Dance Bag Must-Haves for Summer Intensives


At a summer program right now? Don't leave home without these eight dance bag essentials that'll get you through your crazy day of classes. Seriously, they're lifesavers!

1. Emergency Kit


Be prepared for any minor disaster with just-in-case essentials: nail clippers, scissors, Icy Hot, Advil, needle and thread, Band-Aids, etc. Plus, having a kit like this is a good way to make friends—everybody loves the chick with the Advil!

2. Water


Yes, it seems obvious, but you can never have too many reminders: DRINK WATER. You'll be sweating like crazy and exerting more energy than usual during these summer intensive weeks, so keep yourself hydrated by packing a water bottle every morning and refilling it throughout the day.

3. Strategic Snacks


At home, you probably have a parent or guardian sticking some snacks into your bag as you leave for the dance studio. But at a summer intensive, you're on your own, and it's 100 percent your responsibility to make sure you eat enough calories to get through the day. Healthy, packable snacks—like almonds, apples, Greek yogurt, carrots, peanut butter, bananas, and blueberries—will help keep your blood sugar up, so you're not totally dragging by the time that last class rolls around.

4. Warm-Up Tools


Summer intensive hours are a recipe for sore and tired muscles. Prevent injuries by bringing your warm up tools to the studio with you each day. Thera-Bands, foam rollers, and tennis balls are our go-tos.

5. Scented Sachet


We hate to break it to you, but...your dance bag stinks! Throw a scented sachet, like a Scentsy Pak, into your bag, and save yourself from having to make some serious stank face this summer.

6. Sweat Towel


They don't call them intensives for nothing: If you're working right, you'll be sweating by the time pliés are over in the morning! Take a towel to class and avoid feeling totally disgusting all day long.

7. Name Tag


Trust us: If you forget to bring your name tag to class, your teacher will be mad at you—AND she won't know your name. It's a lose-lose situation. Keep that tag in your bag, and help those incredible teachers remember you forever and ever!

8. Extra Clothes and Shoes

Nathan Sayers

Be prepared for those unexpected schedule switches that require quick changing. Always have pairs of black and pink tights, an extra leo, character shoes, sneakers, flat ballet shoes, pointe shoes, and socks in your bag, just in case.

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

Keep Reading Show less
Cover Story
Corbin Bleu in rehearsal for "Kiss Me, Kate" (Jenny Anderson, courtesy Roundabout Theatre Company)

If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.

Keep Reading Show less
Musical Theater



Get Dance Spirit in your inbox