Sunday, September 13, 2015

What's in a Dancer's Bag? And WHY Do You Need One?

 Courtesy of

So now your kid is in Irish dance class.

You made it past the free preview classes, and you've spent $$$ for ghillies, that you are still trying to figure out how those other dance moms can tie in less than 30 seconds (it seems).

floral large dance bag

And then you look at their dance bags, that their shoes came out of, and you start wondering why your kid has their shoes in a pouch bag, and the other kids seem to have cargo bags, in comparison!

I understand your pain- I was there!

We were the same- we started out with a small bag, and then worked our way up to our current bag

lassig mini duffle pink star

The Lassig Mini Duffle is just that-perfect for younger kids and beginner dancers! Your daughter will love the green and pink colors, and the star will remind her she is always a star in your eyes (they have other designs, including the star in blue and olive, as well as a cool shark/ocean theme bag)

lassig mini duffles

As you see the bag folds up flat, and has a handy id label holder on the outside, covered by a protective cover. So no confusion as to whose bag is whose, when you're at a performance- your child's name can be easily seen! When you pop up the bag, you'll see that you have an outside shoe pocket. My daughter uses this section to keep her ghillies in, as she keeps her hard shoes in the larger interior space. Once she changes out of her street shoes, she can put them in the shoe pocket and never get any interior bag contents dirty or wet, from dripping shoes (it never fails to rain on the way to dance class right?).

lassig mini duffle interior

The interior bag of the bag is pretty, despite how it looks.  I used the satellite remote as a guide for you, as most people are familiar with that size, so you can see how the bag is actually sized in real life proportions.  There is an interior zip pocket to put things like cell phones, keys or wallets (for older kids), and the interior can hold, an outfit (for changing into after class), her hard shoes, and all the extras that go with Irish dancing practice. For performances, there is room for her wig and hair products easily!

It also has an external zipper pocket for essentials and a side mesh pocket for anything that needs to go there. We've found that it fits breakfast bars really well. As we have an 80 minute drive (yes, I'm one of those moms, sigh- that will be a later post), my daughter can put a breakfast bar for on the way down and then another for post class protein nourishment. The ONLY thing the bag is missing for us is a water bottle holder. But as she has a newer larger water bottle, with a no spill lid, she can put in in the central section, with no worries. You could also use the shoe pocket for it and snacks, especially if you don't have hardshoes to deal with. The duffle is made of really high-quality polyester, with sturdy handles and an adjustable shoulder strap. It has stood up to plenty of abuse already, and it has been super easy to clean with just a anti-bacterial wipe. It has been well worth the cost!

Now having said that, I thought you newbies, might want to know just WHAT is actually all that 'extras', right?

dance bag contents

I know, looks crazy right?

Let me break it down for you:

- Hard shoes and poodle socks, in protective bag

hardshoes in bag

I know you may scoff at this put, but these shoes are NOT cheap! By putting them in a waterproof, dry bag, we can assure nothing spills on them, melts on them, or scratches them in any way. So basically the shoes stay in great shape, until she outgrows them (which is about every 6 months, in case you were wondering about the 7-9 age range, LOL). I snagged this lunch bag at last year's back to school clearance, and it has worked beautifully!

Continuing we also have

-Notebook with pen, to write down new steps and figures as they are learned. Just like in school, writing helps most kids to learn the steps in sequence!

- Small hairbrush and pony tail holder. See Murphy's Law, that ponytail holder , you put your daughter's hair up with that morning, will break in the middle of class, violating most dance teacher's edicts, of hair pulled back. At least with an extra scrunchie, you can put the hair back up quickly.

- Shoe shine pad- I LOVE this shine and clean duo! The kid can use it easily, and it's perfect for last minute use right before a performance, or competition. Just swipe and shoes are shiny and look great. You can see the difference in the photo below- I buffed the right shoe, before taking the picture. Left hasn't been. 

ghillies and extra laces

- Ghillies in a mesh bag, with extra shoes laces. The mesh bag allows them to air dry after a long hour of dance class. Trust me, they will be sweaty! This also helps to keep them contained. As for the extra laces, that is Murphy's Law 101. if you don't have them, your kid will inexplicably break a lace in the middle of practice and have to practice sans shoe, and you will never hear the end of it (yes, I've been there, got that T-shirt, nothing worse than 7 year old drama queen meltdown). Which is why it's recommended to buy an extra set when you get your kid's shoes, so you don't have to worry about not having them. I also have a shoe freshener spray, that I just realized went under the ghillies when I took the picture. Also great for keeping your dance bag from smelling like a gym locker!

dance bag med kit contents

- and lastly, the first aid bag.  Once your kid has been Irish Dancing for awhile, you will understand the need for bandaids, boo-boo cream, electrolytes, powder, stomach upset items, allergy meds, chapstick, moleskin and most importantly sports tape. Pulls and sprains are common and frequent, and I can tell you from my daughter's first use of the kinseiology (aka sports) tape, that it is a miracle worker! The only thing I don't have in the bag is her velcro ankle wrap. I didn't realize it had fallen off the table. While she hasn't had to use it yet, having it is Murphy's Law- if you have it, you won't need it!  And while the bag may seem big, it's actually pretty flat and small, as I usually keep about 2 feet only of the tape rolled up in it. Plus, kids in the Irish dancing world are very generous, and when you have a kid that wants to be a doctor when she grows up, take a guess at how often I have to refresh the bag! LOL

- and also not pictures was her water bottle.

So there you go. Now you know why we have bigger bags! 

And while you may not need as much space in the beginning (ie, no hardshoes yet), you can see the basics of what you should have for class. When you start performing and competing, there will be more items, hence needing the space, to keep from having to have multiple bags. We'll discuss those in more detail in a later post!

Stay tuned for more 'finding your way' posts!

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