Staying en Pointe

Staying en PointeStaying en Pointe is what a ballerina strives for. Getting your first pointe shoes is what every little girl dreams of. Pointe shoes are the extension of the female dancer, transforming them into ethereal beings, into wilis and sylphides. They are the right of passage of every aspiring ballerina.

Lianne Turner of CNN asks Tamara Rojo to share her knowledge of the most important tool a dancer uses in her performances.

Staying en Pointe

They are the most important element of a ballerina’s costume: Pointe shoes, which allow dancers to stand on the tips of their toes, can make the difference between an amazing performance and a dismal show.

“You really need to have someone who knows how shoes work and knows what you need,” said Tamara Rojo, Principal Dancer at Britain’s Royal Ballet, who has been wearing Freed shoes for almost 20 years.

According to Rojo, a good pair of pointe shoes is essential — both physically and psychologically.

“A good pair of shoes makes you stop thinking about it. You are free to dance, to do what you have been working on for weeks and weeks … you can really achieve something special.”

But, says Rojo, a bad pair can not only hamper the technical ability of a dancer, but can cause irrevocable damage to their feet.

But making pointe shoes is a delicate and painstaking process.

As you will see in the video below where you’ll follow the process from beginning to end.

Video source: YouTube, courtesy of DanceChannelTV.

This clip was shot in the Freed factory in London and in the studios of Dutch National Ballet in 2005. The dancer is Yumiko Takeshima, a former principal dancer of Dutch National Ballet.

Did you imagine so many steps in the construction of a single pair of pointe shoes? All for the love of staying on pointe!

This is one of many pointe shoes companies, but one of the most well known. I’ll be exploring another company, Gaynor Minden, which uses new technology and happens to be the pointe shoes I wear.

For now, if you found this video fascinating help spread this article with your Facebook friends by clicking “Like” and “Share” below.

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About Romy Macias, Senior Editor

Romy danced with the Ballet Clasico de Queretaro Fernando Jhones for 10 years having reached 1st soloist position. She presently takes on character roles and teaches at the company's junior academy. This site is a testament to her passion for classical ballet. You're invited to be part of our community and join in the joy for this amazing art form.


  1. Louise Myers says:

    What a lovely story and video! Sharing it…

  2. Donna says:

    Oh how I wish ‘new’ shoe technology had been available when I was dancing!!!!!!!

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