What's In My Dance Bag

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Trying out the Works for Me Wednesday  and A Little R&R link ups this morning!

I'm gearing up for a summer ballet intensive August 15-19. I thought it might be fun to do a blog version of the ubiquitous "What's in my Dance Bag" youtube vlogs.

The Bag

I got this bag for perfect attendance at my dance school when I was 6 (I think). It's been my steady bag ever since. I've gotten years and years of use out of it. 
The zipper is starting to stick, and I've sewed up the seams countless times. I'm not sure it'll make it through the end of this season, and I will be sad to retire this little buddy of 20 years.

Hair Kit

This has my bobby pins, hair pins, elastics, and hair nets. I discovered they sell all the hair stuff in a dark brown option so I can FINALLY have hair supplies that match my hair color!

Hair Spray

Not just for setting immovable ballet buns! I haul this around because it will stop a tights run from getting bigger and help keep your leotard from riding up.
I don't think the ones that are more expensive, and better smelling, work very well. I seek out the cheapo Suave, set-your-80s-fro, hairspray. Nothing beats it.


For this intensive, I've got my favorite ballet slippers ever and my Grishko pointe shoes plus very light toe pads. I also bring my Bunheads stitch kit every time I plan to go up on pointe because you just never know.

I also pack socks just in case I need a little more help warming up my feet before class. Most instructors do not want you to take barre in socks, so I make sure to change before class starts.


It's all about the convertible tights!
I have a weird fear of getting a massive hole in my tights and then being distracted by it the rest of the day. Therefore, I pack ALL of my tights in my bag and just leave them in there.
Totally rational.


I always have my leg warmers in my bag. I'm hyperextended with very developed calf muscles. If I'm having a day where I'm more prone to cramps or tendon pain, having the leg warmers is a life saver.

I always bring some sort of sweater warm up. I switch between these two depending on which leotard I'm wearing that day.

Foot Care/Gear

Dancers rely on our feet and ask a lot of them - so it's of utmost importance to take good care of them. 
Warming them up properly is the best defense against injury. I always have my Theraband (I use the medium weight red one) and a tennis ball. The Theraband provides great resistance so I can build and work all of those tiny muscles in my feet. The tennis ball helps stretch out my arches and helps warm my feet up quickly for pointe work. 

Taping my feet is how I avoid blisters from pointe work. I use a Nexcare tape that is not marketed for dancers, but it's a little padded and I've found works really week as a toe tape.
I also carry an athletic tape if I need to give my foot, arch, or ankle any extra support.

My current quest is to find the ideal solution for dealing with weight distribution. My second toe is longer than my big toe - which is not ideal for going up on pointe. I've had some great suggestions from other dancers on Instagram so I'll report back if I find anything magical.

Wet Bag

In ultimate crunchy-mom-skills-meet-dancer-skills: I have found a new use for my baby's wet bags from cloth diapering! Those things are awesome for keeping my nice, dry street clothes so they don't get that studio musk everything else picks up. All the yucky sweaty stuff goes in there after class, and I just throw it all in the wash in the morning.

Outfit of the Day

I only bring the leotard and skirt I'm planning to wear that day. 
These are what I have in my collection right now.
Nice and wrinkly because this is "what's in my dance bag" not "what I just ironed for you."


This intensive is scheduled 11:30-6pm every day that week. That means 6.5 hours of dancing every day, plus some warm up time before the first class. There is just no physical way to get through that without refueling.
I'm scouring Pinterest for yummy, portable, and non-messy (because sacred Marley floors!) snacks to bring for those days. The general rule of thumb is a snack per 2 hours at the studio - so I need to plan for 3 a day. Suggestions welcome!

I have to be careful about drinking too much water. It is incredibly easy to skew your electorate levels when training this hard. I aim to balance half a Gatorade for every 2 water bottles.

And that's mostly it! My current bag is a duffel style so everything just gets thrown in there before I go to the studio. When I get a new bag I would probably opt for one with more pockets. 
And hopefully not pink. That's actually the hard part of the criteria to fulfill.


  1. This is a whole new world to me since I don't dance -- thanks for the insight. :)

    1. It's a fun world! Adult ballet classes are great because we're all just here because we like it. Freedom!

  2. The closest I get to real dance is watching So You Think You Can Dance, but this was an interesting post - especially the part where I learned that dance bag videos are a thing! ;) Thank you for linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!

  3. Ah I love this stuff. Though I have to admit I'm jealous you get to do an intensive :) Where will the little ones be during it?

    1. Half of the day falls during the kids normal nap time, so my husband will be working from home Monday-Thursday that week. His company has summer hours so every Friday is a half day normally during the summer months.
      It is unusual to have intensive for adult students. I'm really lucky my regular studio is one of the few!

  4. such a impressive costume of ballet favorite ballet slippers ever and my Grishko pointe and socks. nice post to view.

    Rachel Withers Ballet Instructor in UK | Certified ballet instructors in UK


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