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!