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5 Secret Weapons to Keep In Your Dance Bag

Jessica Goepfert, Director, Cambridge Dance Company

Popular fictional heroines such as Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger and Merida possess the unique combination of strength, smarts and courage with beauty, sass and great hair.  While I am inspired by their ability to totally kick butt without exposing a single bra strap, my favorite badass is without a doubt Wonder Woman.  Large and in charge, as she spins from Diana Prince into a living American flag, I get giddy. Even her accessories conceal a secret identity.  Her gold bracelets are more than just bling – they deflect bullets!  And her tiara?  Not just your average jeweled headpiece. It’s a razor-edged magic boomerang said to maim those otherwise impervious to physical harm.

Like Diana Prince, dancers often live dual lives.  By day, we are doctors, mothers, teachers, students, and engineers.  At night, we undergo our own twirling transformation, trading in our pumps for foot undies and our hose for jazz pants.  Thus, in an effort to aid you in your ongoing battle for higher extensions, triple turns and malfunction-free costumes, we’ve compiled a short list of our go-to secret weapons –  seemingly everyday items that, like Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, can double as a lifesaver during a back-stage emergency.

  1. Binder Ring.  Ever wonder where all your hair elastics disappear to when you need them most?  Wonder no more, Wonder Women! Grab a binder ring at your local office supply store and use it to keep your stash of ponytail holders and headbands neat and tidy in your dance bag.
  2. Vaseline.  The wonder jelly, indeed.  In addition to its well-known moisturizing and makeup removal powers, this old stalwart can actually increase your face value.  Smooth a thin layer over your teeth to keep the lipstick off and your grill gleaming.
  3. Duct Tape. Truly the superhero of adhesives.  Instantly hem a costume or create makeshift pasties to turn the lights down on those unwanted highbeams.
  4. Tennis Ball.  This fuzzy yellow friend can help get you back into the swing of things when sore muscles leave you feeling like you’ve got no game  Throw one or two into a sock and let them work their wonders on your back, hips, hamstrings, calves and feet.
  5. Purell.  No one-hit wonder here!   If its role in hand hygiene isn’t reason enough to tote a vial around, consider this:  a drop or two applied to stubborn, clear bra straps will make them glide like an invisible jet.

Lastly, as you head out to your next performance armed with this random assortment of enchanted objects, divine know-how, and your star spangled booty shorts, remember that with superpowers, comes awesome responsibility.  And so, use them well and with compassion.