Inside Miyesha McGriff’s Dance Bag

February 14, 2023

Collage Dance Collective member Miyesha McGriff carries a piece of home with her wherever she goes—in the form of her dance bag. “It’s from Kansas City,” she says, describing the tote as a comforting memento of her Missouri hometown. But she’s always on the lookout for new options. “For me, it’s all about the bag,” she says. “I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta find the next one.’ ”

McGriff’s striped, multicolored legwarmers, crocheted by fellow company dancer Fábio Mariano, may be the most unique items in her bag, she says. “He makes great things, and I want to support my friends.”

Miyesha McGriff's dance bag items, arranged on the dance studio floor.
Photo by David Roseberry

The Goods

On her toes: “I wear Freed pointe shoes, and because I am a brown ballerina, I spray-paint my shoes instead of using makeup on them.”

Must-haves: “I cannot get through my day without my PerfectFit pointe shoe inserts. I also keep a skirt and warm-ups with me, and my water bottle, heating pad and booties.”

Pain relief: “I like to have my topicals that I need to get through the day, and definitely something like Advil. I have calf compression sleeves and ankle supports to help when my legs get tired sometimes.”

McGriff is wearing pointe shoes and standing in fourth position, with her left leg bent and left foot on forced arch. She is wearing a purple leotard and a multicolored dance skirt with shades of purple, pink and green. Her dance bag reads, "Made in Kansas City."
Photo by David Roseberry

Always prepared: “I keep a notepad in my bag, and a sewing kit for my pointe shoes in case something snaps.”

Foot care: “I use a foot roller and massage balls in different textures and sizes.”

Wellness boost: “I am huge about Liquid I.V. powdered-supplement packets at work. When I caught COVID last February, they really helped me get back. Ever since then, I’ve kept them on me, and I always have them when we’re out and about.”

McGriff is smiling at the camera as she sits in her dressing room in front of a mirror. She is wearing a purple warm-up jacket with her name embroidered on the left side. She is surrounded by her dance bag, mug, flowers, books, a black tutu, pointe shoes, other dance wear, and cards and drawings.
McGriff in her dressing room. Photo by David Roseberry

Snack: “It doesn’t really matter what kind of snack, but there’s always something like a granola bar or nuts.”

Staying balanced: “I try to keep an essential oil close by. I use peppermint, and I usually like lavender or some type of calming oil to help keep me centered throughout the day.”