Houston Ballet's Sara Webb Keeps Sentimental Treasures in Her Dance Bag

February 2, 2016

This story originally appeared in the February/March 2016 issue of

With frayed handles and re-stitched seams, Sara Webb’s dance bag is a little worse for wear. “I keep tying it and sewing it together on the bottom and the sides,” says the Houston Ballet principal, in her dressing room after a performance of Stanton Welch’s Romeo and Juliet. “I guess I’m a creature of habit.”

The woven plastic bag was a gift from one of her closest friends (former HB soloist Naomi Glass), and was originally meant for carrying light items back and forth across the sky bridge that connects HB’s studios to the theater. “But then I started using it all the time,” says Webb.

Among the usual items, like shoes, Thera-Bands and foot care supplies, is another gift from the same friend: a colorful wooden block by artist Kelly Rae Roberts. “It says ‘Kindness Changes Everything,’ ” says Webb. “The dance world can be kind of tough—sometimes we get a little selfish in our profession, so it’s a reminder to be humble.”

Photo by Amitava Sarkar for Pointe

The Goods

From right: tote bag; knee pads (“In Romeo and Juliet, we do a lot of stuff on the knee, so I sometimes wear these in rehearsal”); ballet slippers (“I always put my stinky shoes in a bag”); thread; Kelly Rae Roberts wood block; pointe shoes (“I don’t like to wear ribbons—I usually just use elastics”); Pepto-Bismol chewable tablets (“These are the best for when you have a bad stomachache”); tennis ball; Voltaren Gel; Thera-Band; iPhone (“I have kids, so I check up on them”); duct tape (“For when my shank breaks—the polka dot tape is from Michaels”); CDs; scalpel; candy; mints; makeup bags; family photos.