Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ballet Emergency Bag

A few years ago, I came home to a wonderful, very thoughtful surprise. After several weeks of watching me peel tape off of my toes after rehearsal, hours of icing, and going to bed with the smell of Tiger Balm wafting us to sleep, my husband presented me with my very own emergency kit.

Side note, my wonderful husband is very experienced and well-trained in survival situations. He takes the care and preparation of the body, injury prevention, and readiness-for-any-situation very seriously. I was deeply touched at how deeply he thought through this kit, what I do, and my personal needs.

And recently, I received an e-mail from asking for the best dance gifts. Here's a fun DIY post with information on how to make hot/cold compresses, which are so wonderful!

The challenge from inspired this post. And so, I share with you, my Ballet Emergency Bag. (With enough information that this could be your own DIY project and/or gift).

The Players:

1. Tactical bag from My husband is a veteran. After several years participating in my dance practice, he's concluded that dancers are just as hard on their "gear" as Marines. Therefore, the tactical bag is vital to withstand the traveling, usage, and wear that I (we) will expect from it. The bag needs to be as resilient as our bodies. 

2. First comes first aid. I think that losing my toe-nails is normal. So are the floor burns, bruises, blisters, and welts that I randomly find on my body. Justin, though, thought it was pretty gross (even after what he's experienced) and thus, included an extensive first aid supply. So, included are a) a small bottle of hydrogen peroxide to be applied immediately after losing said toe nail, or after the peeling off of tape, with said toe nail attached (I really don't mean to be gross... just honest). b) various sizes of band-aids. c) tape. to be used for taping of toes before pointe, but can also be used to support joints - ankles, knees, metatarsals, wrists... I love tape! but the wide, cloth, athletic kind. c) Tiger Balm. or any kind of topical relief. d) Neosporin. or any type of antibiotic/ pain relieving cream to apply post-class/rehearsal/performance, under the tape or band aids to immediately start the healing process. e) Disposable cold pack. You never know when you're really going to need this and be grateful you have it.... f) alcohol swabs. Easy. Safe. Disinfectant. 

3. Not a second thought, but secondary in terms of survival, as defined by a trainer of survival: Performance. (Personally, as a dancer, I might have put this first, but I acknowledge the difference in thinking....) in no special order: a) hairspray. To be used on hair, but also to stop any fraying of material, running of tights, slipping of shoes off of my/your foot, slipping of shoes on the floor... I could keep going but there are many uses for hairspray! b) emergency chocolate. Enough said. Not too much, but enough. c) point shoe glue. Like hairspray, this is has many alternative purposes, not limited to securing costumes. d) Tissues. refer to emergency chocolate. But these also can be used for last minute padding, in conjunction with the first aid stuff above. e) Stitch kit. I actually didn't know this existed until recently. A less expensive, but still viable option is a needle and dental floss. Both the stitch kit and dental floss have amazing strength and many uses... from sewing broken straps and costumes to getting that little bit of emergency chocolate out of your teeth... f) Smell-good-spray. We've all had those moments where we wish we smelled a bit better... my husband remembered that. It's a self-esteem thing. If you feel good about yourself, you'll perform well. g) Make up and hair stuff! - but the essentials. I've found that I can do wonders with a bit of lipstick (also able to be used as blush), concealer, and mascara. Likewise with a few bobby-pins and/or a hair tie - refer back to hair spray). And I'm lucky enough that my husband knows my emergency tricks. I think every girl has them, and it's always good to be prepared.

4) Swiss Army Knife. Or in this case, Swiss Ballet Knife. My husband actually special-ordered this to say "ballet" and to include nail-clippers. Before this, I used to carry a normal Swiss Army Knife without nail clippers, but with scissors. Both are necessary. He designed this especially with me in mind, but I have a tap-dancer friend who suggested that with a Phillips-Head screw driver, it would be perfect. For the record, it has a knife, scissors, nail clippers, and a nail file.

Yes, all of that does fit into a small 5X7" bag. Easy enough to throw into a purse or dance bag. (I apologize for the strange angle of the pictures... I'm not sure what's going on with the website.)

And one more view, with everything closed, together:

Yes, that's a pointe shoe as a zipper pull.

Some things that weren't included, but still necessary:
Tennis ball

I carry these with me where ever I go...

What's in your emergency bag?

PS... please contact me if you're interested in creating your own emergency bag or interested in having one custom made for you.

Happy (safe and prepared) dancing!


  1. So I'm not the only person who relies on emergency chocolate?! Mine isn't always for ballet though - sometimes I have to break into it during particularly long church services! Or (more usually) after a stressful day at work...

    1. Rain, emergency chocolate is a necessity! Thanks for reading!

  2. Be sure to bring a needle and thread just in case point shoe ribbons or elastic come back unsewn. this can be important as a result of if point shoe ribbons or elastic come back unsewn and you have got nothing to stitch them back with, it should be terribly tough to perform. A needle and thread can also are available terribly handy for costume malfunctions, like one thing coming back unseen or a button or zipper slack.

    ballet classes in orange county

    1. Addy, the Stitch Kit comes complete with needle and thread! It's a wonder of an invention and the thread is really strong. I used to use dental floss, but this stuff is just as strong and I don't have to worry about waxy buildup. The Stitch Kit also has a handy thread cutter at the top of the spool and I can keep everything together in one place and don't worry about losing my needle. Thanks so much for reading and for your feedback! Happy dancing!

  3. Your one and only chance to uncover these lost secrets


    You're in luck. I want to let you know that we are making The Lost Ways 2 available for a limited number of people. And you're on the list.

    In The Lost Ways 2 you'll discover almost all the edible and medicinal plants in North America, including a powerful painkiller, a driveway antibiotic weed, a back-pain relief plant, and a lot, lot more... This time all with colored pictures.

    Plus a lot of bonus never before seen content that will teach you how to make 3 long-forgotten super-foods that will outlast you... And much, much more:

    ==> Here's exactly what you will find in The Lost Ways 2