Show and Tell: Inside Evelyn Kocak's Dance Bag

Published in the October/November 2013 issue.

Evelyn Kocak photographed for Pointe by Nathan Sayers.

Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Evelyn Kocak isn’t exactly high-maintenance. “Just give me pointe shoes, some warm-ups and my grilled cheese and I’m good to go,” she says.

That’s right: Her must-have dance bag item is a grilled cheese sandwich. “I get them almost every day from this little family-owned diner near PAB’s new building,” she says. “They’re about $2—which is what a grilled cheese should cost—and delicious.”

It’s especially easy to be low-maintenance when your crafty fellow company members can outfit you from head to toe. “I never have to go shopping!” Kocak says. She has skirts designed by soloist Abigail Mentzer, legwarmers by corps dancer Holly Lynn Fusco and leotards by former principal Martha Chamberlain. “I’ve done photoshoots for Martha and Abbie’s companies, too,” she says. “Somehow I’ve become PAB’s go-to model.”


“I’m sitting here in full makeup with a fan blowing my hair—and eating a grilled cheese. I feel like Liz Lemon.” —Evelyn Kocak


The Goods
Exercise ball, leotard by Chamberlain (Martha Chamberlain’s company), tights, Band-Aids, sewing supplies, pointe shoes, tote bag (“I danced at Staatsballett Berlin for four years, and they made bags like this one out of the old banners that used to advertise ballets on the front of the theater”), skirt by Abigail Mentzer Designs, legwarmers by Fusco Knitwear (Holly Lynn Fusco’s company), Voltaren Gel for pain relief, tape, corn pads, hair spray, hair brush, red lipstick (“for when I want to get a little glam”).