Why I Love Pointe
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.
Even several years later, dancing en pointe holds that same appeal for many dancers. Here, some dancers and Capezio Athletes from around the globe share their love of pointe.
Why do you love dancing en pointe?
Tiffany Hedman, soloist with Boston Ballet, started pointe at age 10
“It makes me feel beautiful and elegant. I can transform myself into an ethereal being and become graceful in a world far away from ordinary.”
Michele Wiles, dancer and Artistic Director for Ballet Next, started pointe at age 11
“Dancing en pointe is amazing and challenging. You will feel the most free when you engage the body and lift out of the shoes, and that takes a lot of work every day. When I am in shape and my body is working properly, I can wear softer shoes and everything feels connected and right.”
Kayla Mak, dancer at Westchester Dance Academy, started pointe at age 9
“I like dancing en pointe because I get to learn new techniques, and I get to improve on my footwork.”
Olga Aru, Moscow Ballet soloist, started pointe at age 9
“It gives me another opportunity of expressing myself as a dancer. I also love doing a ballet class en pointe. It helps me to improve my qualities as a dancer and helps to strengthen my leg muscles and feel the natural balance.”
Tiffany Mangulabnan, dancer with Ballet Next, started pointe at age 9
“I used to hate it. It was painful and difficult for many years, but as soon as I strengthened the right muscles and learned to dance en pointe with ease, it became a very freeing experience. I have a sense of lightness and height on pointe that I rarely achieve in flat shoes.”
For you, what are your favorite steps or movements to dance en pointe?
“I especially love to do pirouettes en pointe – diagonals of turns en dedans, en dehors, and fouettés en tournant.”
“In class, I like turns and balances en pointe, mostly because they're easier to do on pointe than in flat shoes! But I love doing classical-contemporary work en pointe – big, luscious movement, off-kilter extensions and pirouettes, slides, drags en pointe, over-the-arch deep pliés – because it makes use of classical pointe technique but pushes it to another level, where you have to make use of every muscle fiber in your body. It just feels whole, and it looks awesome.”
“Doing a pas de deux is what I love most. There are endless possibilities to what you can achieve en pointe while dancing and sharing the stage with a partner. My favorite move would be any kind of turns with a partner! It's such a free and wonderful feeling.”
“My favorite steps en pointe are bourées and Italian fouettés because they are challenging and they make me a better dancer.”
“My favorite steps are turning and balancing. Of course, these elements are part of the larger picture, and it's great fun working on how I can be expressive through the technique.”
What pointe shoes do you wear, and why do you like them?
“I wear Capezio. I like them because they fit me well and look great on my feet. More importantly, they are so comfortable!”
“I use Tiffany Pro by Capezio because they feel very comfortable whether wearing them for rehearsal or performance. They are a very good quality and price too. Finding a solution for your pointe or demi-pointe shoe is an individual thing for everyone, and once we find the best quality that fits us, we are happy.”
“I wear Capezio Sylphide. I like the tapered box and the way the shoe hugs my foot when I am en pointe and when I am just doing a tendu. It makes a nice line.”
“I wear Capezio Contemporas that are custom-made for my feet. I love them because I feel comfortable and safe in them. That's the most important thing – that I can dance freely and easily! I have them made softer than they come, for suppleness, and yet they last and stay strong. I can do several pointe-crazy ballets in them and feel confident that they'll still hold me up.”
“I wear the Capezio 193 with my own special specs to make them form to my foot just perfectly. Why do I like them? I don't just like them, I love them. I need a shoe that I can trust when I'm out on that stage putting all I have out on the line. Capezio is absolutely 100 percent consistent and reliable. That makes my job easier to be able to relax and do what I do and not worry about if my shoe will be there to support me. As artists, we are always changing and adapting, and Capezio understands that process and changes and adapts with us.”