For any dancer, your dance bag is your lifeline. All of your essential items that you will need throughout the day are stored and transported in your dance bag. If you were to ask a professional ballerina what’s inside her bag, chances are you will get a very thorough and enthusiastic answer. Many dance magazines are known to publish articles featuring dancers chatting about what they keep in their bags. It’s that important! For new dancers and parents fundraising through FlipGive for their child’s dance studio, dance team, or general dance fees, here are a few essential items that you or your dancer should always keep close.
1. Bobby Pins, Hair Elastics, and Hair Spray
This one might be obvious, but nothing is worse than scrambling around the dance studio before class looking for stray bobby pins. In your dance bag, you should always have a designated place for your hair essentials. Always be sure to stock up on hair elastics, more bobby pins than you think you will need (they have a way of disappearing), hair spray, dry shampoo, a hair scrunchie, and a large clip.
Pro Tip: Start learning how to execute different hair styles as soon as you can. For the ballerinas out there: you will eventually need to know how to quickly put your hair in a classical ballet bun, romantic ballet bun, and a french roll.
2. Extra Tights in Every Color
Always keep close at hand an extra pair of pink tights, black tights, tan tights, and fishnets. You should consider convertible pink tights for ballet and pointe class, seamed pink tights for performances, and footless black or tan tights for jazz and modern dance classes. You never know what you will need!
Pro Tip: Clear nail polish and hair spray can help to stop runs in your tights from getting worse!
3. Dance Warmups
For any dance it is essential to warm up before class and stay warm between classes and rehearsals. While your body is still in the process of getting warm, you should always wear extra layers to help prevent injuries. After all, stretching cold muscles can be dangerous and lead to injuries. Essential items to consider keeping in your bag are leg warmers, a light zip up jacket without a hood, a ballet sweater, warmup shorts, warmup socks or booties, and close-fitting warmup pants. For certain styles of dance, some teachers will allow warmups to be worn at the beginning of class as long as they do not obscure the line of the body or interfere with movement.
Pro Tip: Learn how to knit and have an endless supply of cute leg warmers!
4. A Dance Journal
A dance journal should be a requirement for every dancer to carry in their bag. This can be an invaluable tool for any dancer. Learning a dance form is like learning anything else- it requires practice, hard work, repetition, and study.
Pro Tip: Learn French! This can be particularly useful for understanding terminology that is the basis of ballet as well as jazz, modern, and lyrical.
5. Healthy Snacks
Most dancers will stay well-stocked with healthy snacks that they can use to fuel their bodies on long days full of classes and rehearsals. Did you know you can burn between 200-400 calories during 30 minutes of continuous dancing? Many dancers will have go-to healthy foods that will fuel them without bogging them down. Fruit, vegetables, raw nuts, and granola bars are all great options.
6. A Water Bottle
7. First-Aid Kit
This one is particularly important for dancers en Pointe. You never know when you will have a new blister or scrape that needs tending to. Essential items to consider are: band aids of all sizes, toe tape, liquid bandaid, neosporin, pain reliever, lambs wool, and moleskin.
Pro Tip: Orajel works great for sore toes too!
8. Sewing Kit
A sewing kit is a must-have for any dancer. Every dancer should learn from a young age how to sew their own ballet shoes and pointe shoes, as well as how to mend holes and fix straps on leotards. In your sewing kit you should have: a seam ripper, needles, thread (pink, white, and black), sewing scissors, extra elastic, and ribbon (if you have pointe shoes).
Pro Tip: Use a match to burn the end of your pointe shoe ribbon after cutting it to prevent fraying (do this with adult supervision please)!
9. Latex Resistance Bands (TheraBands)
For those who don’t know, resistance bands are great for training and strengthening the feet and ankles. They are often used by physical therapists, but also dancers! Most of the major dance retailers carry their own line of resistance bands in varying strengths. Some even come with guide books with tips and exercises.
Pro Tip: Try “writing” the alphabet with your foot while using the resistance of theraband. Then write it backwards and feel the burn!
10. Extra Dance Shoes
If you can, consider keeping extras of each type of shoe you will be wearing for the day. You never know when a blowout will happen! Having an extra pair of ballet, pointe, jazz, or lyrical shoes can be a good idea for a full day of class and rehearsals.
Pro Tip: Rotating out sweaty shoes for dry ones will help all of your shoes last longer. Put your sweaty shoes in a safe, dry place and stuff them with paper towels and newspaper to absorb the moisture.
Keeping extra leotards in your dance bag in each color and style is never a bad idea. The basics to consider are an extra class leotard in the regulated color, an extra black leotard, and a nude leotard that can be worn under costumes for performances.
Pro Tip: Wash your leotards on gentle cycle and hang them to dry to prevent them from shrinking and help them last longer!
12. A Lucky Charm
Many dancers are extremely superstitious and routine-oriented. You will often hear stories about famous dancers who have certain “must” items that come with them for every performance. Consider keeping an item in your dance bag that brings you happiness, joy, and maybe even luck! After all, dance is just as much a mental art form as it is a physical one. Staying stress-free and focused is key for a successful dance career.
Dance Fundraising Made Easy with FlipGive
Ultimately, dance is expensive, and fundraising with FlipGive will help offset the costs of dancewear, dance shoes, and other essential items such as those listed above. Each dancer is different, and part of a dancer’s journey is crafting the dance bag checklist that is perfect for them. FlipGive makes fundraising easy, because you’ll earn cash back on dance essentials and everyday items that you’re already buying from the brands you love! It’s easy to share your campaign and add other dancers and supporters to your efforts- you’ll be earning funds without even trying! What are you waiting for? Sign up with FlipGive today and get earning so you can keep filling your dance bag with everything you need.
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