How Ballerinas Customize Their Pointe Shoes

  • Published on Sep 8, 2018
  • Olivia Boisson is a corps de ballet member with New York City Ballet. Boisson has been with NYC Ballet for seven years. As a corps member, Boisson dances 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week. She showed us how she customizes her pointe shoes for performances.
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    Following is a transcript of the video.
    Olivia Boisson: Hi, I'm Olivia Boisson. I'm a corps de ballet member with the New York City Ballet. Every dancer is trying to make their pointe shoe a part of them, so they wanna mold it to their foot as much as possible. So there's a lot involved to make that happen. It's really important, because we have them on from 10:00 a.m., to 11:00 p.m., so you wanna make sure that there's nothing bothering you. So you fix them and fix them until they're right.
    If I'm performing and rehearsing a lot, it could be up to three pairs a day. They aren't very strong when you're working with them all day. So, they typically do die pretty fast. Regular ballet flats are just, very soft. They're usually canvas, or leather. You can't go up en pointe with them. Pointe shoes are normally a bit harder so that you can get up on your toes. And men typically wear the ballet flats, and women normally wear them to warm up, but not always. Pointe shoes are around $80 to $90 a pair. At least that's how much they were when I was growing up. But the company gives all the pointe shoes for free, so we have as many as we need.
    Every dancer sews their pointe shoes differently. All to support your ankle in different ways. I put mine a little bit further forward, probably like an inch away from this seam. I'm just gonna smush the box. The box is where your toes go, and it's typically pretty tough, and pretty hard when you get a new shoe, and so you want it to be a little bit more malleable so that you can move your toes inside the box. So, I'm gonna smush them.
    I need to be able to move that part, so I'm gonna stick my heel in the middle, and pop it like that, so that, now I can bend this part of the shoe. This is called the shank. It's kind of like, your arch support. But you want it to bend, so that you can point your foot. So now they bend in here and they bend here, so it's a little easier for me to get my foot in there. Now I'm gonna bang them, because they're still pretty loud. And when you're dancing, it's very distracting. Alright.
    I usually will put a little Second Skin. They're like little gel squares. So, I usually put them at the tips of my big toes, 'cause that is where most of the pressure is when I'm en pointe, and then I tape them so that they stay on. And then I'm gonna put an elastic here, and then I'm gonna put my paper towels on. I just wanna get a good bend in my shoe, which is why I'm like, pushing them out like this. They feel pretty good.
    Alright, so now the bottom of the shoe is all, not as smooth, so it's harder to like, slip. So, this is rosin. You can like, smash it and it becomes powder and you kind of, just wipe your foot. Like, the edges that are slippery, and it's a lot less, slippery. Sometimes the very tip here will get very soft. So then I will use this hot glue to harden it back up again. That way you don't have to like, sew a whole new shoe. You can sort of make this last a little bit longer.
    Some dancers will put it on the outside. Sometimes they do that, to give it a little bit more support at the top, so that it's not so soft when you get up. With a new pair, it just really keeps you all the way up. With a dead pair, it'd get really soft in here. Everything would just be much more soft. So it's harder to dance hours and hours when the shoe isn't keeping you up. You have to do a lot more work.
  • EntertainmentEntertainment

Comments • 5 018

  • eunna lee
    eunna lee Hour ago

    guys in my class: omg ballet is so easy wowww
    me & other ballet dancers: WE HAVE TO BREAK THEM IN, BANG BANG BANG BANG

  • dirty shallie
    dirty shallie Hour ago

    damn I was expecting some gross ass feet. like blisters, callouses, sores, maybe even a removed toenail or two. but they're pedicured and match her hands and aren't even dirty.

  • K W
    K W 3 hours ago

    2:12 cronch

  • lauren omer
    lauren omer 6 hours ago +3

    cheer shoes: use them as long as you can, wear dirty ones with holes in them to practice, and wear brand new ones to comp
    ballet shoes: D E S T R O Y

  • elder poptart
    elder poptart 8 hours ago +1

    i love how the second and third things we see is her violently slamming the shoes against the wall, and then stepping on them until they make a concerning cracking sound

  • HexManiacMaylein
    HexManiacMaylein Day ago +1

    honestly im suppprised that someone hasn't come up with a better design for more durable pointe shoes that are also suitably flexible. its the 21st century we have the Enginereing knowledge.

  • Urbano Quiroz
    Urbano Quiroz Day ago +4

    She is so amazing

  • Shelbellm
    Shelbellm Day ago +6

    "Pointe shoes are very weak"

  • Adrienne Hepworth
    Adrienne Hepworth Day ago +3

    Am I the only one who thinks this girl looks kinda like Freddy from Ladylike?

  • Equinae
    Equinae Day ago +1

    I NEVER gonna do that with my pointes! i love

  • Dasha Purple
    Dasha Purple Day ago +1

    This is similar to the beginning on ASMR

  • Reonardo Ma Vinchi


  • Shiori Stapleton
    Shiori Stapleton Day ago +1

    I bet NYBs thrilled to know she smashes her shoes against the wall

  • Michi
    Michi 2 days ago

    Ballerinas should do ASMR

    FLARE THE DERPY SAVAGE 2 days ago +1

    i thought they were just soft little shoes, I WAS WRONG 100%

  • Madeline Lee
    Madeline Lee 2 days ago

    It hurts!! We just customize it to mold to our feet

  • macy howalt
    macy howalt 2 days ago

    ballet asmr

  • Maja Kovalski
    Maja Kovalski 2 days ago

    Am i the only one that like the sounds of Olivia destroying her pointe shoes? ;-;

  • Frex Simmo
    Frex Simmo 2 days ago

    Subscribe to PEWDIEPIE

  • Veneir Scholoria
    Veneir Scholoria 2 days ago

    4:29 that's the same thing we violinist/violist/cellist/double bass players use in our bows so we can make music. The only difference is we don't smash it

  • Ashley Castulo
    Ashley Castulo 3 days ago

    The thumbnail looked like a body...

    I should of read the tittle first😂

  • Alex Piscitelli
    Alex Piscitelli 3 days ago

    She’s like a chiropractor for point shoes

  • Nikki Peoples
    Nikki Peoples 3 days ago


  • Mr. Youtube
    Mr. Youtube 3 days ago +1

    When you play violin and she is smashing it onto her slippers and your just like NOO

  • Elise Caballero
    Elise Caballero 3 days ago

    i’m just gunna carry a pointe shoe in my bag now incase i ever get jumped 💀

  • maknae fictions`
    maknae fictions` 3 days ago

    if i did this,i'mma have cramps.

  • Kawohikukapulani19
    Kawohikukapulani19 3 days ago

    That’s icsactly my routine too

  • Kawohikukapulani19
    Kawohikukapulani19 3 days ago

    The New York City ballets princable dancer is Lauren Lovett or whatever

  • DINA
    DINA 3 days ago +1

    She is so beautiful❤

  • Nicolle Martins
    Nicolle Martins 3 days ago

    Loved it

  • It is Bella Ella
    It is Bella Ella 3 days ago

    I might be weird but I found this kind of satisfying

  • sky the wolf
    sky the wolf 3 days ago

    0:02 beat the shit out of it

  • charming ali
    charming ali 3 days ago +2

    0:02 asian moms

  • Diana
    Diana 3 days ago

    I think she broke them 😐

  • Greek_Fire
    Greek_Fire 3 days ago

    0:02 *When someone is in the bathroom but you need to pee*

  • Maiye Traore
    Maiye Traore 3 days ago

    0:01 When u don’t wanna do ballet anymore😂

  • YEET
    YEET 4 days ago

    0:02 bob Ross is * shister shooketh*

  • snatched sis
    snatched sis 4 days ago

    ahh the sound of pointe shoes hitting the wall

  • Lilli Dempsey
    Lilli Dempsey 4 days ago

    Who else thought ballerinas had to be gentle with their pointes???

  • Cupcake Fairy tales
    Cupcake Fairy tales 4 days ago

    2:58 me breaking my shoes cause they aren’t getting on my feet

  • Annie Elizabeth
    Annie Elizabeth 4 days ago +1

    I did not know this much went into pointe shoes, I’m on pre pointe right now and I don’t do that lol who knew

  • Ashley Chan
    Ashley Chan 4 days ago

    I really want to try pointe! I’ve been learning normal ballet for 5 years now and I wanna try pointe

  • Emily Le
    Emily Le 4 days ago

    Watching her break in her shoes give me ptsd, reminds me of being broke and tired

  • Slime life Sliiime
    Slime life Sliiime 4 days ago

    I want to dance in ballet but I will never be able to do it 😭💔

  • Anna's Bibliotheca
    Anna's Bibliotheca 4 days ago

    I am sure that principle ballerinas get their shoes fitted by professionals.

  • Hanna EWR
    Hanna EWR 4 days ago

    3 each day?!

  • Sillebrity
    Sillebrity 4 days ago +1

    Her *vOice* *CrAcKs* a *LiL’* *BiT*

  • V D
    V D 4 days ago

    (0:02) *Teacher walks in* WHO BROKE THE WALL AGAIN?

  • Ayla Scammell
    Ayla Scammell 4 days ago +1

    I don't care how many shoes you go through, the question is: HOW MANY WALLS DO YOU GO THROUGH? That cannot be cheap.

  • Lunaeau
    Lunaeau 4 days ago +1

    Ballerinas: *crushes rosin*

  • janice zhcng
    janice zhcng 4 days ago

    0:02 *every five year old on halloween*

  • Cynthia Urrea
    Cynthia Urrea 5 days ago

    Wonderful very interesting 🥰👏🏼

  • Anne Horwitz
    Anne Horwitz 5 days ago

    Poor wall look at 2 :57

  • Carys Alpaca
    Carys Alpaca 5 days ago

    I started ballet when I was 6 but a year later I sprained my ankle and it never healed properly so now I tap dance.

  • それはだだまされてはいけない

    "How ballet dancers customize their shoes"
    *aggressively beats shoe against wall*

  • K F
    K F 5 days ago

    Tbh this sound weird but u don’t have bad feet u like other ballerinas

  • Katy bailey
    Katy bailey 5 days ago

    I love all the 13 year old who think they know better than a professional ballet dancer

  • Ani
    Ani 5 days ago

    why cant came alredy ready to use

  • Tip Life
    Tip Life 5 days ago

    What shoe does she have? I have triple x grishkos, my first pair was block and my foot isn’t meant for that but when I got my first pair I couldn’t bend any other Shenk Enough to go up. Those lasted a year and the box on the right foot on the back edge rounded out and I couldn’t do anything. Im on my second pair and I’ve had them since the beginning of summer lol, I hate seeing the elastic the most I always mess it up 🤣🤣🤣

  • Lps Nyan Cat
    Lps Nyan Cat 5 days ago

    I wonder if my friend does this
    Also is there certain rosin for the shoes or do you just use the same as we use (string instrument players)

  • Mariana Moreira
    Mariana Moreira 5 days ago

    Jesus Christ she doesnt wear a point pocket!!! She doenst wear a silicon point pocket!!! Warior!!

  • Cute Cupcake
    Cute Cupcake 5 days ago

    0:00 - 0:08 thats some good ASMR lol

  • Daniella Tadifa
    Daniella Tadifa 5 days ago

    Okay.. I actually thought that ballerinas would literally use the tip of their fingers on their feet. To tip-toe while dancing. Never knew about that box thingy inside the shoes!

  • Jkangie Amjk
    Jkangie Amjk 5 days ago

    **slams shoe into wall**

  • Gabby STAR
    Gabby STAR 5 days ago


  • Gabby STAR
    Gabby STAR 5 days ago

    People: Ballerinas are so grateful all the time
    Olivia: *hardcore slaps her shoes to the wall*
    Shoes: *_oof_*

  • BURPYflatulen**
    BURPYflatulen** 5 days ago

    ... she just ruined the drywall!

  • BURPYflatulen**
    BURPYflatulen** 5 days ago

    She's like killing someone. Reminds me of Ava in Ex Machina.

  • Luna T
    Luna T 6 days ago

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ THANK YOU!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Charlie Mayne
    Charlie Mayne 6 days ago

    Who knew delicate looking ballerinas could be so HARDCORE??? 🤷🏾‍♂️

  • Clare Mal
    Clare Mal 6 days ago

    My friend Kylie is part of the New Jersey ballet and when I went to see her in the nut cracker she had to use her point shoes and after the show I was backstage with her and she got a new pair of them and she was banging them on the floor and it was such a weird thing

  • Bea Rhee
    Bea Rhee 6 days ago

    the best part is destroying them (i used to put them through the door lol) AND THE RESINE

  • Moshe Dabash
    Moshe Dabash 6 days ago

    She's beautiful

  • Kool.Kaitie
    Kool.Kaitie 6 days ago

    This is satisfying asf

  • Josephine 22899
    Josephine 22899 6 days ago


  • Angelica Ruiz
    Angelica Ruiz 6 days ago

    I mostly danced barefoot or with socks so I cant confirm it but I heard that pointe shoes hurt so much that they could destroy your feet, is it true?

  • Kylah Sikkenga
    Kylah Sikkenga 6 days ago

    This reminds me of when gymnast have to break in a new pair of grips

  • Slimer Вокуева
    Slimer Вокуева 6 days ago +1

    Я балерина 🙋🙋

  • martin brockwell
    martin brockwell 6 days ago

    0:02 my mom with a flip flop

  • Cooking Up Content
    Cooking Up Content 6 days ago

    Why mess up the wall doing that lol?

  • Arlene Posadas
    Arlene Posadas 6 days ago

    Yay I’m happy because I’m not the only army watching this. Is it because jimin used to do ballet too?

  • laura -
    laura - 7 days ago

    Please donate money to the Royal Ballet of London so they can still get their ballerinas pointe shoes! The company needs pointe shoes but they’re pretty expensive. Without them, dancers would be like birds without wings.

  • Gaming With Kittens
    Gaming With Kittens 7 days ago +1

    How to break in pointe shoes- destroy then

  • Gaming With Kittens
    Gaming With Kittens 7 days ago +1

    My pointe shoes are too tight and it hurts A TON to get through one class

  • devsy
    devsy 7 days ago

    I’m a ballerina but I’m not in a company nor am I a professional (just 14 ;__;) so I was very surprised to see this ! My dance teacher always gives us time to break into our new shoes (since our feet keep growing, we get new ones a lot) maybe this is something the professional ballerinas do? I don’t know,,, I just know that if my shoes ever become too broken in after time, I have to get new ones. This is so weird to me ahh ;w; it’s cool though !

  • emily ramsland
    emily ramsland 7 days ago +1

    I’m not a dancer at all, im just interested in watching these types of videos, so i thought the intro was a joke😂

  • Kittencatperson
    Kittencatperson 7 days ago

    I always wanted to be a ballerina but sadly my parents will never be able to afford it and now I'm over the age range... doesn't stop me from watching videos like these though!

  • Emma Ladd
    Emma Ladd 7 days ago

    She is gorgeous

  • Tati Jenkins
    Tati Jenkins 7 days ago +1

    2:55(I would hate to mess with that girl 😂😂)

  • lizzy atilano
    lizzy atilano 7 days ago

    Are all ballerinas flat chested ?...

  • MC_PRINZ _
    MC_PRINZ _ 7 days ago

    aand *crACK* pop it like that

  • Sarah Mobarak
    Sarah Mobarak 7 days ago +1

    Could she use an ouch pouch then a paper towel?

  • Era Lulaj
    Era Lulaj 7 days ago

    2:55 when my wifi is not working on my phone 😂

  • Gedersss
    Gedersss 7 days ago

    I just started ballet. Shouldn't she put her heels down when she lands from a high jump, or coming/going to/from a/on (demi) point. I heard its bad for your feet not to fully land on your heels..

  • Lucas Sales
    Lucas Sales 7 days ago

    omg she is SO beautiful

  • Melody Fitz
    Melody Fitz 7 days ago

    2:55 it looks like you got so mad of Your pointe shoes that you started to break them😂

  • Vloutiful TV
    Vloutiful TV 7 days ago

    Ok, I'll just stick to painting and singing... what a shocking revelation.

  • Ambytata 83
    Ambytata 83 7 days ago

    I hate how some people think ballet is easy, it’s not.

  • Syd
    Syd 7 days ago

    I don't know how she goes on point with paper towels and not toe pads, I would die without my toe pads not to mention my spacers

  • Hotaru Tsuchigumo
    Hotaru Tsuchigumo 7 days ago

    Какая-то не балетная фигура честно говоря