Besides the obvious ballet shoes, what essentials should I carry in my dance bag? As dancers, our bodies are the instruments of our art form. Taking care of our bodies so we can dance safely and comfortably may require extra items. You never want to be stuck in ballet class and suddenly a ribbon snaps off your shoe or you get a scrape on your knee.
Here are the top 10 essential items to pack in your dance bag to make sure you are prepared for any emergency and set yourself up for success in ballet class.
1. Shoes, shoes, shoes!
Not just ballet shoes. If you are doing a variety of dance styles, make sure you have all the different pairs of shoes you may need – pointe shoes, character shoes, jazz shoes… Practicing the dance style in the correct pair of shoes is important!
2. Leotard + Tights
Even if you arrive at ballet class already dressed, make sure you have an extra leotard and pair of tights in your bag. You never know if you will encounter a rip or tear in your tights! Always have a back up pair.
3. Hair Kit
Again, even if you arrive at ballet class with hair already done up, always carry your hair kit with you. Oftentimes, hair may fall out of your bun that you need to touch up again. Extra bobby pins, hair elastics, hairnets, and a brush or comb are all you need to create an essential hair kit.
4. Water Bottle
Ballet is hard work and an energizing workout! Don’t forget your water bottle to stay hydrated throughout class. Have a reusable water bottle to keep in your dance bag. That way, you never forget it and can refill it at any water station.
5. Warm Ups
Many dancers like to have a variety of extra clothing to layer on top of their leotard and tights to keep their muscles warm, especially at the beginning of class. Warm Ups include leg warmers, booties that go over your dance shoes on your feet, sweaters, and extra skirts or shorts. Warm Ups also contribute to that #dancerlook and #dancefashion!
6. First Aid Kit
Like your hair kit, it is also a good idea to keep a small, compact first aid kit in your dance bag. In case you injure yourself in class or need to prepare your toes for pointe shoes, you have all you need right there. A basic kit of band-aids and bandages/medical tape, antibiotic ointment, nail clippers (for long toenails!), hand sanitizer, and even pads or tampons can be buried at the bottom of your dance bag. You never know when you might need it!
7. Needle + Thread
Whilst dancing, sometimes a ribbon or elastic on your shoe may snap off. For quick fixes, always keep a needle and thread in your bag to quickly stitch up your shoes. Or, you may want to sew a new pair of shoes for class or rehearsal on the go and don’t have time at home. These can be put together inside the first aid kit above.
Dancing is exercise, meaning that you will sweat! Particularly if you are a dancer who perspires easily, it is beneficial to carry a small hand towel in your dance bag to help wipe sweat off your body. Make sure to toss this in the washing machine after class though!
A theraband is a great and compact tool to keep handy in your dance bag. Exercises with the theraband are a wonderful way to warm up before class. Therabands aren’t just to use for foot exercises or stretching, they can be used for other parts of the body as well!
10. Small Ball
A small, hard ball is another great tool to throw in your dance bag. Use the ball to roll out the bottom of your feet before class, and even help roll out other muscles such as your calves and hips after class.
As a dancer, it is important to carry around only the most necessary in your dance bag instead of your entire closet! Keep these essentials in your dance bag and you will be set up for success in class and be prepared for any emergency.