Now that term has started, here are some reminders of how to pack the perfect dance bag.
Dance and Ballet Shoes
Although you need to air your dance shoes as often as possible (particularly pointe shoes), ALWAYS check that you have repacked all the shoes you need for the different classes you have each day. It is important to make sure to pack shoes for all of the different genres you do, such as ballet flats, character shoes, toe undies, boots, jazz shoes, sneakers and, of course, pointe shoes. No shoes will usually mean NO CLASS, so this is the most important item to check. Never travel to dance class in your dance shoes as this will vastly shorten their life span and could mean having dirty shoes in the studio, not to mention accidentally treading in oil from the car park or other unmentionable things that could lead to a shoe disaster and an angry teacher.
Leotards, Tights, Skirts, and Warm-up Clothes
Knowing which classes each day require a specific uniform such as a special colour or style of leotard is essential to having the perfect dance bag. For example, at The Dance Centre Peregian Springs, vocational students need to wear white leotards for technique class without skirts, but blue leotards and short skirts as well as character skirts for RAD classes. (Please check with our reception desk if you are unsure what colour leotard is required for your class.)
Tights may need to be full or short, convertible or even footless for various classes, and again, you should know if you need special colours - e.g. pink for Ballet or perhaps black for Contemporary. Younger students often need short pink socks for ballet class.
Skirts are often worn in various classes, so find out whether you need or are allowed to wear a short skirt for ballet, a character skirt, a long floaty chiffon skirt, or a skirt for Musical Theatre class.
As well as packing the tights and leotard(s) you need for class, you want to have a backup pair of tights and a clean leotard as well.
As temperatures in studios can vary throughout the year, it is important to have warm-up clothes that you can layer on top and remove easily.
In every professionally run dance class you will be expected to have neat hair, and ballet students in particular need to be meticulous with a perfect bun or hairstyle that will stay in place and not interfere with their movements in class. Ideally, it is best to do this at home before you leave for dance class, but often you will be coming straight from school, which means you will need to have a hairbrush/comb, elastic ties, hair nets, hair clips, pins, bobby pins, gel, and hairspray in a see through plastic container in your bag. Even if your hair is already done, have a hair item box with you and spares of each item are a must!
Senior students may need an assortment of towels, Band-Aids, ointment, deoderant, and antiseptic wipes.
Plastic Water Bottle
It is vital that you stay hydrated during class and it's a good idea to have a plastic bottle that you can refill from a water cooler or sink. Warning...Never carry glass bottles in your dance bag because if they break, no matter how well you think you've cleaned out your bag, you may still have tiny glass shards in your dance gear and shoes. I also recommend always carrying your plastic water bottle to prevent leakages from ruining your bag and contents.
If you are taking more than two classes, I would advise eating small amounts of healthy snacks during your time at the studio.
For wet dance clothing, towels, food remains, etc.
Notebook and Pen
These are particularly useful for vocational students and during examination preparation classes, rehearsals for new dances and workshops, etc.
Lastly, PLEASE WRITE YOUR NAME ON ALL OF YOUR ITEMS!