12 essential items to pack in your dance bag

Ballerina with ForeverB. black and white shopper

As you get advanced in dance, you will most likely do multiple types of dance, which require multiple types of shoes. This means that you will probably carry around 3 or 4 different pairs of shoes in your bag. As they take up a lot of space, your bag will start being almost the size of a travel carry-on bag.
Because you’ll probably want to separate certain items in your bag, it’s best to either choose a bag with several compartments and pockets or keep your stuff in different little cases and pouches inside your bag. Your bag should not be so small that it can’t contain everything you need and so big it’s too much of a hassle to carry it around.

Let’s go through the essentials you should put in your dance bag to always be prepared:

  1. A water bottle: This is THE most important item in your dance bag. During class and after class, you have to make sure you stay hydrated. Remember to refill your bottle whenever you get the chance.

  2. Towel: Ideally, you’ll want to carry two of them, one for class, one for your shower. Go for the most practical size. After use, keep the towel in a bag and take it out of your dance bag to let it dry as soon as possible. Water bottle and towel
  3. Clothing: You’ll always be happy to find spare clothes in your bag, whether it’s tights, a leotard, shorts, a cardigan, or extra layers to keep you warm. You might want to change or maybe help a friend who forget one of these items and will be happy you were so prepared!

  4. Trash bag shorts: These are very popular. They are super easy to pack and take almost no space, they’re comfy and great to keep you warm.

  5. Shoes and accessories: For ballet, you’ll need your pointe shoes, plain ballet shoes, your padding, a sewing kit to fix your pointe, elastic adhesive bandages for your toes, a pair of light cotton socks and a mesh pointe shoes bag.

  6. Hairstyling items: Everything for your ballet bun including bobby pins, hair bands, and hair spray. Store all of these in a pouch make it practical.

  7. Beauty bag: If you have several dance classes a day, you’ll definitely want to freshen up whether you can shower or not. It’s great to carry around travel size version of your make up and toiletries including deodorant, lip balm, hand sanitizer, body spray, face wipes, shower gel, or dry shampoo.

  8. First aid kit: Whether it is for your feet, suffering in pointe shoes, or for your muscles and joints it will come handy to have some Advil liquid gel capsules (to cut open and rub on wherever it hurts), adhesive bandages, tissues, tiger balm, and ibuprofen. Note: Please always take advice from your doctor before taking any medication. What works for others might be not healthy for you and it’s important to consider alternative recommended by a trained healthcare professional.

  9. Healthy snacks: Nuts, fruits and cereal bars are good healthy snacks to help you keep going throughout the day. It might come handy as well to keep some sugar in your bag (sugar packets for coffees for example). If you’re training too hard and you feel you’re your head start spinning and your legs don’t feel as strong then it’s time for a break and some food. If you have to wait for that, sit down, breath and have a glass of water with sugar.

  10. A portable phone charger: Nowadays we’re all hooked to our phone. Watching dances videos several times a day or using your phone to make note of moments from dance class might leave you with a dead phone at the end of the day. A portable phone charge, in your bag, will be your best friend then!

  11. Notebooks: Always great to have some notebooks to write down variations, combinations, choreographies or teachers’ advice.
    ForeverB. notebooks
  12. A couple of plastic bags: They take no space at all and are very practical to keep certain things separate from each other in your bag.


Finally: Keep your bag clean! Empty it every week, clean it or put it in the washing machine (if possible). Make sure you remove all dirty items from your bag as soon as you get home along with anything that goes in the bin. Keep you bag open to let it breathe some fresh air before next use.

Want to know more?
Check out this article of the Royal Opera House about what professional dancers keep in their dance bag.

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

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