How Do You Customize Your Pointe Shoes?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, March 13, 2020

Photo: Hummel

Thank you for the question, Misslilydoesballet

As many ballerinas have said before me and will say after me… “It has taken me years to customize my shoes.” And it’s true! It has taken me years! Luckily, I am currently very happy with them.

My Shoes are Freeds. (Always and Forever)

I wear maker, V. I have worn this maker ever since I became a professional. Nearly thirteen years!! I love my maker V. I hear, he has become quite popular and now it’s extremely difficult to become a new customer of his! Go maker V! He is magic.

I currently wear size 5 and a heel pin, XX. (for a long time I wore 5 1/2 X… but my bunions grew.) :/

FREED. 5. XX. V

I use a leather insole. I loooove my leather insole. I have Freed cut the sole so it is only 10cm long. DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU’VE BEEN IN POINTE SHOES FOR YEARS! This is extremely dangerous to do if you are young or new to pointe. By cutting the insole, it takes out all of the support in the shoe that protects the feet and ankles. It’s a little crazy. I admit it. I dance with very little actual shoe. You can only do this if you have trained your ankles to be strong. Very strong. *Don’t try at home.*

My leather insole.

I have cut down the sides of my shoes so the arch of the foot is shown more. This was one of the first things I did when I started to customize my shoes so I don’t even remember how much it is that I cut down.

Lastly, I use an elastic draw string!

These shoes have given me some of my absolute BEST memories. I am so grateful for them. Truly love what I do.

Photo: Hummel

xoxo,
-Hol

How Do You Tie Pointe Shoe Ribbons?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, October 25, 2019

Thank you for your question, andreeaunicorn.

Here is a photo series taking you through, step by step, on how to tie your pointe shoe ribbons. It’s a little tricky at first, but in no time you will be tying your shoes in a matter of seconds. I hope this is easy to follow! Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below!

Step 1. I’m putting on my left shoe.

Start by putting on your pointe shoe while sitting on the floor. Bend your knee and slightly flex your foot so it lifts off the ground. Make sure each ribbon is free on either side of your shoe.

Step 2.

Take only the ribbon that is on the inside of you foot and leave the other ribbon alone to begin with.

Step 3

Drape the ribbon across your ankle and bring it around the back of your ankle.

Step 4

Keep going around the ankle…

Step 5

Continue around the backside of the ankle again. (So the first ribbon goes around your ankle 1.5 times)

Step 6

Your right hand will keep holding on to the ribbon that you’ve been working with. Now, with you left hand, pick up the other ribbon.

Step 7

Drape this ribbon across your ankle, the opposite way, creating an X on the front of your ankle.

Step 8

Continue with the ribbon all the way around the back of you ankle, and across the front. When the two ribbons are parallel with each other then you are done.

Step 9

Still with a bent leg, let your leg fall into the “butterfly” position so you have easy access to the inside of your foot. You are ready to tie your first knot.

Step 10

Tie a knot. Try not to tie a knot that is too tight. But the knot does need to be tight enough that it doesn’t unravel. I tie my knots directly between my ankle bone and my Achilles tendon.

Step 11

Tie a second knot.

Step 12

Now, grab both ends of your ribbons and lay them on top of each other to create only one ribbon.

Step 13

Fold the ribbon in on itself.

Step 14

Tuck the ribbon under all the layers of ribbon on your ankle.

Step 15

TIP: Before I go onstage, I always take a small piece of tape and wrap it around my tucked in ribbons. This way, I’m sure that my ribbons will not fall out.

Step 16

A piece of tape, about this size.

Step 17

Fold the tape over the ribbons.

Voila!

Voila! Now you have a shoe that is performance ready!! Just have to put on the other shoe.

xoxo
-Hol

How Many Pairs Of Pointe Shoes Do You Go Through In A Week?

By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Monday, September 2, 2019

I would say on average, I go through two pairs of pointe shoes a week. Some weeks my schedule isn’t very heavy, so I might only use one pair. Other weeks are extremely busy and then I may even need three or four pairs of shoes! I will round up and say that for one season with the Royal Danish Ballet, I go through 100 pairs of pointe shoes!

I prefer to dance in softer shoes. New shoes are a bit of a nightmare for me. I like the toe to be hard but everything else worn in. Which is why I try to make my shoes last as long as possible.

Sometimes, you just get a bad pair of shoes. So sad. I can’t tell if something is wrong with the shoes until after, I have spent 2 hours sewing and prepping the shoes. I need to try them in class, in turns to know. The center point needs to be good. There is no time for a weird shoe that takes you out of your turns! If the shoe isn’t good… it doesn’t get worn and another pair of shoes needs to be sewn.

Photo: Sofie Mathiassen

Fortunately, this doesn’t happen too often. I have customized my shoes more and more over the years which has definitely helped. Little shout out to all the wonderful people working at Freed making all the pointe shoes! We literally couldn’t dance without you!

When the weather is HOT, for example like last week, I can kill a pair of shoes in a day. Heat definitely creates a quick death to pointe shoes. They become too mushy to dance in.

Sometimes, you get a miracle pair of shoes! That is the best! I’ve never been able to quite figure out what makes a miracle pair so good, but every once in a while, there will be a pair of shoes that doesn’t die with a perfect balance point. When I danced as Henriette in Raymonda in 2017, I used the same pair of shoes for all of my 12 performances. I love when that happens!

Alice In Wonderland last year, was the opposite to Raymonda. I went through a pair of shoes for every performance. Alice dances on stage for nearly three hours in the warm stage lights, so the shoes simply, had no chance for a long life.

Photo: Politiken

Even after I consider a pair of shoes dead, I will keep them in my dressing room for several months. The shoes become hard again which is great because then I can get a second life out of them! I can use them for rehearsals during the day or if they are really good, even a show!

So many pointe shoes! I love them though. Speaking of which, I need to go and sew.
xoxo
-Hol