Much like a woman’s purse, a ballet dancer’s ballet bag is extremely important for carrying on through the day. I go through phases where I carry a huge bag full of various things, yet other times I’ll carry the bare minimum. Even though I don’t consistently have a large or small bag, there are a few things that I make sure to always have in my bag in addition to pointe shoes and flat shoes.
The first thing I always make sure to have is hairpins. It really bothers me when I dance if I feel my hair loose and in my face. Some people prefer looser hairstyles while they dance, but I’m definitely not one of those people. Last year I donated 10 inches of my hair to the organization Children With Hair Loss, so with a shorter hairdo having many pins is a necessity.
Another thing I make sure to always have is a Theraband. Not only is the Theraband an excellent tool to strengthen and warm up your feet, it also serves as a great tool for resistance exercises and stretches. I use the Theraband to work my metatarsals and toes to improve the strength and control. I find that by doing a few exercises a day, it really helps me with my pointe work and control through the shoe. I also use it to stretch the mobility of my arms, which is pertinent now for all my Swan Lake rehearsals.
Since I go through about two to three pairs of pointe shoes a week, I always carry sewing tools. I have a stitch kit, which I have owned for ages! It’s very convenient and handy for a quick fix to a faulty ribbon or elastic. I usually sew my shoes with dental floss, which I find to be more sturdy and resistant than normal thread. Also, a strong pair of scissors can always be found amongst my sewing tools.
I make sure to carry a variety of Chapsticks and lip tints. Especially in Toronto where it’s so chilly, my lips tend to be a little dry which is a pet peeve of mine. I like to apply Chapstick often to keep my lips luscious; otherwise I’ll be fussing with them through class or rehearsal. I keep a variety of colors and types depending on my mood. Some days I feel like wearing a glossy plum tint while others I prefer a neutral.
I’ve recently added a large tennis ball to my collection, which I find incredibly useful to roll out my muscles. I purchased it at a Dollar Store here in Toronto. It was the best dollar I’ve spent recently!
My bag is constantly changing, but if I have my particular things, I’m usually golden!