More Random Thoughts From A Dance Competition

Another dance competition weekend has come and gone.  Once again it was a fun time… and once again I had thoughts.  Lots of thoughts.  Here are a few:

  • You know you’re a Dance Dad when you’re up earlier on a weekend comp day than you are for a normal work day.
  • Hotel showers were not made for anyone over 6 feet tall.
  • Part of the fun of any dance competition is hanging with the other dance families during the downtime.
  • I wish I could eat a hotel breakfast every morning.
  • Why do dance comps/studios still use CD’s?
  • My daughter nailed her lyrical solo! My prop placement wasn’t bad either!
  • Kudos to whoever is playing the bumper music in between routines at today’s dance competition! Good mix of fun favorites.
  • Woo hoo! Made it to the first break & we’re 20 minutes ahead!
  • Lunch break at B-Dubs! I went from helping with props in the wings to eating wings.
  • I love wings!
  • Starbucks makes everything better.
  • Ouch! That music edit was done with a hatchet.
  • I like this awards announcer. Give the results, get in, get out, & move on.
  • Please ask yourself… is this prop really necessary?
  • Those wings at lunch were good.  We should get wings every comp weekend.
  • That lyrical routine gets me every time. #isitdustyinhere
  • Putting together a gigantic prop in a tiny space surrounded by a crowd of dancers isn’t easy but it’s kind of fun.
  • Made it 9 hours into today’s dance competition before “Dear Future Husband” was played. That’s a record this season!
  • I don’t care who you are if you include Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” in your hip hop I will stop what I’m & watch you.
  • It’s physically impossible for me to stay still watching my youngest daughter’s group do their hip hop routine.
  • Loading the prop trailer is like a real world version of Tetris.
  • Yowza! Witnessed a dance mom verbal assault backstage. I thought stuff like that was only staged for TV. Apparently not.
  • Let’s quit goofing around and get on with the awards!
  • Only two hours from home. Let’s get some food and get going.
  • Whoever cooked this bacon on my burger did a great job. Perfect crispiness.
  • Thanks to the Waze app I know our pee break only added 8 minutes to our trip home.
  • Seriously, that was some really good bacon.
  • Finally! Home!
  • Finally! In bed!
  • I’m exhausted. Why can’t I sleep?
  • Is it wrong that I’m still thinking about the bacon on my burger?
  • Can’t wait to do this all again next weekend!

If you enjoyed these be sure and check out my thoughts from our first dance competition this season.

First to come last to leave

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DDU Tip Of The Week: Makeshift Night Stand

I discovered this week’s tip of the week by accident. We’re out of town staying at a hotel for a weekend dance competition and I was frustrated by the lack of a night stand by my side of the bed.

I surveyed the room looking for something that would work. Just as I was about to give up our Dream Duffel caught my eye. More specifically the stools sticking out of the side pocket.

Turns out a Dream Duffel stool is the perfect size and height for a makeshift night stand!

Dream Duffel stool night stand.jpg

Check out this #DanceDad hack! Click To Tweet
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Product Review: RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger

As a Dance Dad, one of the things I carry in my backpack on dance competition weekends is a portable battery pack.  That way I’ll have more than enough juice for pre/post performance pics, sharing results with friends on Facebook, and tweeting random thoughts about the competition.

With an external battery back you can recharge your phone without being tethered to a wall.  My battery pack of choice is the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger.

A battery pack like this would also come in handy during storm season if we lose power.  It’ll also be nice when we go camping or spending the weekend at a softball tournament.

I didn’t get free product and am not getting paid for this review.  It’s just me and my opinion.  If you do click on the links included and purchase this from Amazon you’ll get the same price as everyone else but I’ll make a small commission.  Any money I make I use to offset my yearly web hosting fees.

RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger

Inside the box you get the portable charger, instructions, a carrying pouch, and 2 micro/usb cables (one longer than the other).

RavPower Battery Pack

The carrying pouch is useful for protecting the pack when not in use and keeping all your cords with it.

RavPower Battery Pack In Pouch

My first impression is that I liked the the size and quality of the charger.  It’s got a good, compact size and isn’t as heavy as I thought it would be.  It’s about the same weight as a can of pop.  Not something I’d want to carry around in my pocket all day but nothing you’d notice in a backpack or purse.

RavPower Battery Pack Compared To Coke Can

It doesn’t come with it’s own charger (although they do sell them) but if you have an Android phone you can just use that charger to charge the unit.  I used my Nexus 6 turbo charger.  Even with that, it took at least 12 hours to fully charge up the RAVPower.

The RAVPower has 2 charging ports so you can charge two devices at the same time.  There’s even a handy LED flashlight.

RavPower Battery Pack Flashlight

There are 4 blue LED lights on the top of the unit that correspond to the amount of charge it has left: 25% per light.  So if all 4 are lit up it’s fully charged.

RavPower Battery Pack Fully Charged

To put it to the test I thought I’d start the week with my Nexus 6 at full power and see how far I’d make it only charging it with the RAVPower unit.

RavPower Battery Pack Charging Nexus 6

Here are the results:

Monday – Phone battery at 100% at 7:30am.

Tuesday at 8:40am – Phone battery was at 39% and was fully powered to 100% at 10:30.

Wednesday at 6:20am – Phone battery was at 39% and was fully powered to 100% at 8:10am.

Thursday at 6am – Phone battery was at 36% and was fully powered to 100% at 7:50am.

Friday at 9:20am- Phone battery was at 40% and was fully powered to 100% at 11am.

Saturday at 9:30am – Phone battery was at 31% and was fully powered to 100% at 11:30am.

By this time the blue indicator light on the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger was flashing meaning it was about out of juice.  I tried squeezing a little bit more out of it on Sunday but only got my phone battery to go from 40% to 43% before there was nothing left in the external charger.

So, I got 6 full days of use out of my phone and 5 charges from the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Based off these results there’s no doubt in my mind that if I was careful with my usage I could get a full week out of my phone charging it with only this portable charger.

It certainly has more than enough juice to get me (and my daughters’ iPhone & iPad Mini 4) through a weekend dance competition, a few days camping, or a ball tournament.

For the price and performance I’ve experienced with the RAVPower 16750mAh Deluxe Portable Charger I have no problem recommending it to you!

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DDU Tip Of The Week: Label Makers

I’ll admit that my handwriting isn’t the neatest to look at.  Sure, it gets the job done and is fine for labeling ballet, clogging, and jazz shoes… but not so much for medals, ribbons, and trophies.

That’s where having a good label maker comes in handy.  You can label all your dancers awards in a neat and professional way.

Labeling dance ribbons and medals

What’s your best dance tip? Leave a comment and let me know. I may use in for an upcoming DDU Tip Of The Week!

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DDU Tip Of The Week: Controlling Bobby Pins

Bobby pins!  I don’t know how they do it but they tend to multiply and show up everywhere: on the floor, in the couch, under the couch, the bathroom counter.  I have even found them in the refrigerator.

Unlike Legos, bobby pins don’t hurt when you step on them but they do make a nasty sound when sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. Sort of a grinding rattle that would scare any pet or small child and make you wonder if your vacuum cleaner will ever be the same.

While I can’t offer some form of bobby pin birth control to stop them from reproducing I can share a simple and cheap way to help try and keep them under control.

Use empty Tic Tac containers.  Tic Tac containers are the perfect size to hold your average bobby pin. I keep one in my car and another one by my chair.

Bobby pins in an empty Tic Tac container

That way whenever I find a stray bobby pin, which is a weekly if not daily occurrence, I have a place to put it.  When the container gets full I give it to one of my daughters and start a new one.  You could even keep one full of safety pins of various sizes.

Keeping a Tic Tac container full of bobby pins in your Dance Dad Comp Day Survival Bag isn’t a bad idea either.  It could save your dancer or wife a frantic trip back to the changing room to get some.

Check out this simple and cheap way to control bobby pins! Click To Tweet
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