Ask Amy - Web Exclusive

Help! I have painful corns on both of my little toes that never seem to go away. They pinch every time I put on my pointe shoes. Is there anything I can do? —Farrah

Corns look similar to callouses, but are characterized by a hard, cone-shaped core that burrows into the skin and presses on superficial nerves. No wonder they hurt so much! They develop as a result of excessive friction and pressure, and are divided into two categories: soft, which occur between the toes and are more exasperated by moisture, and hard (the kind you’re experiencing), which develop on the tops and sides of toes.


Chronic, unrelenting corns are a sure-fire sign that your pointe shoes are too short, too narrow or too tapered, so make an appointment at your local dancewear store to get refitted. Try different sizes, box shapes and widths and examine the pressure points of each shoe. In the meantime, invest in some moleskin or foam/gel corn pads and start experimenting with ways to redistribute pressure. When I had a terrible corn on my big toe earlier this year, I placed strips of moleskin adjacent to it (not directly on top) to absorb the pressure of my shoe. If they’re not too irritated, gently file your corns down after a shower or bath, when the skin is softer. Avoid chemical corn removal liquids or pads—they can eat away at healthy skin and cause infections. If nothing seems to help, or if you suspect your corn is infected, make an appointment with a podiatrist.

Latest Posts

Vikki Sloviter

Sydney Dolan Takes Center Stage at Pennsylvania Ballet

This is Pointe's Summer 2020 cover story. You can subscribe to the magazine here, or click here to purchase this issue.

Just days before the world shuttered under the strain of the coronavirus pandemic, and the curtain came down indefinitely on dance companies everywhere, Pennsylvania Ballet soloist Sydney Dolan debuted Gamzatti in La Bayadère with captivating ease. Her jumps soared, her technique was sound, and her cheeky smile paired with exquisite port de bras was beguiling. Though she didn't know the company would soon cancel the remainder of its season, her beautiful performance acted as a kind of send-off into the unknown.

Dolan's career could be described in one word: charmed. At just 19 years old, she's flown through the ranks at PAB, debuted a long list of roles, won a Princess Grace Award and been named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch." Yet it's her challenges that have shaped not only her training but her outlook, giving her a solid foundation for becoming one of Pennsylvania Ballet's rising stars.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Courtesy Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet Reconnects with Nature in This 5-Part Video Series

Earlier this month, Alonzo King LINES Ballet released the first in a series of five dance films, part of a new project entitled "There Is No Standing Still." The series features company members spanning 10 cities and four continents dancing amid their outdoor environments, in spaces ranging from quiet forests to rocky deserts to the ocean shore. While COVID-19 has put the company's normal activity on hold and forced the dancers to separate from each other physically, "There Is No Standing Still" allows LINES to create new material together in a different way. Directed by Robert Rosenwasser and edited by Philip Perkins, this installment of five short films incorporates choreography by artistic director Alonzo King and company dancers as they become one with the space around them. Check out the first two, released last month, below.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
VAM/Siggul, Courtesy YAGP

YAGP Has Announced the Winners of the 2020 Pas De Deux Virtual Competition

Last weekend, Youth America Grand Prix took to the internet, hosting its first virtual pas de deux competition. Over the course of three days, YAGP streamed videos from its regional events' highest-ranked competitors for a panel of esteemed judges. And, drum roll please... YAGP has just announced the winners, spanning three categories: Senior Classical, Junior Classical and Contemporary.

You can watch the full virtual awards ceremony, hosted by YAGP director of external affairs Sergey Gordeev, below, or scroll down for the list of winners. And if you're missing the thrill of competition, don't fear: Gordeev announced that registration for the 2021 season will open on July 10, with both in-person and virtual options available.

Congratulations to all!

Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks