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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pointe shoe overload!!


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So, I'm curious, what do you do with all those dead, smelly pairs of pointe shoes? So far, DD has kept every pair...including the ones she hated. Does anyone have any fun or funny ideas? I suppose I could spray paint them all gold or silver and hang them from our Christmas tree. Or, I know, I could paint them yellow, cut holes in them, and shoot them from a toy cannon during the battle scene in Nutcracker! LOL! Share your ideas...silly and serious alike! :P Thanks!

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My DD and her friends take off the ribbons and elastics, trim any shredded fabric, and decorate them with paint, gems, sequins, etc. She tends to create thematic groups based on various ballets--among others, we have Bayadere ones, Swan Lake ones, Cinderella fairies, and a pair of "ruby" slippers. Some are hanging on her wall, some she has personalized and given as gifts, and she has even been approached to donate some to her studio to auction off as fundraising. We have hosted after-class/rehearsal "decoration" parties, and the girls have a blast socializing and being creative.

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My DD has a "graveyard" of pointes hanging on her bedroom, each signed with her name, the performance or occasion if it applies, and the "date of death". She removes the elastics and stuffs them with colored tulle. We say that it's the most expensive wall in the house! It's also kind of an interesting way to keep track of how long each pair lasts, depending upon the circumstances in which they were used.

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We have always sold the signed pointe shoes from the professionals at our Nutcracker boutique. It's always such a hard time getting the shoes from the company so we only end up with 50 or 60 pairs. A couple years ago we ran out of professional shoes the first weekend of Nutcracker so we asked all the student dancers who have pointe roles to sign their dead shoes and let us sell them.


We wrap them in a little tulle and attach a tag with the role (Clara's Friends or one of the two other pointe roles for students in our show) and they sell just as well as the company member shoes! We were surprised at first that the student roles sold but if a little girls wants a pair of signed pointe shoes, she'll buy whatever we have.


The shoes sell so quickly that we are going to try to price them at $15 a pair this year, up from $10. $15 for stinky foot trash! It amazes me.

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Gracegirlz - the dancers sign their real name with a thin sharpie marker on the satin. We keep a box with a marker in the company dressing room. I usually just ask the moms to get the shoes from the student dancers. We print nice labels with each role and have a pointe shoe wrapping session where a few moms get together and wrap the shoes in tulle and add the label with a pretty ribbon. We have to go through the program to see the final casting for the company so the labels go on at the last minute.


Clara is usually the only one who will sign her real name then add "Clara 2013". Our production's Clara is a student (and usually a bit younger/smaller than the other students on pointe) so we only get a handful of Clara shoes each year. In fact, I have started to hide a pair each year because we have a mother who brings her disabled daughter to Nutcracker every year and the daughter always wants Clara's shoes. Last year and three years ago I had to get a pair of "Clara's" shoes in January and the mom came to the studio to pick them up - we didn't have the right Clara for the performance the family attended. Ah, the things we do for the Nut Boutique!

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We just toss them! We've saved a few and had thems signed but my daughter has large feet so her shoes aren't really very "cute" for decorating. We have a florist at the studio I work at who makes flower arrangements with pointe shoes and they're lovely. i like the cannon idea!! of course, we reuse the ribbons as much as possible.

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Another boutique idea: a Crafty Mom I knew spray painted them, applied sequins and attached them to lamp shades. These sold well at the store!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mine signs the date they went into service and when they are dead they go into a colorful basket she keeps in her room. She also created a Nutcracker themed wreath last Chirstmas and hung her first pair of pointe shoes in it.

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My DD has been in pointe for 3 years. She has kept every pair, signed start and death dates on the bottom. They now hang on her wall. She also used one pair during SI (2013) for all her friends to sign. thinking of making a wreath or swag with them in future.

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I saw a pointe shoe wreath online, and it was actually very cute.

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