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Essential Items to Keep in Your Dance Bag

Shalu Bhatti
Ballet, freestyle, salsa, rumba, tap ... no matter what type of dance class you attend, there are certain essentials that you must carry in your dance bag to prevent constraining the ease and freedom that dance infuses in your sentience.

Quick Tip

Your dance bag should be spacious, preferably with different compartments so that you can place the items systematically. While you would want to carry a small-sized bag, we're afraid, it won't be adequate.
When you enter a dance studio, you enter a different world, the one that communicates through movements driven by passion. A dancer must always carry humility, have the eagerness to learn, improve, and reach perfection―which takes a lot of mettle.
The challenges faced by a dancer are not just limited to dance moves, but the everyday obstacles―big and small―that may crop up from nowhere.
From unexpected injuries to wardrobe malfunction, from torn dance shoes to swollen knee joints, from repeated failures to the need of motivation ... dancing doesn't only test your physical strength, but your mental balance, as well.
While you need to keep a mental grip at all times, you also need to keep some essential physical items in your dance bag, to make dancing a relaxing activity (as it should be) and to sort of control these uncalled-for mishaps.

The following section will take you through such items that must be carried every time you go to a dance class.

Extra Shoes and Clothing

While you must have all the necessary dancing wears―shoes, clothes―you must also keep some spares. Mishaps related to dancing shoes and outfit are pretty common―torn tights, broken shoes ...! If we see it happening with our fellow dancers, we must be prepared to escape the embarrassment.
Depending upon the type of dance you're learning, make sure that you have all the essentials, leotards, shorts, warm-ups, tights, skirts, and perhaps a warm hoodie to save you from the cold, when you go out after the dance class is over.

Towel and a Bottle of Water

You begin with one move, move on to the next; you try, repeat, and repeat, again, to get the step right in feeling, expression, posture, energy, and swiftness. There is no end to the process till you get it right, and before you know it, you're sweating profusely.
A towel at your side would make it easier for you to focus, while you wipe the sweat dripping from your forehead into your eyelids.
You might dehydrate your body due to all the sweating happening in the process. When you feel out of breath or thirsty, sipping water not only replenishes your thirst, but also supplies your body the much-needed oxygen.

Deodorant and Body Spray

Sweating not only dehydrates you, it also makes you smelly. A strong, but not overpowering, deodorant with a complementing body spray will not only uplift your senses, but also of those around you. Dance is an activity drawn by emotions, and we all know how a good fragrance elates our spirits, don't we?

Knee Braces

Perhaps the least considered, this highly essential item is a must for every dancer, experienced or beginner. Our joints, especially our knees tend to endure a lot of pressure, while we position ourselves in various postures involved in the dance.
Wearing knee braces would support your most crucial joints, and save you from health problems, such as knee pain and swelling. For specific joints, you may opt for specific braces, such as those for the wrist and ankle.

First Aid Supplies

Different moves, rigorous practicing, and the constant bruises, pain, and sprains that occur in the process. A small first aid kit with essential supplies such as painkillers, sprays and ointments for pain, band-aids, antiseptic creams, toe tapes, bandages, etc., are a must.

Mouth Freshener and Emergency Snacks

Excessive sweating, exhaustion, and possible dehydration can affect your breath where it may smell unpleasant. This becomes a problem when you are dancing with a partner, or when you need to speak with those around. Keep a breath freshener―be it in mint or spray form―with you at all times.
To keep your energy levels high and kicking, a stock of some healthy snacks―apples, bananas, granola bars, and the like―must be kept handy. In case of sudden cramping and lethargy, these prove to be immensely beneficial.

Antiseptic Wipes and Sanitizer

It's basic hygiene, that's all there is to it. You tend to be all sweaty and perhaps, in contact with a few people, and of course, the floor on which you practice isn't exactly pristine. When you take a snack break, make sure you wipe your face with antiseptic facial wipes, and use a sanitizer before you eat or drink anything.

Sewing Kit

Oh yes, you definitely need it! We've already discussed the wardrobe injuries that might occur during a session. A sewing kit (and to know how to use it) would help you fix the problem before it becomes an actual problem.
As they say, "A stitch in time saves nine." Make sure the kit is sealed properly in its enclosure. You may hurt yourself while trying to find something in your dance bag, in case the contents of the kit slip out into the bag.

Hair Accessories

We all know how our hair tends to become a mess while practicing. A hair brush/comb, elastic bands to tie your hair up, and some bobby pins to keep your hair flicks in place so that they don't roll down your face, would be great. Last but not the least, a hand mirror to help you do the job.

Some Inspiration ...

Dancers are artists, and every artist is in constant need of motivation and encouragement. We suggest you to keep a source of motivation in your bag at all times. If not your dance teacher, then, perhaps, a book! Be it a book that contains quotes of your favorite dancer, or the one that teaches you about the dance form itself, keep it with you.
The magic of it is when you randomly open a page and read the most uplifting sentence of all, at the time when you need it desperately.

Music ... Just for the Love of Dance

No matter what others say or feel, music is an important essence of dance. And while you're taking a break in between your class, instilling the melodious tunes into your ears would definitely stir up the mellowed senses.
Those who understand music, understand dance. On the other hand, as told by George Carlin, "Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music."
"I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one's being, a satisfaction of spirit.
One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired." ― Martha Graham
... Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles ..., says the legendary dancer Martha Graham. With all these essentials listed above, your dance bag would play the role of more like a rescue kit, pretty much like Hermione Granger's purple beaded handbag with the undetectable extension charm ... wish we could use spells, don't we?