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Preparing Your Dance Bag for Summer

(PC: Erol Ahmed)

Whether you’re taking your first dance class this summer or are a returning student, chances are that you’ll need to organize your dance bag before the season starts. While some dancers take a somewhat unorganized approach to packing, there should be a method to your madness to ensure you don’t forget something or end up over packing. Here are some of my dance bag tips:

Clean Out Your Bag

If you have an old bag that you’ve been using for a few years, be sure to clean it out. End of the year performances can be hectic and your dance bag can collect a lot of unwanted trash. Be sure to dump everything out of your bag, toss the trash, and wash any warm-ups, extra leotards, and tights so they’re fresh and clean for you.

Turn your bag inside and vacuum up any crumbs or hairs—you could even throw the bag in the laundry if it’s machine-washable. Otherwise, you may want to wipe it down thoroughly with disinfecting wipes or even use a disinfecting spray. I always put dryer sheets in my dance bag to give it that fresh laundry smell.

Check for Essential Items in Your Bag Daily

Make sure you have all your dance shoes you need for your scheduled classes. You don’t want to feel unprepared in the presence of guest instructors—that’s unnecessary stress you can prevent. For dancers on pointe: be sure you have your shoes ready to go and pack your toe tape, pads, spacers, and a mini sewing kit.

Pack healthy snacks and a full water battle. If you’re dancing for several hours per day, you need to nourish your body and stay hydrated.

Always have some emergency money in your bag. You never know when you might need it.

Other Dance Bag Essentials:

  • Extra leotard

  • Extra tights

  • Ballet skirt(s)

  • Warmups

  • Socks

  • Nail clippers

  • TheraBand

  • Toe tape

  • Band-Aids

  • Tennis ball

  • Mini deodorant

  • Mini brush

  • Lotion

  • Lip Balm

  • Breath Mints for after eating your snack or lunch

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Extra bobby/hair pins

  • Extra hair ties

  • Scissors

  • An emergency snack, such as energy or granola bars

  • Compact mirror

  • Feminine products

  • First Aid Kit

  • Notebook and pen—you never know when you’ll need to write down important information

  • For older dancers: Tiger Balm or whatever you use for sore muscles

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