What is living in my dancer’s dance bag? By Mary Lorraine herself!
To parents of a dancer their child’s bag seems to have taken on life of its own – a bottomless pit that eats shoes, tights, bobby pins and whatever else it is fed!
How do you control the ingestion of the dance bag?
Keep only shoes that fit in the bag. Donate the outgrown ones to the studio for children who might be in need. Make sure there are deodorizers in the bag to help with the stinky shoe smell. (hint: wear socks or tights in shoes to absorb the perspiration. This helps minimize the smell and makes the shoe last longer.)
Also, on the subject of “stinkiness” is arm pits. If your dancer sweats at all they should have a travel size deodorant/anti-perspirant in their dance bag. This allows them to reapply before and between dance classes to keep things smelling pleasant.
Pack an extra form fitting shirt in the bag for changing shirts between classes if the first one gets wet with perspiration. Black of course! A good idea is to keep this in a zip lock bag along with any extra tights or leotards in the bag so it doesn’t smell like shoes. During COVID-19 this is a great place to keep an additional mask.
A Ziplock Bag
or small cosmetic bag for hair accessories – bobby pins, hair rubber bands, a hair net. Include in safety pins, a band aid or two for blister coverage or a little boo-boo. Older students can also carry feminine products in this bag. Pointe dancers can carry a small sewing kit to resew ribbons when they come loose. Check out Bloch for small accessory kits.
It is always a good thing to carry a healthy snack in your bag that is nonperishable such as a snack bag of nuts or a granola bar. Sometimes dancers need a little “pick me up”. Just a reminder not to eat on the carpet (smile). Check out snack ideas here.
Reusable Water Bottles
are great for staying well hydrated. Pick a bottle that won’t leak if it ends up in your dance bag or else you will be “swimming” in your shoes. Remember water is all you need to stay hydrated – no colored drinks on the carpet!
Put your name on everything – your water bottle, in your shoes, on the tag of your dance clothes, so that if something gets left behind, we can get it back to you.
Two households can have two bags!
If your dancer shares their time between two homes, it may be a good idea to have two dances bags – one at each place so the dancer always has what they need. And each bag should have all the things we have talked about. And of course, then they can practice at either home. (This may be a case where stocking one bag with old dance shoes comes in handy)
Fresh air is good for the sole!
(get it?) Once that dance bag is home, empty out the clothing bag in
side of any sweaty clothes and get them washed. Leave the dance bag open so it can “breathe” until the next dance class. Dance shoes need to dry out to keep them from getting stinky.