As a Chicago belly dancer there many opportunities to perform and lots of amazing dancers and workshop opportunities to learn from, and Adonia Belly Dance loves to participate in as many of these as possible. However, There are very few options for getting truly critical feedback that is needed for a dancer to grow. After all, how are you to improve if you don't know what needs work? To get that feedback Adonia has been traveling to various competitions around the U.S. and boy has it been a journey. But, I find that the journey itself can be much more pleasant with a little bit of foresight. Here are my tips for easy travel.
- Always keep the absolute necessities for your show in your carry on! Costume, shoes, powder make-up...etc. This way if your bag is misplaced or doesn't get where it belongs, your covered...literally.
- Check the reputation of your carrier before buying your ticket. I know most air travel is a hassle but some carriers are better than others. I suggest going with Southwest, Virgin, or Jet Blue but NEVER fly Delta. They really don't care about their custumers or their baggage. My Friend Kirah (www.IntrinsicBellyDance.com) once flew in two days early to a competition just in case they lost her bags. They did and she did not receive them until the day she flew out. It was a disaster! Since then I always follow these first two tips.
-To save space when traveling with multiple costumes: Lay your belts or skirts out first then stack your bras one on top of another like cupcake cups.
- When flying with a sword: Get the biggest luggage box you can find and lay it in there diagonally so the whole sword with sheath is in the box. Then stack clothing. Be sure to tuck your business card in the sheath as well with a little note to TSA that you are a belly dancer and this is just a prop.
- When flying with a candle tray with low profile candles. After you pack your clothes but before you pack bath stuff. Put your tray in a plastic grocery bag and then stuff the candle side with as many plastic bags as possible. Then place the tray in your box with the candle side facing your clothes. This will keep it safe during travel.
- Double bag ALL liquids. Be it shampoo, hairspray, or tuna salad... Double bag it! Seriously, you don't want your room to smell like crazy all weekend or your bag and costumes for that matter. ICK! No mater what leaks, it will be a mess and a hassle.
- Always keep business cards on you at all times. You never know when someone will be curious about what you do. And who knows sometimes it will even lead to another gig or future work.
- When going through security, check your purse for zills. Yes, zills. They will think you are carrying a bombing device of some sort. It happens to me every time I forget. So take them out and put them in your bag. It makes security much faster.
- Last but not least. Be flexible. Things will not go how you plan. Be as organized as possible but be open to a change in plans. You never know what cool things you will see or the interesting people you will meet in your travels. So stay flexible, open minded, and keep a good attitude and you will get there with a great story to tell.