How the Pros Prep Their Pointe Shoes

October 23, 2014

Ah, pointe shoe rituals: Few things are more fascinating—or more personal. Discovering the tricks that work best for your shoes and feet is part of figuring out your dancer identity. Should you crush your shoes in a door? Soak the boxes in water? Scratch up the soles? Three-quarter the shanks? Sew the ribbons on the inside, or the outside? These are seemingly tiny decisions, but they can make a huge difference in how you look and feel while dancing.

A couple of years ago, The Australian Ballet made a mini-documentary about how some of its dancers break in their pointe shoes. I missed the film when it first came out, but L.A.’s Music Center recently re-posted it, in honor of TAB’s October U.S. tour. It’s totally mesmerizing. As principal Amber Scott says, preparing your shoes is essentially a meditative process, as beneficial for your mind as it is for your feet—and the footage draws us right into that peaceful space.

Corps dancer Jessica Fyfe’s pointe shoes—before and after.

In other words, it’s the perfect “relax, it’s Friday” video. Take a look!