Show and Tell: Inside Michael Cook's Dance Bag

Michael Cook, of Ballet Arizona, spills the contents of his dance bag.
Published in the June/July 2005 issue.

Michael Cook, fourth-year Ballet Arizona dancer, knows what he can’t be without: “My Fiji water and my Issey Miyake cologne!” laughs the Phoenix native. “I’m a little obsessed with smelling great, and this is one of my favorite scents.” And with Arizona’s dry climate, water is certainly a must. Cook goes through at least 4 liters a day. Other essentials include the daily paper (“I’m in the habit before company class every morning of reading everyone their horoscopes—we like to keep things light before a long day of rehearsals.”) and his collection of photographs. “They’re always with me,” he says. “When we’re in the theater, I hang up photographs of people and places that inspire me, including performance shots to keep me motivated.”

The Goods

Photographs, Fiji water, Zone Bars, Emer’gen-C (in raspberry flavor only!), gum, cough drops, deodorant, a bandanna, a towel, one pair of ballet shoes, cell phone, Chapstick, iPod, Theratube (for stretching), wallet, sunglasses, Red Flower Oil, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, hair gel, massage ball, foot roller, tape for his ankle, keys, organizer and a red pen. Says Cook, “I have to write everything down, because otherwise I might forget.”