At first when I was asked to describe how I break in my pointe shoes and prepare them for the stage I was perplexed. The reality is not much at all! Most ballerinas (including myself up until last year) have a very religious routine to what they do to make the shoe fit perfectly. Each individual dancer’s foot is so unique that no two dancers use the exact same process. Some glue the box and use shellac to make the shoe last longer. Others may darn the tip of the shoe for better balance, break the shank, sew the sides down… the list goes on and on.
I was one of those dancers until I was in New York one summer finding myself at a standstill with my shoes. I just couldn’t seem to find the right pointe shoe for my foot. I was discouraged and unable to find the perfect match. Many shoes may have looked beautiful yet I wasn’t able to perform in them, or they were great to dance in and just didn’t look right. Some died more quickly than I could sew a new pair, had me preparing them daily, hurt my feet, didn’t look as beautiful, or were just the wrong fit.
While in NYC a teacher had told me that I should wear either Freed or Bloch. The only problem with that was every pair of Freeds or Blochs I had ever tried just didn’t do me any justice. Nothing against Freed or Bloch as some of my favorite dancers bring so much life to the stage wearing them. They just did not work for me.
I needed a shoe that not only looked beautiful on my foot aesthetically, but was also comfortable enough to dance in forty hours a week and without dying after one class! I finally came across my match in Gaynor Minden. Some dancers don’t believe that this pointe shoe is any good. In fact, the topic between ballerinas, teachers, and coaches is very controversial.
I agree to disagree; this shoe has changed my career. Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are far from traditional. They are like Mac and PC. They do the same thing in the end but are just different technology. Both are computers and some people prefer one to the other. I happen to be a modern day American ballerina and I feel very proud to have the opportunity to grow in these particular pointe shoes.
The pointe shoe is a ballerina’s tool, and are most important item in my dance bag. I came back from FHL and ATFL surgery on my left ankle in 2010 and needed a shoe that was extremely supportive yet supple enough to help me gain back my flexibility and line. I have fallen in love with wearing Gaynor Minden’s. They offer me everything I need as a ballet dancer. They are consistent and last a long time so I can spend more time perfecting my work and artistry while spending less time worrying about my pointe shoe.
I first started out wearing a stock Gaynor Minden shoe then a few months later they started making me a custom shoe made specifically for my feet and the specs that I needed to have the best line. All I have to do now is un-wrap them, sew on my ribbons, elastic, and I am all set.
Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are not like the traditional pointe shoe. They are a completely new technology and generation of the pointe shoe. If dancers are evolving like they are, then why not the pointe shoe? That’s exactly what Gaynor Minden has done. They were tired of how painful all the pointe shoes were and how they would die so fast. On an average pointe shoe, you get to a place where it is broken in perfectly and that moment lasts for such a short time. With Gaynor Minden, it is always the same. I know what I am getting when I put that shoe on. I love that my shoe has a consistency I can rely on, especially in a career where the rep demands are so diverse.
Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are made of an elastomeric shank and box, cushioned moisture control lining, and a flat free of pleats bottom. They are also made to be extremely quiet with Poron, “an impact shock absorption system”. I cannot say enough amazing things about this shoe. What I love most about the way I prepare my pointe shoes is that it is so minimal which creates less anxiety and more time for fine tuning what matters the most, which is what we bring the the stage.
Thanks to this innovative pointe shoe, few stitches with a needle and thread and I am good to go! Simple, clean and a new take on tradition.