Tiler Peck in Balanchine's Ballo della Regina. Photo by Paul Kolnik, Courtesy NYCB.
Even if you've been wearing pointe shoes for years, chances are you have some questions. There are so many variables at play when it comes to finding the right shoe and making sure you're training safely.
And these panelists know their stuff: They include New York City Ballet principal Tiler Peck, podiatrist Dr. John Brummer, professional fitter Mary Carpenter, master teacher Gretchen Gunther, and Pointe's own editor-in-chief, Amy Brandt.
We’ve all tried to find the best way to three-quarter pointe shoes. Now, Mary Carpenter, a professional fitter based in New York City, has launched DancewithmaryNYC, a YouTube channel dedicated to answering pointe shoe-related questions. Besides having over 20 years of pointe shoe fitting experience, Carpenter is also a ballet teacher, a Pilates mat instructor and a former dancer who worked with David Howard for 23 years.
In Episode 1, Carpenter touches on how foot anatomy affects how one should customize pointe shoe shanks. Cutting the shank often weakens the shoes, but Carpenter shows that with simple tools such as a hammer, an anvil, some nails and glue, dancers can make their shoes more supportive and form to their feet.
Pointe has asked Carpenter about her inspirations and what is to come on DancewithmaryNYC.
Why did you start your YouTube channel?
I started the DancewithmaryNYC YouTube channel because I have found that there is a gap of information for teachers, young students, and parents in regards to pointe shoes. I have a large amount of experience and a diverse background in dance and want to share what I know.
What can audiences expect from future episodes?
We have future episodes on topics such as foot care and padding. There are also interviews with the dancers. Jessica Saund (a former American Ballet Theatre dancer) has agreed to do a segment, and Philip Martin-Nielson, principal dancer with Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, will do a segment about men dancing on pointe.