Whitney Ingram

Revisiting Julie Kent's Dance Bag, 20 Years Later

Julie Kent was our very first Show & Tell when Pointe magazine launched in spring of 2000. Then a principal with American Ballet Theatre, Kent carried a second bag entirely dedicated to her pointe shoes. Twenty years later, she is now the artistic director of The Washington Ballet, and no longer needs to tote her pointe shoes. "For 40 years they were like a part of my body," says Kent. "And now they're not part of the landscape until my daughter's old enough to go on pointe." Nevertheless, Kent's current role keeps her in the studio. She always carries practice clothes and ballet slippers for teaching and rehearsals.


The contents of Julie Kent's dance bag, laid out geometrically on a dance studio floor

Whitney Ingram

Kent's dance bag is a reflection of the way she balances her professional and personal lives. Notebooks and sample TWB merchandise brush up against her daughter's ballet slippers and a program from her son's recent Episcopal confirmation. "I'm not only no longer a professional performer, but I'm a mother of two people that are old enough to have very busy lives," says Kent. "And I have the responsibility of a huge organization. That expands the spectrum of things that are in your bag!"

The Goods

Julia Kent in a red sweater, jeans and tiger print boots poses in a dance studio behind the contents of her bag. Photo is taken from above.

Whitney Ingram

Clockwise from top left: Reading glasses, wallet, iPhone, Tod's makeup bag, sunglasses and case, Tod's bag ("This was a gift from Anya Cole, the founder of Hania New York. She's like my fairy godmother, and I've been her brand ambassador for years"), Aquaphor lotion, Nutcracker badge for backstage access, choreographic notebook, Degas exhibit papers ("The National Gallery recently opened a big exhibit on Degas, and I recorded part of the oral description for the listening devices"), Nutcracker playbill, reading glasses, good-luck charms ("Friedemann Vogel from the Stuttgart Ballet gave me the four-leaf clover before I won the Benois de la Danse in 2000, and I've carried it with me ever since"), business-card holder, Sansha ballet slippers, Japanese fan, 10-year-old daughter Josephine's Capezio ballet slippers, perfume, legwarmers ("TWB dancer Brittany Stone knit me these. She knows I like ballerina pink"), gold necklaces ("Marcelo Gomes gave these to me for my farewell at ABT. They have my children's initials, and I wear them all the time"), pocket mirror, TWB sample scarf, waste bags for dog Winky, wrap skirt ("Gemma Bond made that for me many years ago").

Latest Posts


Laurent Liotardo (post-production by Nik Pate), Courtesy ENB

Catch English National Ballet’s Rising Stars in the Emerging Dancer Competition Livestream

The coronavirus pandemic may have postponed English National Ballet's annual Emerging Dancer competition last spring, but the show must go on—digitally! You can still watch ENB's best and brightest talent during the competition's livestream, taking place on September 22 at 7:20 pm BST (that's 2:20 pm ET). Now in its 11th year, the competition for the Emerging Dancer Award will be broadcast live from the company's East London production studio for the first time. Tickets are available for $6.99 per device and will remain available to view on demand until September 29.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
From left: Alaina Broyles, Courtesy Werner; Courtesy Underwood

Gaynor Minden's Latest Dancer Lineup Features a Body-Positivity Activist and Its First Guy

Pointe shoe brand Gaynor Minden recently welcomed 32 young dancers to its coveted roster of Gaynor Girls. But this year, the company included two applicants who push the boundaries of what it means to dance on pointe. While both Mason Simon Underwood and Colleen Werner are longtime GM wearers, they stand out from the rest of this year's group: Underwood is the first ever Gaynor Guy, and Werner is a body-positivity activist.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Dylan Giles, Courtesy Festival Ballet Providence

Festival Ballet Providence's New Leap Year Program Gives Dancers Facing a Gap Year a Place to Grow

A new training program at Festival Ballet Providence called Leap Year is welcoming pre-professional and professional dancers who don't have a studio or company to dance for this season.

The endeavor is the brainchild of Kathleen Breen Combes, FBP's executive and artistic director. "I kept getting these emails of dancers saying they just need a place to train this year," says Combes. "I thought, What if we could provide a space for dancers to get stronger, experiment and try new things in a nonjudgmental and no-pressure environment?"

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks