Show and Tell: Inside Gina Patterson's Dance Bag

Ballet Austin dancer Gina Patterson shows us what's in her dance bag.
Published in the February/March 2005 issue.

Show and Tell: Inside Gina Patterson's Dance Bag

Photography By Kenny Braun

Gina Patterson’s fellow dancers at Ballet Austin jokingly call her “the bag lady” because of how much she carries to work each day. “I feel like I have whatever I need whenever I need it,” she says. “I have an all-purpose bag. I’m ready for anything.” Much of the contents are natural remedies. The eucalyptus—left over from a tour—is used in the bath to clear her nasal passageways. Magnets balance her body. (“They just give your muscles some juice,” she says.) Almonds keep her blood sugar up during long days. The enzyme supplements boost her immune system. Most important, she says, is her water bottle. “It has a filter in it with five different stages of filtration, and I can get water anywhere I go,” Patterson says. “The chlorine [in tap water] makes me sick.” Being that prepared does command some respect. She says of her colleagues, “They’ll make fun of me, but then they are always borrowing things.”

The Goods

CDs, warmups with ceramic plates, eucalyptus, vitamins, powder enzymes, natural anti-inflammatory sports cream, gum, knee brace, toothpaste, Kleenex, water bottle, tape, notebook for choreography (Patterson has two ballets premiering mid-February: one at Ballet Austin and the other at Dayton Ballet), massagers, tennis ball, shoe accessory bag (with sports tape, dental floss for sewing, scissors, Band-Aids, Neosporin, corn pads, elastic, ribbons), almonds, ballet slippers, magnets, exercise band and kinesio tape for muscles. “I learned in my physical therapy how to tape different things. It depends on how you lay it. Sometimes it helps the muscles release and sometimes it helps to hold.”