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10 items adult students should have in their dance bag

There are essential items every adult ballet student should have in their dance bag. Your dance bag doesn’t have to be large or expensive, but it should store everything securely. Make sure you have these 10 items before heading to class.

1. Ballet Shoes

There are a number of reasons you should wear ballet shoes in class. First and foremost, it’s tradition. While some dance forms like lyrical or modern allow you to dance barefoot, it’s tacky in ballet class. Second, not wearing proper footwear can lead to injury. Without the proper traction you can trip and fall, or at the very least, the soles of your feet will hurt bad. If possible, try to have two pairs of shoes in your possession. Keep one pair in your dance bag, and another pair in your car.

2. Water

Keep a bottled water with you to prevent dehydration. There’s nothing worse than warm water when you’re really thirsty, so consider freezing your bottled water before coming to class. Just be careful not to leave puddles of condensation on the floor. You can even add a packet of Emergen-C. It gives your water a boost of flavor and reduces the risk of losing vital electrolytes that result from sweating.

3. Snacks

Don’t let your blood sugar take a nosedive. Pack healthy snacks like granola bars or trail mix for a quick burst of energy that will sustain you throughout class. Avoid chocolate that can melt and make a mess in your bag, and open containers like yogurt that can spill. If you’re going to consume sugar, be sure to combine it with some form of protein like peanut butter or cheese, to avoid a glycemic spike and crash. Also try to avoid coffee and sodas, since they are laced with caffeine and artificial sweeteners.

4. Feminine care

Ladies! Keep a stash of feminine products, like liners or tampons, in your dance bag. If you want to be extra discreet, place them in a pocket with a zipper. If you have trouble figuring out when Aunt Rose is going to pay you a visit, give yourself peace of mind by keeping these little lifesavers in your bag as backup.

5. Towel

If you know you sweat a lot, have a small towel handy. Leave it draped over your spot at the barre just in case you need to wipe off in between combinations. Even if you’re not particularly sweaty, you can wrap it around your water bottle to collect condensation, or use it as a makeshift scarf when you’re leaving the studio to protect yourself from the cold or rain. Just make sure you wash it after every class so it doesn’t set up freaky bacteria in your dance bag!

6. Extra shirt

It never hurts to have a spare shirt. If you’re drenched after class, you can change into your spare shirt and avoid having to drive home sticky and smelly. Or maybe you need added warmth over your leotard. A t-shirt won’t weigh you down like a sweater or jacket, and you can easily remove it if you start to heat up again.

7. Hair ties

You really shouldn’t wear your hair down in ballet class, especially if your hair is long enough to wrap into a bun (or at least a ponytail). Keep your hair out of your face by using thin hair ties, clip, or bobby pins. Avoid rubber bands which can cause harmful breakage.

8. Tissues

Keep some tissues or napkins on hand just in case of a spill, or if you need to pat your forehead. Sometimes the intensity of class can stimulate the sinuses, and you may need to blow your nose. If possible, avoid having to ask your teacher for a Kleenex in the middle of class and simply reach into your bag.

9. Deodorant

Face it, we all get funky from time to time. Of course, you don’t want to put deodorant on an already funky body. But in the case that you showered prior to class and you want extra protection, keep a fresh stick with you. Tip: deodorants made with baking soda are the best at neutralizing offensive odor.

10. Hand Sanitizer

The ballet barre is covered in germs. Apply a few drops to your hands before, during, and after class if possible. If you have some seriously stinky feet, swipe some on the soles of your feet (then wash your hands!) The alcohol in it also works great as a topical anti-histamine, so if you want to stop itching that mosquito bite, rub a little sanitizer on it.

This is just a short list of must-haves. What do you have in your dance bag?

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