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").

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