Freelance dancer Heather Hawk juggles performing and teaching careers, so it’s no surprise that her dance bag is large. Before spending a few years away from the stage earning a liberal arts degree at New York University, she danced with an impressive array of companies, including New York City Ballet and Pennsylvania Ballet. Now she has a standing gig with Ballet Idaho, where you can catch her performing in Peter Anastos’ Ravel Piano Concerto this May. Hawk also has a long history with New York–based Dances Patrelle, where she performed for 10 years. She’ll reunite with the company for its 20th anniversary season this April.
Hawk’s years of experience packing a dance bag have taught her to keep it simple. Among her few must-haves are a book—currently Charles Finch’s mystery A Beautiful Blue Death. “My love affair with mysteries started with Nancy Drew,” she says. (Hawk could even call her reading research: She’ll be playing the murderer in DP’s new murder mystery ballet.) But the item she really can’t live without is Bounty paper towels. “I wrap my toes in the perforated half-sheets before putting on my pointe shoes,” she explains. “I can use other brands—and I do if I have to—but I just know that rehearsal will go better if I have my Bounty.”