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WHAT’S IN A DANCER’S BAG?

When you’re a dancer, preparing your dance bag is no less than a ritual. It’s important, it’s necessary, and it’s almost holy! Being in studios for long hours on feet, sometimes more than 7 hours even, is no joke.  As dancers, we carry a world of items inside our bag (a little bit like Hermoine Granger’s magical little beaded bag). It not only gets us through the day, but also in cases of unforeseen situations it saves the day! To exaggerate just a little tiny bit, it could literally make or break our day at the studio. But ever wondered what actually goes into a dancer’s bag? Well, wonder no further. We’ve 4 beautiful and talented Eurasia Students here sharing with us what goes into a typical dance bag.

Lourdes Maldonado

Lourdes Maldonado (also affectionately called Luly) is 20 years old and has been dancing for as long as she can remember. She is from Mexico, currently living and studying in Germany at Contemporary Dance School of Hamburg (CDSH). In the last 4 years, Luly has been a part of the Mexican Dance Team winning not just World, but International Championships as well.

When Luly was asked to peek into her dance bag and tell us what’s in there, here are the things she listed. In her own words:

One of the most important things, of course, are the Snacks. As dancers we are always hungry and we need the food to survive the day! Also painkillers, because as dancers we always have some injuries. So in the case of emergencies, we need them. Then, I always pack my favourite pair of socks. I don’t use them everyday, but on some days when the floor is super slippery, I like to change into my favourite socks because I’m more comfortable to dance with them. I also have 3 different types of masks, for different situations or classes because dancing with certain types can become really exhausting. I carry my elastic fitness band as I always dream of having a super nice point and super nice feet, so every second that I can, I use the band. And I also have a muscle tape and pain ointment for injuries. In a studio, we never know when we can get injured, and as a dancer that possibility is everyday. I also carry extra clothes that I can use. We are always changing depending on what class we have, whether it is ballet or contemporary or floor-work. And finally I think, I need to carry things for the hair, mostly for ballet.

3 things you just cannot go to the studio without!

Of course snacks, because I would die dancing for more than 7 hours without eating! Also, because of the situation, I will have to carry the masks. And finally, I think my favourite pair of socks. I don’t know why, but I think they are like a lucky charm for me. I don’t feel secure if I don’t carry them.

Roy Ilagou

Roy Ilagou is dancer-performer from Gabon (Central Africa), passionate and devoted to his art. He dances Urban dance (Hip-Hop and urban dances from different parts of Africa), Salsa and Kizomba dance. In 2017, Roy founded the 1.2.3 DANS’ART Dance Company (One.Two.Three DANS’ART), which has been active since. Currently, he is pursuing training in Traditional and Contemporary dance from West Africa at The School of Sands in Senegal.  He is looking forward to obtaining his Diploma in Traditional Dance from West Africa in July 2021.

Here we have Roy spilling the beans, oops I mean the things, and telling us what is in his dance bag.

I always have some basic things inside my bag like a towel. I carry a change of clothes too, like about three or four t-shirts that I can change into after class. Also, I have my book and wallet with money. Sometimes I also have a bottle of water, but sometimes not. I always have my speaker, phone and laptop. I carry their chargers as well. And sometimes, I have some sugary thing to get more energy like candies or some fruits like a banana.

3 things you just cannot go to the studio without!

Oh! My speaker, my phone, and my laptop (and of course their chargers). Yes, these would be the 3-4 things I can’t leave or go to a class without.

Damini Gairola

Damini Gairola is a dancer of Indian Origin, currently pursuing her dance education at the Contemporary Dance School Hamburg (Germany), graduating in June 2021. She holds a Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media from Attakkalari Centre of Movement Arts, Bangalore (India). She has danced with companies in India before arriving to Europe.
In Europe, she was a dancer in various projects some of which include: A piece choreographed by Johnny Lloyd in collaboration with Kampnagel and Elbphilharmonie (Hamburg) called ‘Without Words-Melting Dance Point’, and a dance project by Anand Dhanakoti in collaboration with Theatre Bremen and Kunsthalle Bremen named ‘Thuli’. Last year, she also presented her solo, ‘Private Party’, as a part of her current education.

If we put Damini’s dance bag under a baggage x-ray scanner, here are the things she tells us she’d be guilty of carrying.

I would definitely have my training clothes. I always have a pant and couple of extra t-shirts, may be even an extra sports bra. Then, I will always make sure that I have a box of nuts specially for the little breaks in between classes to just put it all in my mouth quickly. I have hair related stuff like clips, pins, hair ties and so on.  I also have Arnica cream and  band-aids. They are your first friends when you feel some pain or get those inevitable friction cuts. Sometimes I have like a secret chocolate for like the really bad times when I feel like just I cannot do class, I have no energy. Well, my weakness is a Snickers bar. Sometimes there will be coffee in my bag, when I go for a rehearsal where there is no coffee, because I cannot survive without it. Also, my food is very important. Sometimes I don’t bother that much about what classes I have the next day, as much I do about having food to carry. Then I will have socks, because it can get crazy cold in Germany. I also have like random vitamins, which I don’t really take but they are in my bag. I have an extra mask hidden in my bag because I can forget everything else, but if I forget a mask I’m stuck. I carry my book in which I write things from choreographies or classes. My earphones which are super important because they help me zone out when I need my time and space. I also have the release ball which sometimes I forget, but it’s always there somewhere. I also have a stone I got from a stranger who told me it was for courage and faith; I don’t believe in it a lot, but I do believe that it can be something special.

3 things you just cannot go to the studio without!

I think I absolutely need my clothes, my bottle of water and the food!

Saba Poori

Saba Poori is Iranian and is 21 years old. Her story of dance began during her early years with Iranian Classical Dance which she holds very close to her heart. Later on she went on to follow her love for dance through other styles such as Contemporary dance, Jazz funk and other studio dance styles in Iran itself.  Currently, she is living her dream by pursuing dance training professionally in Contemporary dance at the Accademia Susanna Beltrami in Milan, Italy, since 2019.

Here we have Saba allowing us to dive into her dance bag and all the secrets it holds.

First I have here is an extra lose pant which I use for floor-work or improvisation. Also, sometimes I like to change into them when my tights become sweaty and uncomfortable. Then I have my ballet essentials: the tights, black bodysuit and shoes. I also carry my knee pads specially when we have floor-work to avoid hurting my knees. I carry a release ball which is actually a gift from a classmate and I really love it. It’s really useful to warm up my feet especially before Ballet. I don’t always use it, but I prefer to carry it. A bottle of water, because it’s water right? We need it! Lately I’ve also been carrying a hand sanitizer since the pandemic. I also have wet and dry tissues. Oh, I have to have my deodorant for obvious reasons. I carry a pair of socks too. Sometimes I think one pair is not enough because I lose it or forget it, and to be sure it’s better to have two in my bag. And I’ve got my purse as well which I need for the travel. Sometimes I also carry an extra mask because they can get wet easily when we sweat a lot. The hair ties are so important, but fortunately I don’t need that many clips. Finally, snacks! Moreover because my house is a bit away from the Academy, I really prefer to eat something on the way. Also when we have a lot of classes back to back, I cannot survive without eating anything in between. So I carry snacks or nuts to munch on during the quick 5 minutes that we get to change.

3 things you just cannot go to the studio without!

Oh no, just three? Well, I think my ballet essentials, my purse, and socks.

And finalemente, here we have it all revealed to you! Now its no secret why a dancer’s bag is as heavy as it is. So if your not a dancer, next time just ask you dancer friend to pass on their bag to you just to feel its weight, and you’ll know that we were not kidding. And well, if you are a dancer yourself, salute to your strong shoulders for doing a great job!

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