What’s in your dance bag?

Ever wonder what’s in those big ol’ bags dancers carry everywhere? I do! Because I’m unbelievably nosy curious!

So in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m opening up my dance bag. Here’s the essential stuff I drag around every day, that I can’t leave home without.

But what I really want to know is, what’s in YOUR dance bag?

What's in your dance bag?Don’t leave home without a way to send out aweome jams into everyone’s ears! I’m a huge fan of the Mini Jambox by Jawbone – in fact, it’s saved my butt more times than I can count. Usually when I head to a studio to teach, they have a sound system, but sometimes speakers are on the fritz, or the giant tangle of cables is not worth the ten minutes it’ll take to unravel, or there’s just generalized technical difficulty in the air. This little bluetooth speaker packs some serious sound, and it fills up a room without being obnoxious or tinny. Paired with my iPhone, I can pretty much create a mobile dance studio sound system wherever I go. (Also great for travel, teaching on the road, or in clients’ homes!) The battery lasts forever, it pairs flawlessly with any bluetooth device, and it comes in a ton of fun colors.

Don’t leave home without Spotify, either. This app (available for iPhone and Android) is a dancer’s best friend. Instantly stream any music you could possibly think of, right from your phone! The free version is fantastic, but Shawn and I happily pay the $10/month subscription – that lets us stream anything ad-free, forever, and it also gives the option to download files to your device in case you’re in a no-bars situation. Search by artist, song title, album, as well as playlist – seriously, you can search “standard foxtrot” and press play on a pre-made playlist that will have you gliding across the floor in strict tempo. It’s an amazing way to find new music, old favorites, and specialty tunes!

1.) My choreography notebook. I always have this bad boy with me. I like to jot down ideas, keep track of fixes in choreography or routines, write out timing, and generally take notes on lessons. I love using this music notebook by Moleskine; in case I need to write out a little bit of a melody or a rhythm, it makes my life a lot easier. Plus I love seeing a page that reminds me where dancing is coming from – it’s a creative reminder to keep the music in mind!

2.) Apples. You guys, I love apples. They travel well, they’re delicious, they’re crispy and juicy, and I am never without one. I’m at least an apple a day person, but usually more like two or three. It’s a major grocery store emergency at home when we run out of apples – in fact, one of the crisper draws in the fridge is the Apple Drawer. What else would you put in there? Dude. Apples.

3.) KIND bars. Okay, here’s the thing. I get really grumpy when I’m hungry. And I love snacks. (For real, the first question about any party or event I always ask is, “so, what kind of snacks do you think they’ll have?”) Obviously apples are my favorite go-to, but sometimes an apple alone can’t get the job done. Or I’m hungry and I discover that I’ve already eaten the only apple in my bag (DISASTER!). I’m a huge fan of KIND’s bars – they’re made with all natural ingredients, no chemicals, and they’re available in a ton of fun options. I’m not a sweets person, so I really like their savory flavors (honey almond BBQ, jalapeño, sea salt and dark chocolate, etc). I like KIND bars that are low in sugars and high in protein to help keep my energy up between lessons. (All their products are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and kosher.) Plus they survive in my bag, don’t fall apart, and taste great even when I discover one four days later and go, “oooh, hey, snack bonus!”

4.) Burt’s Bees White Tea Extract towlettes. Let’s face it. Sometimes dancing is a sweaty business. Or sometimes you have on a full face of makeup and JUST CAN’T HANDLE IT anymore. I keep these guys in my dance bag to make sure that I can always freshen up after taking class, before a lesson, or after a performance or at the end of a night of dancing. They’re easy on the skin, remove makeup tolerably well (don’t expect too much), and are pretty cheap. That’s a win.

5.) My boy shoes. I have so, so many pairs of shoes. It’s ridiculous. Some I keep for specific reasons (“hey, what if I need to dance outside on concrete in at least a two inch heel but I don’t want to wear a black shoe?”), some I keep because I’m lazy (“hey, I should throw these awa– oh, forget it, I’ll deal with that later”), and some just are…around (“wait, when did I even buy these? I really do not think I have ever seen these shoes before…”). But for most teaching and general purpose practicing, I like to wear a boy’s Cuban heel Latin shoe. (“Boy” because I have small feet and a men’s shoe is still too big.) It gives me enough stability to lead anything, but still enough of a heel to be up off the ground. And, well, usually kids’ shoes are a little cheaper than real ladies’ practice shoes, and boy’s shoes tend to be wider in the toebox which is good for my wide, flat, no-arch-having feet. I love my boy shoes. My go-to shoe of choice in the high heels department is, of course, the unstoppable and unbelievably awesome Ray Rose Drizzle (slim heel in gold).

Not pictured: about a thousand hair ties, my makeup bag, and, three earrings (none of which match), and receipts for about 239842098034234 cups of coffee.

So! What’s in YOUR dance bag? (Tell us in the comments!)

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5 thoughts on “What’s in your dance bag?

  1. Marian Condon says:

    Well, I’ve got the protein bars fer sure, plus a water bottle and breath mints. I even have a tooth brush for when I decide to bring along some nuts for a snack. Nut particles really class up a grille! Because I have the most sensitive feet in the universe, I also have moleskin, bandaids and an extra pair of those fit-in-the-shoe gel shock reducers on hand. I also tote some Alieve or ibuprofen, too, in case somebody gets a headache, and some antacid in case somebody gets acid reflux. I don’t get either one, but some of my buds do. Great post, Katie!

  2. Mine was supposedly a laptop bag once upon a time, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it as such.

    1. Two pairs of cheap dancing shoes, one open toe and one closed
    2. A shoe brush missing its cover (did it ever have one? I do not know)
    3. Various sachets in an attempt to make the bag smell like something other than feet
    4. A sparkly bracelet because you never know when you’ll want one
    5. Approximately six million types of lip gloss (Do I want something heavy that will last despite all the lip-pursing face-making I do, or do I want something light in feel? Tinted or not? Flavored? OF COURSE)
    6. Lost bobby pins, lots of lost bobby pins

  3. Emmy says:

    Wow, here goes…
    1. Shoes: standard, latin, and practice shoes
    2. Shoe brush, extra heel covers
    3. Band-aids and athletic tape
    3. Giant needle for punching extra holes in ankle straps
    4. At least one form of painkiller (Aleve is my go-to)
    5. Waterbottle
    6. Gum!!!! I try to always brush my teeth before practice/lessons, but sometimes gum has to do
    7. Chapstick. I am incredibly cranky without chapstick.
    8. Pine needle pillow sachet – although I’m pretty sure the smell of sweat that has seeped into my shoes and bag has taken over the pine scent, I still keep it in there
    9. Random assortment of rhinestones, bobby pins, hair elastics, and other various odds and ends that fall in
    10. Deodorant, usually – I seem to have lost my travel-size one recently though. Oops!

    I may be something of an overpacker. You should see my bags for competition.

  4. bgballroom says:

    Oh yes!

    Energy bars – sometimes Kinds because they are yummy and sometimes others because they are on sale.

    Spare knee highs, sockettes and panty hose.

    One section devoted to knee brace, ankle brace and such just in case.

    KT tape http://www.kttape.com/ Usually for feet in my case. Hugs the metatarsals so the neuromas don’t hurt.

    But you have seriously blown my mind with the boy’s latin shoes idea! I am currently practicing in a really worn out pair of practice shoes with several pairs sitting around that just aren’t right. As a size 6 1/2 and a bit wide in the fore foot, there is a good chance I can find boys shoes that will be perfect! Yay!

  5. Amantis says:

    Boy shoes are a fabulous idea! Should definitely look into that as part of my Christmas shopping list.

    Aside from the usual items such as shoes, hair elastics, breathable practice wear and a bottle of water,I would also carry yoga elastics and a pair of 1/2 pound wrist weights on occasions to train those back and core muscles. They are a dream to use if you want to increase those limb speed/precision techniques for Latin!

Cha cha cha.

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