Show and Tell: Inside Teresa Reichlen's Dance Bag

Published in the June/July 2012 issue.

Photo by Kyle Froman

One of the first clues that New York City Ballet principal Teresa Reichlen isn’t your average bunhead? Her dance bag. It’s a tote from Book Culture, a bookstore near Barnard College, where she’s studying biology. “It’s a great store,” she says. “And I like to use
canvas totes like these because I can wash them when they get smelly from all my sweaty dance clothes.” Reichlen always has her iPad or a couple of school books with her, too. “If I have a few minutes, I’ll run to my dressing room and study for a while,
because it’s quiet there,” she says. Last semester, she tackled an anatomy course.

Other essentials are her seven different exercise balls of all shapes and sizes—“I’m kind of obsessed with rolling out”—and her water bottle. “If I don’t have it with me, I don’t drink water, and then I get dehydrated, and then I feel gross.” Oh, and those two mint tins? Don’t get them confused. “One actually has mints, for when I’m partnering, but the other has rosin in it,” she says. “I have a system—you can tell the difference by shaking them!”

The Goods

Leotards and legwarmers, pointe shoes, lambswool, Salonpas pain relief patches (“for whenever I have an ache”), water bottle, small bag for toe tape and accessories, Emergen-C (“I’ll throw one in my water as a little pick-me-up before a show, instead of coffee”), thread, exercise balls, Hot Stuff glue (she puts it in the tips of her pointe shoes), two mint tins, paper towels (for padding inside her pointe shoes), scissors, flat shoes, tote bag, anatomy book and notes.