Inside Christine Shevchenko’s Dance Bag

August 1, 2023

American Ballet Theatre principal Christine Shevchenko’s dance bag keeps her prepared on the go. “I’m obsessed with Tumi foldout bags,” she says. They’ve been a favorite of hers for years. “They zip up into a little pocket. We travel so much, so I use one of them for my dance bag.”

Shevchenko also swears by her 360 camera, which she uses to film her rehearsals. “I find that it really helps to watch yourself back each time,” she says. “Then, you really understand what’s going on.”

  • Christine Shevchenko's multicolored water bottle, 360 camera, and personal care items.
  • Christine Shevchenko's Bloch boots, compression socks, resistance band, ballet slippers, sewing items, legwarmers, and Handi Wipes.
  • Christine Shevchenko's skirt.

The Goods

Shoes: “I wear custom Bloch pointe shoes. I darn them so that they’re more stable and less slippery. Sometimes, I’ll cut a little bit of the vamp in the middle and stitch that up so it gives the shoe a bit more flexibility. I also have flat shoes.”

Handi Wipes: “I use them as padding for pointe shoes. Love them.”

TheraBand: “I’ve used one since I was a little girl in ballet school. Before every class, I always do a bunch of TheraBand exercises for my feet. I feel like it really helps to warm them up properly, and to strengthen them and to get the articulation.”

Flexibility tools: “I have one of the stretch bands that you can put on your legs to stretch your extension and your splits. I also use it for my arms. I do a lot of arm and back stretching exercises, especially if I have something like Swan Lake coming up.”

Christine Shevchenko, wearing a dark red leotard and tutu, poses in a high ecarté position en pointe, with her right arm raised and left hand holding her bag. She is in an ABT studio.
Photo by Kyle Froman.

Body care: “I have a little first-aid kit with bandages, New-Skin, Neosporin, and things like that for blisters. I have a massage ball that I use to roll out any muscle cramps or sore spots.”

Laneige lip balm: “I’m obsessed with this for dry lips.”

Water bottle: “I have a very sparkly water bottle. I tend to lose my water bottles all the time, so I got the flashiest one I could so that I don’t lose it.”

Hydration: “I have Liquid I.V., Nuun tablets, or Pedialyte packages that I mix into my water to drink throughout the day for a boost of electrolytes.”

Christine Shevchenko poses with her dance-bag items and her dog, Rey, in an ABT studio. She is seated and smiling, with her face resting on her left hand.
Photo by Kyle Froman.

Snacks: “I always have a PowerBar because sometimes rehearsals can be endless and you don’t really have time to get food.”

Compression socks: “They really help, especially after rehearsals. You can put them on for inflammation.”

Accessories: “I have lots of hairpins and elastic bands. You can never have too many, and they tend to disappear a lot. I also have legwarmers and skirts.”

Bloch booties: “I wear them all the time. They’re my favorite thing.”