Show And Tell: Inside Melissa Barak's Dance Bag

Published in the June/July 2010 issue.

Photo by Kyle Froman

Choreographer and Los Angeles Ballet member Melissa Barak is a minimalist when it comes to her dance bag. “I don’t like lugging around a lot of stuff, so I only pack the little things I absolutely need to get me through the day,” she says.


What makes the cut? Some familiar dancer standbys, like Thera-Bands to stretch and strengthen her feet and Tiger Balm and Advil to relieve achy muscles. But a few of Barak’s must-haves are less conventional. “The Arnica Relief tablets aren’t something most dancers know about, but they’re wonderful,” she says. “Whenever I fall or go over my ankle funny, I take a tablet right away. It lessens the swelling and discoloration.”


Barak would also like to apologize to her sister, Michele. “I definitely stole this Coach bag from her,” she says. “She’s been bothering me about giving it back. But I told her it’d be in Pointe. That made her happier—and hopefully earned me some extra time with the bag!”


The Goods
Clockwise from left: YogaToes (on feet), Coach bag, makeup bag, flat shoes, pointe shoes, Thera-Bands, tennis balls, massage ball, Airborne, Arnica Relief tablets, Tiger Balm, Advil.