Inside Australian Ballet Principal Robyn Hendricks’ Dance Bag

February 2, 2020

When at home in Melbourne, Australian Ballet principal Robyn Hendricks carries a huge bag around the theater. “It has my whole wardrobe in it, and photos and parts of costumes,” she says. But while on tour, the South African–born dancer has perfected a pared-down version that fits into a Nike tote she picked up while performing in China. “It’s great for when we go overseas because it just crumples up and doesn’t take up too much room,” she says. Hendricks likes to pick up mementos everywhere she goes; her first-aid kit is housed in a pink panda pouch that she got in Japan.

But not all of Hendricks’ items come from far-flung places. For many of her pointe shoe needs, Hendricks turns to the grocery store. She wraps her toes in Chux, an Australian brand of woven, disposable cleaning wipes. “They really absorb all the sweat in my feet, and they’re super-cheap and thin,” she says. When sewing her shoes, Hendricks has also come up with an alternative to traditional thimbles. She cuts the tips off of rubber dishwashing gloves and uses those to protect her fingers instead.

The Goods

A triangle of dance bag items laid out on a wooden floor.
Quinn Wharton

Rows from left to right, from top:

Tom Ford perfume (“This is from my husband. It’s always the last thing I put on before I go onstage”), Bloch slippers, ribbons and elastics, wooden roller, darning thread, Bloch Elastorib ribbons, panda pouch with first-aid kit, granola bar, Fixomull tape, Nurofen Gel (“I put this on throughout the day to help with swelling”), sewing needles, spiky ball, physio tape, Bloch Elastorib ribbons, TheraBand, compression garment for knee, homemade thimbles, sewing needles, Sharpie, sewing pins, Freed of London Studio pointe shoes (“I carry about six or seven pairs with me per day. On tour, half of my suitcase is filled with shoes”), magnesium powder (“I take this before a show, mixed with water or apple juice to make it taste a bit better”), 2nd Skin (“I have an injury on my left foot, so I wear this every day to protect a bone”), Chux Original Superwipes, grape electrolyte supplement, Freed of London Studio pointe shoes.