Viral Videos
Still via YouTube

Master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop chats (in Korean!) with Joffrey Ballet artist Gayeon Jung before a performance of Anna Karenina earlier this year to hear all of her pointe shoe hacks and customizations. Jung shares her thoughts on Gaynor Minden verse Freed, why she rotates between different shank strengths, and the joy she felt when she saw her name stamped on the bottom of her shoes for the first time.

Health & Body
Matthew Henry via Burst

I never seem to find the right pointe shoes. I break them in very quickly, even with hard shanks. My teachers think it's because my feet lack strength. Should my shoes be more supportive? Or should my feet be strong enough to pull myself up in my pointe shoes (rather than relying on them to hold me up)? —Anna

Keep reading... Show less
Trending
Iiona Virgin via Unsplash

This week, master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based ThePointeShop answers another of your pointe shoe questions: "How come my pointe shoes fit perfectly at the fitting and don't anymore at home?" Lee explains the ways that your feet change throughout the day and the year, and the importance of trying your shoes on under different conditions.

Ballet Training
Getty Images

This week, master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee of the California-based The Pointe Shop answers another of your pointe shoe questions: "I personally don't have very flexible feet. I started pointe a year ago, so I was wondering if you could talk about fitting for inflexible/beginner feet?" Lee explains the importance of ankle verse foot flexibility, and tips on what to do if you're not getting all the way over the platform of your shoes.

Viral Videos
Photo Courtesy Lee

A few weeks ago, we shared the first five vlogs from master pointe shoe fitter Josephine Lee's West Coast tour. Now, Lee is back with videos from four California cities—Morgan Hill, San Francisco, Roseville and Oakhurst—to wrap up her 20-day tour. Lee shares a bit about the training at each studio, as well as advice on what dancers should look for in their first pair of pointe shoes and what to do if your feet are very different from each other. Lee also touches base with a physical therapist for advice on the most common pointe shoe injuries. Later this summer, Lee will take her wares to summer intensives around the country—stay tuned!

South Valley Dance Arts in Morgan Hill, CA

Lee reports from the suburbs of San Jose on the diverse training methods at South Valley Dance Arts, which range from Balanchine to Cecchetti to Ukrainian folk dance.

Keep reading... Show less
Your Training
Thinkstock.

Bianca Bulle was always prone to ankle sprains. When she was 18, her recoveries became more complicated: She started experiencing Achilles tendonitis due to muscle weakness and fluid buildup in the ankle. "The last thing to get back to normal would be my Achilles, which was so incredibly tight and painful," says Bulle, now a principal at Los Angeles Ballet.

The Achilles is the body's largest tendon, attaching the bottom of the calf muscles to the back of the heel. It contracts and releases as you relevé and plié, as well as when you jump and even walk. Tendonitis, or inflammation, of the Achilles is one of the most frequently reported overuse injuries among active people, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. You'll know it by the pain or tightness at the back of the heel. If the condition gets bad enough, the tendon can rupture, which requires surgery to fix.

Achilles tendonitis is especially common among dancers on pointe, but it's not inevitable. With rest and proper conditioning, you can work to avoid it with careful technique and a commitment to cross-training.


Boston Ballet School pre-professional students. Photo by Igor Burlak Photography, Courtesy Boston Ballet.

What Causes It?

Keep reading... Show less
News

Stella Abrera (photo by Dylan Coulter)

Whether you're new to dancing on pointe, or have been performing for years, there's something for everyone at the annual School at Steps' Pointe Shoe Workshop. Panelists include American Ballet Theatre principal Stella Abrera, our editor-in-chief and former Suzanne Farrell Ballet dancer Amy Brandt, fitter Mary Carpenter, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Price and former ABT principal Ashley Tuttle.

Not only will each panelist be speaking on their area of expertise, but multiple pointe shoe makers will be on hand to fit dancers with different shoes. If you don't have access to an experienced pointe shoe fitter in your hometown, this is a great opportunity to try multiple brands and sizes of shoe.

The workshop will be held on February 7 at 6:30pm, at Steps on Broadway in NYC. Tickets are $15, but there are group/studio discounts available. Click here for more information!

For more news on all things ballet, don’t miss a single issue.

 

mailbox

Get Pointe Magazine in your inbox