Show and Tell: Inside Sterling Hyltin's Dance Bag

New York City Ballet soloist Sterling Hyltin shows us how she keeps warm in class and more.
Published in the June/July 2006 issue.

Show and Tell: Inside Sterling Hyltin's Dance Bag

Courtesy of Andrew French

Sterling Hyltin, a member of New York City Ballet since 2003, the recipient of the 2005-06 Janice Levin Dancer Award (given to one of the most promising corps dancers) and now a soloist, was just getting used to carrying her dance bag again when she came in to have it photographed last fall. Returning from the company’s 11-week break, during which she spent much of her time in Florida, Hyltin brought everything she needs on a regular basis. First and foremost: her leg warmers, calf warmers and sweater. “I tend to get cold,” says the petite dancer, “so I usually wear them all together.” Another necessity is her arnica gel, an herbal remedy known for relieving pain, inflammation, stiffness and bruising. Hyltin uses it on her feet. “At the end of the day, I like to put this on,” she says. “It helps heal things. I put it on every night, mainly on the top of my feet, because that’s the problem area for me.”

the goods

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, leg warmers, calf warmers, planner to keep track of rehearsals, Dallas Cowboys T-shirt (“my favorite football team”), sweater, leotard (made by her best friend, NYCB corps de ballet member Ashlee Knapp), three pairs of pointe shoes, toe tape, toe pads, Anbesol, ballet slippers, pouch for hair accessories, Thera-Band, scissors, Pilates belt, bouncy balls, waist elastic, Peter Thomas Roth complexion pads, iPod, Jolly Ranchers (“my favorite candy”), arnica gel, L’Occitane lavender hand cream and Carmex lip balm.