Ballet Stars

Sara Mearns' Visit to the Freed Factory Will Give You a New Appreciation for Your Shoes

While in London gearing up for her debut in The Red Shoes this fall, Sara Mearns used her day off for another dance-related activity—visiting the Freed of London factory. And we're glad she did, because it's pretty fascinating. Freed has been hand-making pointe shoes they produce since the company's founding in 1929, and Mearns popped by the Hackney factory in East London to watch the makers at work. Sharing the whole trip on her Instagram, Mearns reminded us all just how much work goes into making sure your shoes are absolutely perfect.


"It was on my bucket list to get a tour of the factory where these extraordinary men and women hand-make, start to finish, all of the pointe shoes we wear at @nycballet," Mearns wrote on Instagram. "Not only did I meet and watch multiple makers build shoes, but some of my shoes were sitting at the end of line waiting to be shipped off to NY."

"These men and women are part of the reason I can be the dancer I am today," Mearns added. "As a ballerina, our pointe shoes are sacred, and I am so grateful to these makers for the love and devotion in our shoes."

This will definitely give you a whole new appreciation for your pointe shoes (even if they do give you blisters). And if you want to check out even more behind-the-scenes on your shoes, check out this video from Freed.

Ballet Training
Kali Kleiman performing at YAGP's New York Finals. VAM Productions, Courtesy YAGP.

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Ballet Stars
Elle Macy in Benjamin Millepied's Appassionata. Angela Sterling, Courtesy PNB.

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Courtesy School of Pennsylvania Ballet

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