Ballet Training

Ask Amy: How to Superglue Pointe Shoes

Photo by Lambtron, via Wikimedia Commons

Can you superglue your vamp? I am new to pointe and don't know where to apply it. —Amanda


Industrial-grade superglues, such as Jet Glue and Satellite City Original Hot Stuff, can extend the life of your pointe shoes. But you have to be smart about where you apply the glue—and use it sparingly! The liquid comes out fast and can be very messy, so squirt lightly and carefully. It's always better to apply too little and add as needed—too much glue will make your shoes rock-hard and slippery. (And you don't want to accidentally glue your fingers together. Trust me.)

Many dancers glue the toe area inside the shoe's tip and the material around the shank for reinforcement. Try to avoid bunion, metatarsal and drawstring territory, though. You need to be able to articulate those areas when you flex and point. Stiff, dried glue against your joints will not only make it hard to do that, but it will hurt and can cause blisters. Some dancers with flexible feet also like to apply a patch of glue to the outer sole where the shank breaks.

Pro Tip: When used carefully,

superglue can extend

the life of costly pointe shoes.

Everyone's feet are different, so it will probably take some trial and error before you figure out where and how much glue to add. I liked to wear new shoes once to break them in a bit before gluing; other dancers I know apply it before their first wearing—it all depends on your needs. For best results, glue your shoes the day before you plan on wearing them to give it time to cure. Lastly, make sure you store the liquid in a small plastic bag to prevent spills.

Have a question? Send it to Pointe editor and former dancer Amy Brandt at askamy@dancemedia.com.

News
Erin Baiano, Courtesy Vail Dance Festival

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
From left: Duncan McIlwaine and Joseph Markey rehearse a new work by Gemma Bond. Rachel Papo.

The members of ABT Studio Company straddle two worlds: student and professional. On a March afternoon, as the dancers rehearse for a work choreographed by ABT dancer Gemma Bond, they appear more the former: Clean academic leotards and tights reveal coltish legs. But as soon as they launch into the piece (which later had its New York City debut at The Joyce Theater), it's evident how close these dancers are to a professional rank. Their movements and expressiveness grow bolder with each entrance. Soon they're sliding to the ground in floorwork and swirling confidently in daring lifts. "This group is particularly brilliant to work with," says Bond. "Each dancer seems to have something interesting in the way that they move, which made the creation process a little more of a collaboration than some of my other works."

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
Karin Ellis-Wentz and Joffrey Ballet Academy of Dance student Elliana Teuscher. Courtesy The Joffrey Ballet.

"Hopping on pointe is a bit of a weird feeling," says Karin Ellis-Wentz, head of pre-professional programs at the Joffrey Academy of Dance in Chicago. But, she adds, it's a skill advanced dancers need "because it's in so many variations." Here, she takes us through the techniques and exercises that help her students master this necessary trick.

Keep reading... Show less
The Royal Ballet's Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez in La Bayadère. Photo by Bill Cooper, Courtesy ROH.

Do you ever wish you could teleport to London and casually stroll into The Royal Opera House to see some of the world's best-loved ballets? Well, we have a solution for you: The Royal Ballet's 2018-19 cinema season.

Whether live or recorded, the seven ballet programs listed below, streaming now through next October, will deliver all of the magic that The Royal Ballet has to offer straight to your local movie theater. Can you smell the popcorn already?

Keep reading... Show less