What’s In Your Gig Bag?

Everybody knows that belly dancers are mystical creatures. But let’s face it – even the most ethereal beings and the glammest of glam queens require some extent of earthly assistance when it comes to prepping for a gig and preventing the occasional SNAFU. This is where it can be a really fun and useful exercise to see what other dancers pack in their gig bags.

We’ll start first with my own. I use a little rolling suitcase, packed with the following items:

  • 1. CD’s – TWO copies of my set. Of course, it’s best to test out your music at home, both on your PC and on your CD player. Still, having a backup is great in case one CD doesn’t work or you accidentally misplace the other.
  • 2. Makeup Bag – In it, you’ll find everything I used to put on my “game face.”
  • 3. Safety Pins – These are a dancer’s number one weapon in the war against costume malfunctions. Leave these bad boys at home and you’ve automatically tested Murphy’s Law.
  • 4. Small Sewing Kit – I got mine at Jo-Ann Fabrics. This is teriffic in case one of your bra or belt closures feels a little looser than you’d like. Of course, if you perform regular upkeep on your costumes, this drastically reduces the likelihood that you’ll need to do a last-minute sartorial procedure pre-gig.
  • 5. A Cute Business Card Case – Filled with cards, of course ;) You’re going to have a stack of cards on your person, anyway, so why not invest in a chic carrying case with rhinestones or a fun design? It’s one of those little things that makes your presentation more fun. I just got a great pink case with a rhinestone fleur-de-lis motif on it at one of those mall accessory stores.
  • 6. My Veil – Neatly folded up in a big clear Ziploc bag.
  • 7. A Belt – If I’m wearing a bedlah, that is. I like to put it in a pillowcase or one of those reusable shopping totes from Target
  • 8. Dry Shampoo – Frederick Fekkai makes a lovely one. This is great for staving off post-show greasies and making sure you look just as fresh leaving as you did arriving.
  • 9. MyChelle Fruit Enzyme Mist or a rosewater spray – You can get any of these at the health food store. Great for freshening up your skin.
  • 10. Arnica Gel – Because pulled or strained muscles happen to the best of us sometimes. Arnica is a clear, non-greasy, odorless pain relieving gel found at the health food store.
  • 11. Bach Flower Rescue Remedy drops – An all-natural anxiety reliever, great for easing any sort of butterflies that might be carousing in your stomach. Rescue Remedy is safe and allows you to remain 100% energetic, focused and clear-headed – unlike a glass of cabarnet. (I have no idea why some people think that’s an OK idea!)
  • 12. Flesh-colored half-sole lyrical shoes, or ballet slippers – Once upon a time, as a baby dancer, a coffee shop owner told me that I would be dancing on a patio. I got there, and it was a bunch of loose rocks withΒ a tarp thrown over it. Plus, I’ve heard horror stories about broken glass, filthy floors….yuck! Better to be safe than sorry.
  • 13. Snacks – I like protein bars, almonds, and a bottle of Vitamin Water.

What’s in your gig bag?


Comments · 6

  1. Re-posting my comment from Facebook here.

    I carry a lot of the same things that you do, but here are a few that you didn’t mention:

    Duct tape…cause you never know when you will need duct tape. You can even make costume repairs on the fly using duct tape.

    A multi tool (I’m partial to my Gerber). It has everything from a knife to pliers.

    Dental floss. Great for touching up my pearly whites and its sturdier than thread and just as easy to sew with…I could literally have someone sew me into my bra top using dental floss and be confident that it would hold. Dental floss is one of those amazing things that you never know when its going to come in handy.

    Oral B Brush Ups…for when I realize that my mouth isn’t feeling fresh but don’t have time/opportunity to actually brush my teeth. That way I can snack before I go on without feeling like I”m going to ruin my mouth.

    Eyelash glue…cause its good for gluing more than just fake eyelashes.

    A small container of witch hazel. Totally multi purpose.

  2. I love it! And thanks for the re-post. These tips were way too valuable to go hidden on my Facebook.

    Perhaps, we can work on marketing a Swiss Army Knife for belly dancers. It’ll be bling-y and pink, with an eyelash curler, tweezers, widgets for fixing costumes….I’d buy it! LOL.

  3. Great ideas! I love Fekkai and will definitly try the dry shampoo. The same goes for duct tape and dental floss. I know more than once I have wanted some duct tape for unruly stage seams.
    I also carry baby wipes for cleaning off my feet. It is good practice to always take a variety of foot wear unless you are positive of the surface you are dancing on. I keep my leather half lyrical shoes and spare pair of footies in a ziploc bag my husband calls the stinking foot bag.
    I actually made a checklist for my troupe to use when we perfomr so no one forgets anything http://docs.google.com/View?id=dd35j6c4_2fqrzg6cf please feel free to use it.

    Also, I will buy the blinged out multi-tool.

  4. Sweet! Even more great ideas. The Fekkai dry shampoo is fantastic, especially for freshening up your hair between multiple sets or gigs. Just a little puff at the roots and it’s like you just re-did your hair.

    Baby wipes are great for removing makeup, too :)

    Thanks for the checklist – I’ll make sure to print it out and hang it on my wall. LOL. I always go through the mental checklist in my head before a gig, but it’s so much more helpful to have it in writing.


  5. …And…body Sparkles, hair sparkles, hairspray, hair clippies, teasing brush, deodorant, perfume (depending on mood), couple of hangers, extra panties (I don’t know why), eyelash glue. Glue is for bindies mostly – someone always needs it!

    I have a tiger rolling case and a big gold bag.

  6. Tiger? Grrr, baby, very grrr!

    Sparkles are key. I’ve always wanted to write a Consumer Reports review on glitter. We sure do acquire tons of sparkle products in our lifetimes. And some work better than others!

    Eyelashes, in and of themselves, are something I can’t leave the house without. If I don’t have my MAC #34’s, I feel naked!

    What type of hair sparkles do you prefer?

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