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.

The Conversation
Viral Videos
Brittany Cavaco in Until Midnight. Claire Morris, Courtesy Cavaco.

A white tulle dress, time travel, the Eiffel Tower at night... these elements come together in Until Midnight, a new dance film by Christopher Alexander of Zen Film Works. This eight-minute long vignette opens with Louise (played by Louise Schirmer), a former ballerina now living alone in old age. Through the delivery of a mysterious letter and a wristwatch from her past, she returns briefly to her youthful self, danced by former Washington Ballet dancer Brittany Cavaco. In a Cinderella-like twist, Louise has until midnight to find her beloved Jean Pierre (Sebastien Thill, former dancer with Paris Opera Ballet and Hamburg Ballet) for one last dance. According to Cavaco, all of the movement was improvised, created by herself and Alexander in each location.

Keep reading... Show less
Ballet Training
Peter Boal in class a New York City Center. Courtesy PNB.

"People have so much fear associated with arabesque turns," says Peter Boal, artistic director of Pacific Northwest Ballet. Here, he shares images and ideas to help you confidently master this advanced pirouette. "It's a real accomplishment when you can put it all together."

Keep reading... Show less
News
Ashley Bouder in George Balanchine and Alexandra Danilova's Coppélia. Erin Baiano, Courtesy NYCB.

Hollywood may have the Oscars, but ballet has the Prix de Benois de la Danse. Held every spring at Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, the prestigious international awards ceremony recognizes dancers, choreographers, composers and designers for their extraordinary work on and off the stage. This year's laureates, chosen by a jury, were announced during an awards ceremony last night, followed by a star-studded gala featuring many of the nominated artists.

Keep reading... Show less
Viral Videos
Still via YouTube

American Ballet Theatre principal James Whiteside is known for more than just his uber-charismatic presence on the ballet stage; He doubles as both the drag queen Ühu Betch and the pop star JbDubs. Whiteside's newest musical release, titled WTF, came out last week, and is for sure his most ballet-filled song to date. Both the lyrics and the choreography are jam-packed with bunhead references, from the Rose Adagio to Haglund's Heel to a framed portrait of George Balanchine. Not to mention the fact that he and his four backup dancers (Matthew Poppe, Douane Gosa, Maxfield Haynes and Gianni Goffredo) absolutely kill it in pointe shoes.

Keep reading... Show less