I just finished sewing my first pair of pointe shoes in two years! Yes, two years is a very long time between shoes! Typically a standard pair of pointe shoes only has about 8 hours of good life in them before they’re mush. A couple reasons why it’s been so long for me to finally get a new pair: First, I had my year off dancing while I recovered from burn out and tendonitis. Next, my more recent ankle sprain. The brand new shiny pair of shoes pictured in the photo above I ordered in the fall last year around the time I slipped and got the sprain that still haunts me. After getting injured there was no reason to sew them since I wasn’t really doing much dancing at all, let alone pointework. I even danced Nutcracker on my older shoes because they still had life left in them from barely wearing them at the beginning of the season. Finally I’m doing enough dancing and rehearsing that it was time to sew a fresh pair.
Another reason why I haven’t needed to sew a new pair so soon is that a few years ago I made the switch to Gaynor Minden brand pointe shoes (read about what makes them special: here). I had gotten fed up with forking over all my money on a new pair of shoes every other week, so when I heard from the other dancers in my company that they were wearing Gaynors for months at a time, I knew I needed to try them for myself. The transition was difficult because they really don’t feel much like the typical pointe shoe at first, but once I got used to them I really fell in love! Gaynor Minden shoes can last me 2-6 months or more depending on the type of rehearsals I do.
So, here’s a little pointe shoe pro tip: Reuse your ribbons! When I was finally ready to sew my new pointe shoes I realized that I had neglected to order new ribbons… No problem! All I had to do was detach some ribbons from an old pair, wash them, and sew them to my new pair! It’s always a good idea to take good care of your pointe shoe ribbons because if you keep them clean and from tearing and fraying, you can reuse them on a second pair of pointe shoes.
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Coming up I will be posting some more updates on how I am doing with rehearsals and my return to pointework. Some more tutorials are in the works too, so come back soon!