Houston Ballet principal Melody Herrera gets a little gushy when asked about her new dance bag by Sakroots. “I fell in love with it because it’s really colorful, and has a lot of homey, handwoven features on it,” she says. “It’s bright and eclectic, which is very me!”
The tote is packed with practical ballet-related items—nail clippers, warm-ups, pliers for removing nails from her pointe shoe shanks—but the one thing Herrera can’t live without isn’t among them. “I didn’t want it to spill in my new bag, but my Jet Glue is essential,” she says. “At Houston Ballet we’ve had a lot of talks this year about conserving pointe shoes, and Jet Glue helps them last much longer. I always put it just in the tip. I can’t stand it when pointe shoes get soft there.”
Herrera was on tour this June, dancing in the Ballet Across America festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC—which also meant being away from her 6-year-old son, Isaac. “I need something of his with me when I travel,” she says. So there’s an extra item in her bag: “Isaac gave me this little teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. It says, ‘Be Mine.’ ”
Teddy bear, Tupperware of makeup, pen, Visine, toenail clippers, organic hand sanitizer, iPod, watch, leotard, tights, warm-up pants, wool socks, Google myTouch, iPhone (“I’m definitely not a gadget queen, but I store my contacts in one and use the other as a phone”), bracelet (from frequent partner Connor Walsh), Sponge Bob golf ball (to roll out her feet), floss, reading glasses, The Taming of the Shrew (“I’ve been reading it because we’re doing the ballet next year”), two pairs of pointe shoes, pliers.