Inside Ricardo Rhodes’ Dance Bag

July 22, 2022

Sarasota Ballet principal Ricardo Rhodes is known for his dependability as much as his artistry. Both qualities are represented by an unusual style staple: a safety pin, which he always wears on his dance shirt or pants in rehearsals.

“I think it started when I wanted to have a safety pin for my partner if her tutu was coming undone or something like that,” says Rhodes. “One of my friends was like, ‘No, it’s because you hold things together. You’re a safety pin. Your partner is always safe in your hands.’ That was such a huge compliment.” Now, the item has become his trademark. ”Everyone looks for it,” he says.

Ricardo Rhodes' warmups, socks, leggings, body roller, cologne, exercise band, ballet slippers, safety pin, skull, and dance bag.
Photo by Matthew Holler

The Goods

Dance bag: “I alternate. Usually, I wear a tote bag or a Coach travel bag. When I’m traveling throughout the city, I don’t want to have a big bag, so I’ll use the tote with things I have in class. My other bag has more space.”

Daily essentials: “I typically have two pairs of ballet shoes depending on what color I’m using for whatever I’m rehearsing, a pair of legwarmers and a sweat towel. Right now, I have tan ballet shoes by Só Dança and black warm-up pants by Repetto.”

Ricardo Rhodes carries his black dance bag. He is wearing a cream-colored, short-sleeved shirt, gray shorts and brown-and-cream-colored Oxford shoes.
Photo by Matthew Holler

Body care: “I have a TheraBand, and I always keep my body roller and exercise band with me to stretch.”

Can’t live without: “Probably my cologne [laughs]. Smell is important, especially when you’re dancing in really close proximity to people. At the moment, I’m wearing Chanel, but it changes. I also always need to have a pair of thick socks, whether I’m dancing in them or just wearing them around to stretch. I use them to keep my feet warm.”

Showing support: “I use products that my friends are involved with, so I have RubiaWear dance clothing by Ashley Ellis. My girlfriend has a line called Studio A. She makes knitwear pants and socks and things like that. I have gray body warm-ups from her company.”

Ricardo Rhodes holds and looks at a small turquoise skull given to him by a friend.
Photo by Matthew Holler

Good-luck charm: “I have this little turquoise skull that my friend Daniel Catanach gave to me on a trip. I keep it in my dance bag. I forget I have it there, but I always remember it during a show or when I’m getting something out of my bag.”