Along with an athlete’s daily training, the right equipment makes for the perfect performance. For a dancer, that’s the shoes. Did you know:
- That most of our female dancers wear pointe shoes handmade in London to each dancer’s specifications? Everything from the size, to the box, to the amount of glue used.
They run $100 a pair and can take up to eight months to receive.
- Once a dancer becomes a professional, they usually already
have a relationship with a shoe maker they like, and for the most part, stay
with that maker for most of their career.
men and women wear technique slippers, those are the flat shoes, made out of
canvas or leather. They cost anywhere from $20 to $40, depending on the
brand and style. And of course, each dancer prefers a certain brand and
style that they think looks best on their feet. These shoe last anywhere
from a week to a few weeks, depending on the what piece we are rehearsing.
longevity of pointe shoes is a little different. When a
dancer gets a new pair she "breaks it in"
to make it pliable, to be able to arch her feet. This involves anything
from cutting down the arch support (shank) to flattening the box, to sewing
the satin of the platform a certain way, each dancer does it
different. The idea is that she wants to break the shoe just enough so
it's not stiff, but not too much that it loses its shape and can't support her
while she's on pointe. And there are some pieces that the dancers
prefer wearing "dead" shoes, because they don't need the support.
With that said, a pointe shoe can last anywhere from a week to a few
- Ballerinas usually prepare several pairs
of pointe at a time, and rotate them so the pair that was used
yesterday has time to dry out and regain its shape. That's why they
always carry a bag full of pointe shoes.
- Sometimes, if they
want to revive a shoe, they use jet glue on the inside of the box to firm it up
What does all this mean? An annual shoe budget of more than $30,000 for our 23 dancers. But you can help make sure the dancers have what they need to exceed on stage—sponsor a pair for shoes for just $100! It’s a fun way to get involved and even own a piece of the production you will see on stage. Donate today and help us reach our goal of $30,000 in shoes this season.