Web Exclusive - Ask Amy

I generally break my pointe shoes quickly, and some of the people at my studio glue theirs to make them last longer. Does this really work? If so, where should I glue them exactly? —Juliae  
Yes! I am an avid shoe gluer—in fact, I don’t know how I got by without it in the past. Not only do my shoes last longer, they maintain their shape better. Since industrial-strength superglues, like Jet Glue or Daniel’s Pointe Shoe Glue, are pretty strong and noxious, use them sparingly and carefully to avoid skin contact. And make sure you don’t purchase conventional superglue in gel form—it doesn’t dry smoothly and will leave hard, crusty lumps on the inside of your box.

Where to glue differs from person to person depending on where you need extra support. For instance, the tips of my boxes soften and warp quickly, so before I even wear a new pair I squirt a small amount of glue inside the tip. As they break in, I gradually add more inside the box, leaving the metatarsal and bunion area glue-free so I can fully articulate my foot through demi-pointe. Once my shoes are near death, I add a bit of glue to the canvas material adjacent to the shank for extra support around my arch. Of course, what works for me might not work for you. Some dancers add glue directly to the shank, while others squirt a small area of the arch on the outer sole. You may have to do a few trial runs before you figure out what works best.

A few things to keep in mind: Don’t go overboard—only use what you absolutely need or you’ll end up with a rock-hard, slippery and seriously uncomfortable brick on the end of your foot. Avoid spilling glue on the drawstrings at all costs because once hardened, they will snap right off, and watch out for debris or loose threads inside the box (I carry a square of sandpaper in my dance bag to help smooth out any prickly spots). Leave plenty of time for the glue to dry before wearing your shoes again to avoid damaging your toe pads (and toes!). And lastly, this stuff spills like crazy and wreaks havoc on your dance bag—in fact, one of the zippers on my backpack was glued permanently shut after my bottle leaked. Make sure the cap is securely closed, keep it in a baggie and store it on a flat surface, right side up.

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