa Vida, Subway (on 900 East) and a delicious Acai Bowl place right off campus called Bowls Superfoods. Lots of fast food options exist here a few blocks from campus as well.