Pointe Shoes with Laura Hidalgo —
Principal Dancer with Queensland Ballet
A ballerinas relationship with her pointe shoes is an important one. Find out how Principal Dancer Laura Hidalgo prepares her pointes below.
What is your preferred style of shoe?
I’ve been using the same shoes for nine years now. My feet are tiny, I use a 3 ½ double YY with a 6cm vamp square box. They have a wide throat so you can see more of my feet, the sole comes already three quarters cut. Shoes you can change your whole balance so I like to always use the same shoes for rehearsals and performances.
How do you customise your shoes?
All I do to customise my shoes from the stock shoe is open the throat to show more of my foot. Once I’ve sewed the ribbons on I take the extra inner sole out and shave the sole with a knife until it is really flat. I hammer the box to make the demi point easier and make them quieter when I walk or jump. After a day or two I add glue to the sole to make them harder and last a few more days.
How do you break in your shoes for a performance?
It depends on the role I’m dancing as to how hard or soft I like my shoes. For classical ballet I usually like them really hard so tend to use a new pair per show.
How do you protect your toes?
I tape my big toe every day and use an ouch pouch and a toe spacer.
Have you ever had a pointe shoe malfunction?
I’ve always been very careful at sewing and preparing my shoes for shows. I’ve never had any malfunctions on stage. I never go on stage without putting ‘rosen’ on my heels and sewing or taping the ribbons. Hopefully I can keep the malfunctions away until the end of my career!