At Nationals you will have an absolute blast and you won’t want it to end. Unfortunately, the week will go by in the blink of an eye, but nothing goes by faster than the short amount of time you have to change backstage between phases of competition. On preliminary night there will be over 30 girls in one dressing room with about a 1ft. x 1ft. make up area and just enough room for your competition wardrobe on the hanging rack. But have no fear! Organization is here!

I just took a picture of this because I thought it was really cool that my name was printed out on something. Anyway, this was my counter space and you can see how close I was to my neighbor. 

I suggest taking a small to medium size suitcase over to the auditorium with ALL of your pageant necessities, such as shoes, undergarments and caboodles. Once you get there you’ll probably want to push it under the counter to save room in the aisle. I cannot stress enough how much labeling your items comes into play backstage. If you follow these tips you should be stress free backstage.

So this is how much space there is between chairs and the hanging rack. So saving as much space as possible is vital. 

1. Keep two caboodles. One for jewelry and one for make-up.

2. Put your jewelry in separate labeled zip lock bags in your caboodle or you could hole punch the bags and put them over the hanger of the outfit they go with. (only take competition jewelry backstage. Leave jewelry from activities during the week in the hotel room.)

3. Once you change for one portion of competition go ahead and get the next outfit out and lay the jewelry out that goes with it. For example: after you change for opening number, lay out fitness wear, tennis shoes and fitness earrings. Once you get back in the dressing room and change for fitness, get your fashion out of the bag and layout shoes and jewelry. If you do this, it should keep you one step ahead of the game and stress free.

4. Do a double take. Sometimes in the chaos of the dressing room you could forget to change your jewelry.

5. Write your name in everything you own! Because of the tight space, girls’ possessions get overlapped. Plus, you all will have the same opening number dress, shoes, and earrings and the same fitness wear and earrings that are different sizes so it is important to keep up with yours.

6. Stay calm. You will have time to touch up make-up and hair if you need to. Thomas and Drew are backstage as well and will be willing to help you with touch ups.

7. There is an intercom in the dressing room so you can hear what is going on onstage.

8. Help the girls next to you! In pageants the phrase, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, becomes “I’ll zip your dress if you zip mine.” Also, let them borrow something of yours if they can’t find theirs.

9. The top 10 will be announced on stage after opening number on the final night, so there will be a lot less girls and body heat in the dressing room throughout the rest of the competition.

I never dreamed when I took this photo it would come in handy for a blog in the future! But this is an example of having your dress ready for the next phase. This photo was taken before I competed in fitness and as you can see I had my fashion dress ready to go for when the fitness phase was complete. 

Sometimes, chaos brings people closer. So use this experience to bond with your sister queens, and it will certainly give you something to laugh about later! This is a once in a lifetime experience, so don’t feel like you are there for one reason and one reason only. You are already successful just by winning your state, region, or country title. I wish you all the best of luck and I am SO SO excited to meet y’all! The most important thing is to have fun and take lots of pictures, because you never know if they’ll come in handy for future blogs! ;)

Jules Fletcher


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