You see the older kids walking in with their huge dance bags and can’t help but wonder, what on earth do they have in there? While many items in a dancer’s bag are a personal choice, there are some items that every dancer should ensure they have with them at the studio.
1. Dance shoes: This one seems obvious, but is so important. If you take multiple classes, make sure you have all your dance shoes in your bag. This may include jazz shoes, ballet shoes, hip hop sneakers, turning shoes, tap shoes, or pointe shoes. If you always keep them in your bag, you never have to worry about not having them at practice and potentially not being able to participate in practice because of it.
2. Extra Outfit: Tights run, leggings rip, zippers break. Always have an extra dance outfit on hand in case this happens to you. This should include a pair of tights, leotards, pants/shorts, and a shirt.
3. Hair accessories: You always want to dress for success. At dance class, this includes having your hair up and out of your face. Always have a variety of hair ties, scrunchies, bobby pins, and headbands in your bag. You want to be able to get the most out of every dance class and constantly moving hair out of your face can be a big distraction to you as well as your classmates.
4. Toiletries: You spend a lot of time at the studio, so its important to be prepared. Dance class is hard work and the studio can get hot and sticky so having a stick of deodorant in your bag is always a good plan. Its also a good idea for women to keep a small pack of feminine products in their bag, just in case.
5. Band-Aids: That new pair of shoes can be exciting. However, after 2 hours of dance class, your feet may disagree. Carrying a few Band-Aids in case of blisters can be a lifesaver.
6. Water Bottle: All too often we have students that show up to practice with no water. Dance class is hard work! Make sure you are taking care of your body and drinking water throughout the practice. With that said, make sure you are making smart drink options such as water, Gatorade, and other sports drinks and staying clear of drinks such as coffee and soda when at dance practice.
7. Healthy Snacks: Sometimes dance class goes over dinner time. "Hanger" can make it very difficult to focus during class. Avoid this problem by keeping your bag stocked with non-messy, healthy snack options. These may include things like fruit, granola bars, fruit snacks, pretzels or vegetables. Items such as candy, chips, or donuts do not fuel our dancers to perform at their highest potential.
8. Notebook and Pen: When you learn a new dance or are struggling to memorize one, writing down the counts can help. This can also be used for writing down things that were said in class you’d like to remember such as inspiration from a coach/teammate, at-home workouts.
While every dancer's bag is different, these are some of the essentials that should be in every dancer’s bag. When packing your dance bag, try to think about what is truly necessary. If you don’t need it, leave it at home!