Ballet Stars
Kyle Froman

Houston Ballet principal Chun Wai Chan's dance bag doubles as a portable dressing room. "We sweat a lot in class and rehearsal, so I always have a few different shirts with me," he says. When looking for dancewear, Chan focuses on items that are comfortable and will stand up to lots of wear, mostly in dark colors, like black, blue and gray. In a mix of dance and athletic brands, his navy Prada belt stands out. "My mom got bedding from Prada, and this was used to tie up the box, so I turned it into a belt to keep my tights up." says Chan. "People in the company think it's so funny."

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Ballet Stars
National Ballet of Canada's Heather Ogden. Karolina Kuras.

After 20 years with the National Ballet of Canada, principal Heather Ogden has her dance bag essentials down to a science. "My bag is usually pretty heavy," she says. "I always like to be prepared." And as a mother of two, organization is key. Ogden keeps her Lululemon bag in order by storing like items in small pouches. "When you need something, you don't want to take forever," she says. "I like to be able to see everything easily."

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Ballet Stars
Quinn Wharton

The Joffrey Ballet's Jeraldine Mendoza is a minimalist. This is evident from her well-organized sewing kit to her slim Goyard wallet, which she bought in Paris while on tour with the company last summer. "I never carry cash; all that's in there is my ID and my credit cards," she says. She keeps her wallet, phone and keys in her red Kenzo bucket bag, and her pointe shoes and other dancewear and accessories in her Baggu duffel. "I like things in order," she says. "Knowing where everything is is a priority for me."

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Ballet Stars
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Albert Pretto. Items from left: Victoria's Secret bag, practice skirt ("I got this at a boutique in SoHo"), Deuserband resistance band, AlbyPretty biketard, hand-knit legwarmers, AlbyPretty t-shirt and skirt, Ballet Maniacs bag ("It has pockets on the side for pointe shoes and it's big enough for practice tutus"). Photo by Quinn Wharton for Pointe.

Alberto Pretto, a dancer with the all-male comedy troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, keeps his two dance bags stuffed with extra practice clothes, tutus and props. "I'm a total bag lady," he says. While rehearsing as his Trocks alter ego, Nina Immobilashvili, it's crucial for Pretto to get into the character's mind-set by wearing the right-length tutu for Giselle or practicing with his Esmeralda tambourine. "It's important with partnering to feel the same way that you would in a costume," he says. Switching his clothes during the day also leaves Pretto feeling refreshed, and it gives him a chance to model his newest creations for his dancewear line, AlbyPretty. "Sometimes it's good to bring a little color into the studio."

Pro Pointe Shoe Hacks From The Trocks' Alberto Pretto youtu.be

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Ballet Stars
Kyle Froman for Pointe

Not only is Daphne Lee a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem and a graduate student, but she's also a pageant queen who just finished her reign as Miss Black USA. Lee became involved in pageants to win scholarship money for school and promote cancer awareness. She's currently getting her MFA in dance at Hollins University through a low-residency program. "I'm always carrying a book," says Lee. She's also sure to keep her student ID with her. It works internationally, which can be helpful in getting student discounts on tour. Balancing her busy schedule isn't easy. That's why the most important item in Lee's dance bag is her planner. "I keep everything in here," she says.

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Ballet Stars
Kyle Froman

When it comes to studio attire, The Washington Ballet's Venus Villa loves to have choices. While at home in Washington, DC, her bag usually overflows with skirts and warm-ups in all different colors. "I am more girly than sporty," she says of her style. She's also never without multiple lipsticks, and she selects the right shade to match her leotard each day. On tour in New York City for a Guggenheim Works & Process showing, Villa pared the contents of her dance bag down to the essentials: only one skirt, but still three lipsticks.

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe.

Much of what Ballet West soloist Katlyn Addison carries around in her (two) dance bags has been repurposed. She wraps her toes in black hockey tape which her brother, a National Hockey League player in their home country of Canada, ships to her, and she keeps her bobby pins in an old glass salsa jar. "I like to reuse things," says Addison. She totes everything around in shopping bags (one for pointe shoes and sewing tools, one for everything else) from the clothing store Free People.

Pro Pointe Shoe Hacks From Ballet West's Katlyn Addison www.youtube.com

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Kyle Froman

Peek inside Devon Teuscher's pointe shoes and you'll see a discreetly placed number. "I want to see how many shoes I go through in a year," says the American Ballet Theatre principal. "Last year it was close to 200 pairs." Teuscher keeps a Sharpie handy for this season's count in a small pouch containing other shoe accessories like ribbons and elastics. It's one of a handful of carefully organized pouches stored in her red mesh bag. "I'm definitely not a pack rat," she says of her no-frills style. Teuscher's bag came from Ascot + Hart, a California boutique that her sister introduced her to. "I love that it's breathable and lightweight and it can pack quite a bit. It's also easy to wash."

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Kyle Froman for Pointe

Spanish ballerina Lucia Lacarra left Bavarian State Ballet, her company of 14 years, in 2016 for life as an international guest artist, accompanied by her husband and fellow dancer, Marlon Dino. As an artist on the move, she packs her roomy dance bag with only the bare necessities. When she's home in Germany, however, the rest of the space is reserved for supplies for her 2-year-old daughter, Laia. Along with snacks, a changing bag, water, a pacifier and baby wipes, Laia requires her favorite toy lamb named Baa Baa.

In New York City for the Youth America Grand Prix gala, Lacarra pared her dance bag back down to the essentials. "As you mature as an artist you learn what you need to carry and how to limit yourself," she says. When she was younger, Lacarra would tote multiple brands of the same product, but now she knows exactly what she likes. Some items even pull double duty: Tan tape protects blisters and secures her wedding ring, which Lacarra wears when she performs.

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Ballet Stars
Vutti Photography

You could say that Victoria Hulland is Sarasota Ballet's resident corn pad dealer. The principal dancer keeps her bag stocked with special, extra-thick pads, which she uses between her toes. “A lot of the girls come to me if they have really bad corns," she says. “You can't buy these from CVS." Since she gets them from a podiatrist back home in New York, she either stocks up when visiting or employs her father to pick up multiple packs and send them down to Florida.

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Ballet Stars
Kyle Froman for Pointe

When Miami City Ballet soloist Jordan-Elizabeth Long previously danced with the Royal Swedish Ballet, professional hairdressers styled her performance hair. “If you came in with a messy bag full of pins, they got really annoyed," Long says. Ever since, she has kept her pins organized in a multicompartment plastic case. In fact, Long's dance bag is full of European imports from her career abroad in Sweden and at Dutch National Ballet. There are her leopard print Bbooties and the red polka-dot wine bottle holder that she uses to organize pointe shoes. And her bear key chain was given to her by former Royal Swedish dancer Eugenia Bolander, Long's old dressing-roommate and close friend.

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Ballet Stars
Photo by Lindsay Thomas for Pointe.

You'd be hard pressed to find a pair of ballet slippers in Noelani Pantastico's dance bag. Instead, you'll find a pair of socks—and plenty of pointe shoes. The Pacific Northwest Ballet principal, who joined the company in 1997, ditched wearing slippers for class when she took a seven-year hiatus abroad to dance with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in Monaco. There, it was common to wear socks for class and contemporary rehearsals. “Now, I don't like to take barre in ballet shoes," says Pantastico, who returned to PNB last November. “Socks let my feet breathe a lot more—it's a comfort thing." Funny enough, when she came back to Seattle she noticed that other PNB dancers had started wearing socks in class, too.

Once in center, Pantastico switches to pointe shoes. But before she does so, she makes sure to wrap each toe with a special brand of contractor tape called Shurtape. “I've been using this since I started dancing professionally and I cannot use anything else," she says. “When I moved to Europe, I thought 'I can't switch,' so I started bulk ordering it! It really stays put."

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