Inside Adji Cissoko’s Dance Bag

March 2, 2022

Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancer Adji Cissoko thinks pink. In her dance bag, “there are a lot of pink things, from workout balls to TheraBands,” she says. But her favorite item is the multicolored jacket she designed for her friend Kate Duhamel’s production company, CandyBomber. “I felt drawn to the Senegalese print, as it truly represents my bright and fun personality,” says Cissoko, who is of Senegalese and German heritage.

As part of a company with a demanding international touring schedule, Cissoko relies on a sense of inner groundedness. “I’ve learned to find home within myself,” she says. Still, her bag is filled with must-haves—and a little more. “I’m definitely an overpacker. The other day, I found this lip gloss that I’d randomly purchased, and I was like, ‘This needs to be in my dance bag, because who knows? Maybe I’ll need it!’”

The Goods

Photo by Michael Winokur

Essentials: “Booties, pointe shoes, flat shoes, a snack or tissues and extra shoes.”

Pointe shoes: “I have switched recently to Virtisse. I usually carry a few pairs, because you never know which will be the right ones for that night’s performance.”

Foot care: “I have this small elastic, and you can put it around your big toe. It’s to work on your toe strength and release bunion pressure. My Pilates teacher gave it to me about two years ago.”

Staying fueled: “I always have some kind of drink, whether that’s a smoothie or protein shake. Usually, I have it in my bottle and I drink it during class. That’s a must, on and off tour.”

One of a kind: “My bag is from a market in Senegal. I brought it with me from my last trip. It’s very different-looking.”

Cissoko in her self-designed jacket. Photo by Michael Winokur

Body balm: “IcyHot. Sometimes you’ll see me during barre, like, ‘My inner thigh hurts!’ IcyHot. ‘My neck!’ IcyHot. Automatically, I feel like I’m healed.”

Positive energy: “I have a crystal that my friend Kara gave to me. I keep it in my makeup pouch in my bag. I’ve had it for about six years. That presence makes me feel like, ‘Everything is there. I’m good.’”