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Packing TIps




Music / Monologues
Make photocopies of your favorites and of your rep. Make a notebook filled with 2 copies of your reprtoire(one for you, one for your pianist) as opposed to bringing multiple books of music. (This is, of course, unless you are learning an entire role-then you will want the whole score.) Bear in mind that you should bring a combination of pieces you already know and do well–things that represent you well–as well as pieces you want to work on while at IPAI.


Good Hiking Boots
(If you want to go for walks/hikes in the mountains. This is the birthplace of hiking, and some of the most beautiful trails stem from our village, Kiefersfelden.)

Swim Suit

Compact Umbrella


Backpack / Bag
Going from IPAI campus to the lesson and rehearsal spaces is not far, but you want to be able to comfortably carry your music and recorders, etc… from place to place. It’s also good if you go shopping and have to carry things back on the train.

Pencils / Highlighters
Remember to pack several good pencils and other writing materials to take notes and write on your music. 

Recording Device
You will want to record EVERY lesson, master class and performance possible. As singer-actors, you know how little is retained without recordings, and how much more is retained with them. Besides, you want to hear yourself progressing!

Electrical Adapter / Transformers 

Europe is on a different electrical system than the U.S. You will need to make sure that you not only have the device that will allow your plug to fit into the wall, but that that device has a converter built in. Ask your local electronics store for help. Be sure that if you bring your laptops, that you have the proper converter. Some laptops require special converters. Contact your laptop maker to be sure. Also, many blow dryers have been blown out by students–they seem to be particularly sensitive to the electrical differences, so either get a blow dryer that is truly convertible, or consider buying one there. You can get inexpensive ones at the local drug store in the village. These devices are not expensive and are widely available. Make sure to tell them you will be in Germany. Tip: the plug-in should have two round metal inserts for German outlets.)

Small Alarm Clock
You want to be sure not to miss any morning rehearsals! A travel alarm clock and batteries should be just fine. Check with your friends who are coming to IPAI. You can get batteries in Germany, but bring extras to save yourself the hassle.

Clothes to Layer
Summers in the Bavarian Alps can be very hot, in the 90s fahrenheit, as well as cool to chilly in the evenings. Mountain weather is also somewhat unpredictable and can change quickly. Some days may be rainy and cold. The best way to pack for your time in these beautiful mountains is to have a jacket with you (mentioned above) and have clothes that can be layered for warmth. Keep in mind that most places are not air-conditioned as it is not needed. However, public places–shops, restaurants, etc usually are. 

Extra Medication
If you take prescription medications or have allergies, bring your things from home. While Germany has wonderful medical care, the same brands to which your body is accustomed may not be available.

Contact your doctors in advance and pack extras. Don’t forget to have any necessary medical information into IPAI prior to your departure for Germany. (a form will be available and filled out by you prior to your departure–watch for coming emails.)

Buying dancewear can be a bit daunting so I have prepared the information below to guide you in your choices.

Wrinkle-Resistant Performance Outfits
Aside from the final recital/performance, there will be several master classes where you will want to look your best. It will be fine to alternate 3 or 4 outfits throughout the course of the program.)


·       Black jazz dance pant

·       Black character shoes for performance

·       Black soft-soled jazz shoes for studio work for performance and studio work. 


·       Black knee length black chiffon ballet/rehearsal skirt. I recommend Capezio but any dancewear store should have several brands form which to choose.

·       Athletic bras are optional (but recommended).


Dance belts (black or nude) are required


There are many options when purchasing dancewear. For class please purchase solid colors as patterned fabric in dancewear makes it difficult to see the true line of the body. Neckline and sleeve length are at the discretion of the individual dancer. Avoid shorts, bike or dance shorts for class, as they break up the line of the legs, and do not maintain a state of being ‘warmed up’.   

For Presentations: Since we want to create a uniform look for presentations please bring and option in black to wear in performances. (As in class, neckline and sleeve length are at the discretion of the performer.)


Tip: when buying tights buy the next size up. Online discount houses offer good value for your money if you buy reputable brands (Capezio, BalTog, Bloch, Danskin, Mirella, Minden, Marx, Stevens). Sizes can vary between brands and within styles of the same brand. Call the vendor for assistance when trying to decide on size. Most have toll-free numbers.


If this is the first time you are buying dance shoes, the process can seem a bit confusing and complex. There are many different brands available and each brand has its own sizing chart. All brands use your street shoe size as a central reference point. Some brands will suggest you order your street shoe size, while others may suggest you size up or down from your street shoe size. Even within a given brand, sizing may be different for a style (hard-sole, split sole, neoprene, etc) and type (tap, ballet, jazz). There is no substitute for trying the shoe on and being fitted by a professional. Remember to try the shoe on with the type of sock you plan to wear with it, if you plan to wear a sock. Socks can affect the sizing of the shoe.

Sometimes it is not possible to go to a shoe store or there is no store in your area. There are many sites online from which to order. Ordering online can be less expensive especially if you share the shipping costs with others. Be sure to read the sizing description carefully. When in doubt about size, call the company and ask for help with sizing. Many, but not all, shoes come in full and half sizes as well as medium and wide widths. Prices vary widely. Since you will be using these shoes for a number of years it pays to invest in a quality shoe now. I have both tap and jazz shoes that are still perfectly serviceable for studio class that are over 15 years old. Do not buy shoes constructed from man-made materials; buy an all leather product (or canvas in the case of ballet slippers). The leather will stretch and mold to your foot for a customized fit. You should be able to get a good shoe in the $50.00 to $70.00 price range for general studio use. The high-end of the market can be as costly as a couple of hundred dollars. Unless you need a specially designed shoe, there is no need to purchase high-end. Reputable brands include Capezio and Bloch.


·       There is a lot of variety in this area. Slip-ons, lace-ups, neoprenes, dance sneakers are all commonly worn in class. I recommend the following syles as a good place to start.

·       Capezio’s CG02, CG05, CG15, and PP10.

·       Bloch’s SO401L, SO431L, and SO499L.

·       Do not buy jazz shoes with buckles. Buckles will hurt your feet and restrict your use of movement vocabulary.

·       Flexibility of the shoe should be balanced with your particular foot’s need for stability and support.

Online sources:

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