Concerts, competitions, and recitals are some of the most exciting parts of being a dancer. After all of the blood, sweat, and tears we put in at the studio, we finally get to hit the stage and show all of our families the product of our hard work.

However, a performance can turn from fun to terrible in no time when you don’t have the things you need! Next time you’re headed to the theatre, make sure you have all of these essentials in your dance bag:

  1. Water Bottle
    It is crucial to stay hydrated during a long day of performing! Make sure you have a reusable water bottle in your bag, so that you can sip continuously throughout the show. Consider taking a sports drink with you, as well, for after the performance.

  2. Warm Ups
    If you’ve ever been in a freezing cold green room or stuck in the wings when it’s cold, you’ll know that you need warm ups in your bag! Pick a sweatshirt with a zipper (or BoPPA Jacket) so that it won’t mess up your hair and makeup, and choose long bottoms that are baggy enough to go around any costume pieces. It’s also a good idea to throw a theraband and tennis ball in your bag so that you can stretch out any minor aches and pains throughout the day.

  3. Costumes
    This might seem obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook your costumes as you’re bustling out the door to the theatre! Take your time and make sure you’ve rounded up every costume, the necessary undergarments, and any accessories or props that you’ll need on stage.

  4. Dance Shoes
    I would suggest keeping all of your dance shoes on you at all times, even when you don’t expect to use them. You never know -- someone could get sick or injured at any moment, and if you’re ready to step in as an understudy, you just might need those tap shoes!

  5. Hair and Makeup Necessities
    This includes: Hair spray, bobby pins, rubber bands, hair nets, combs, makeup brushes, lipstick, lashes, makeup remover, and any other products that make you look and feel your best on stage.

  6. Healthy Snack
    Don’t get caught with low energy just before your big number! Take some nuts, fruit, or other healthy snack options in your bag in case you need to refuel.

  7. Deodorant
    As much as your dance family loves you, they probably don’t want to get stuck partnering with you on stage when you’ve forgotten to freshen up. Make sure you have a clear deodorant in your dance bag that won’t leave white marks on your beautiful costumes.

  8. Hand Towel
    Dancers sweat, and it’s important that we don’t leave dangerous, slippery spots on the stage after we’ve warmed up or performed. Bring a small hand towel in your bag to dry off between numbers or clean up after you’ve dripped some sweat on the stage.

  9. Pointe Shoe Bag
    If you wear pointe shoes, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to take care of your shoes and your feet. My pointe shoe bag always has these essentials: my pointe shoes, needle and thread, spare ribbons, a lighter, scissors, lambs wool, toe spacers, medical tape and rosin.

  10. Camera and Charger
    Don’t miss the opportunity to remember these amazing moments in your dance career. You’ll want to have a camera and charger or spare batteries on hand backstage. Just make sure you don’t use the flash while other dancers are performing!

  11. Notebook and Pen
    Dancers are always learning, and choreographers are always giving notes and making changes. A professional dancer should always have a notebook and pen in their bag to make sure they never miss a correction or forget a new change in choreography.

  12. Plastic Bag
    I would suggest keeping a large ziplock bag in your dance bag at all times. It might seem strange, but there are several ways this could come in handy. Did your blush break into a thousand pieces? Put it in a plastic bag so it doesn’t get pink powder all over your costumes! Did you get a little bit more sweaty than normal? Put your sweaty tights in the plastic bag until you have a chance to wash them! Accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared.

  13. Bandaids and antibiotic ointment
    When it comes time to perform, dancers always leave it all on the stage. Don’t let a floor burn or popped blister stop you from getting out there and dancing your best. Make sure you have a small first aid kit with bandaids and antibiotic ointment to take care of any minor scrapes that might happen before the curtain falls.

Once you’ve checked all these items off your checklist, you should be ready to go. Have a great show!