Show and Tell: Inside Danielle Rowe's Dance Bag

Published in the April/May 2012 issue.

Photo by Kyle Froman

Last year, Danielle Rowe left her native Australia and The Australian Ballet to join Houston Ballet. But she still carries a bit of home with her—literally. “A friend gave me the bag I use for my dance stuff just before I left, to remember Australia by,” she says. “It’s from the South Melbourne Market, one of my favorite places. I used to do a lot of my food shopping there.”

Rowe, recently promoted to principal, packs light, limiting herself to the basics: shoes, Thera-Band, water bottle, toe tape. But the smaller blue bag she uses to organize those essentials also has a story. “I made it!” she says. “I got a sewing machine just before I moved and tried my hand at a few little bits and pieces”—including, she adds, some warm-ups for her dancer boyfriend Luke Ingham, who came with her to Houston Ballet. “I didn’t do a very good job, and they’re split all the way up the side,” she says, laughing. “But the poor thing is still wearing them.”

The Goods

Pointe shoes, flat shoes, jazz shoes (for Jirí Kylián’s Falling Angels), water bottle, anti-inflammatory gel, Thera-Band, notebook (“I don’t have a great memory, so I’ll jot down thoughts or ideas I have about roles I’m dancing”), toe tape, sewing thread (“I’ve decided that when this roll is finished it’ll be time to quit dancing—but it looks like I’ve got a while yet!”), South Melbourne Market bag, handmade blue bag, iPhone, Desert Flower by Waris Dirie (“I find that books are a nice way to escape”), pens.