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 • 6 370

  • ಠ_ಠピーチミルク
    ಠ_ಠピーチミルク 28 minutes ago

    So basically go sicko mode on the shoe.

  • Kelsey Sarrazin
    Kelsey Sarrazin 3 hours ago

    So interesting!

  • Fortnite GirlGamer
    Fortnite GirlGamer 4 hours ago

    Me: they are really pretty
    Her: 2:05 so I’m gonna smush then
    Me: don’t you dare
    Her: 2:07 *smushes shoes*

  • rad kid
    rad kid 4 hours ago

    the australian ballet version of this video is so soothing and satisfying, so I had that in mind when I clicked this one. cut to vicious scraping and banging the shoes on the wall lol

  • Elizabeth Gresham
    Elizabeth Gresham 6 hours ago


  • Ibrahim Sheikh
    Ibrahim Sheikh 6 hours ago

    The voice crack tho

  • Isabella Rock Star
    Isabella Rock Star 14 hours ago

    You are so brave

  • Zooa Ml
    Zooa Ml 17 hours ago

    0:02 yeah, you go girl!
    Get the devil out of it, yeah!

  • gypsijewel
    gypsijewel 17 hours ago

    wow, thats a lot of work.

  • Aarushi Sunil
    Aarushi Sunil 23 hours ago

    Wait, do people typically wear their leotards first and then put their tights on?
    Because I take ballet, and I usually put my tights on first and then my leotard, then move on to my skirt.

  • Kaylee & Cooper
    Kaylee & Cooper Day ago

    I don't understand it when people say ballerinas are soft, cute, and typically weak. I don't think people who say that understand how hard ballerinas constantly work and work and work. In not in ballet, by my friend is. She dances 6 dances, including ballet and she's busy everyday nonstop. Shes constantly in pain from ballet, but she works anyways. If you say ballerinas are weak, you have to go through my friend first.

  • Queen Ari
    Queen Ari Day ago +1

    Everyone: ballet is probably easy and its beautiful!


  • Лев Жиглов

    AND WHERE ARE HER TITS!?!?!?!?!!?

  • Steve Nelson
    Steve Nelson Day ago

    Wow. For a dancer you have beautiful toes

  • jbstaunton
    jbstaunton Day ago +2

    Ballet dancer:graceful
    Ballet dancers:shoe🥊

  • Olive Luniewski
    Olive Luniewski Day ago


  • anushke falconer

    Only for professionals!
    They use them quickly

  • Reign Hayes
    Reign Hayes Day ago

    The fact that she just uses paper towels and not toe pads or jellies or anything 🙃😭

  • chuqlipa
    chuqlipa Day ago

    I want to do ballet so bad, I started at 8 but only for a year, I didn't learn anything, I wanna start again and I'm now 13, my mom says I can do it but only for amusement, she says I'm too old to get into theatre or have a career, and she says I'm too big and my body isn't suited for ballet. I just want to dance FFS.

  • Sofia Abbamonto
    Sofia Abbamonto Day ago

    Wow, she looked like she was breaking them.

  • amaya
    amaya 2 days ago

    idk why but grande jete's are my favorite thing to do

  • ꧁Mistral꧂
    ꧁Mistral꧂ 2 days ago

    You have to abuse your shoes?

  • Seanna Sulbaran
    Seanna Sulbaran 2 days ago

    Poor shoe

  • Omedchazak613
    Omedchazak613 2 days ago

    Oh my feet hurt seeing them on their tippy toes.

  • Blossom Mutch
    Blossom Mutch 2 days ago +1

    00:02 what did the shoes do to you! 😭😭😭😭

  • Snow Girl
    Snow Girl 2 days ago

    When I did ballet lessons with pointe shoes, I remember having to buy combed lanbswool to pad my toes in the shoes, and carefully embroidering the ends with matching silk stitches to prolong the life of the shoes and add grip. The shoes are expensive, so it is interesting to see how to "abuse" them correctly!

  • E B K
    E B K 2 days ago

    I was practicing ballet for 4 years of my life....

    *what happened?*

  • Lucy McNulty
    Lucy McNulty 2 days ago

    I’m not a professional dancer, but I’m on pointe a lot. 😉 a recommendation I have is to sew a few pairs (I got for 2-3 pairs depending on what the dance load is like that day) before class or rehearsal. I would also say that rotating your shoe in between rehearsals helps a pair not die so quickly.

  • ally.
    ally. 2 days ago

    My question is how have companies not started doing this stuff already? Making the bottom rough, making the shoes less loud?

  • Jessley ._.
    Jessley ._. 2 days ago

    actual dance: elegant and graceful
    preperation: BANG SLAM CRACK SMUSH

  • Enchanted_Sketch 13
    Enchanted_Sketch 13 3 days ago

    You think ballerinas are so graceful but this tells another story

  • Elayna Patterson
    Elayna Patterson 3 days ago +1

    *smashes shoe into wall*
    Her: there, perfect.

  • Lyric Porter
    Lyric Porter 3 days ago

    I do ballet but I Done were point shoes

  • Lyric Porter
    Lyric Porter 3 days ago

    4:27 if you play strings you will know what that is lol

  • Catherine Whatsmylastname

    string players: gently applies rosin on bow, careful, don’t break it
    ballerinas: sToMp

  • Sasha_ Gabriella
    Sasha_ Gabriella 3 days ago

    Well now i get why you destroy them a lot as a ballefina

  • wig error 404 not found

    0:03 when ur mother gets ready to beat yo ass with her slipper

  • Arjay Baluca
    Arjay Baluca 3 days ago

    Hoooo they like destroying shoes. All my life i thought having a new pointy shoes is enough for them to wear and keeping it clean and still on the condition something like that ,all my life i thought pointy are comfortable as h*ll but no .

  • Vinsis Gaming
    Vinsis Gaming 3 days ago +1

    Am i the only one who heard the BIG voice cracks?

  • Emilie Smith
    Emilie Smith 3 days ago

    My dad was a ballet dancer, apparently when he was younger people slammed them in doors

  • Deborah
    Deborah 3 days ago

    Poor wall! In all seriousness, great video.

  • Elizabeth Massarella
    Elizabeth Massarella 3 days ago +1

    I have quite big feet and wide feet so it is hard for me tp go on pointe. I am currently on grade 12 for balley

  • Sara Buerger
    Sara Buerger 3 days ago


  • Alice Muttanbird
    Alice Muttanbird 3 days ago +1

    Shoe abuse

  • Sarah Liao
    Sarah Liao 4 days ago

    How can she not have toe pads or even lambs wool and still survive?

  • Meryam Ridouch
    Meryam Ridouch 4 days ago

    She literally DESTROYED that wall just by using ballerina shoes and did u her that crack of the shoe
    Olivia:we need to smush the shoe *crack* they're not strong enough


  • Fintan
    Fintan 4 days ago

    I got turned on by the video..... Sorry 😐

  • Dee Jay
    Dee Jay 4 days ago

    I wonder if the Makers know exactly what goes on with their shoes LOL ;D nice vid though

  • Always Assal
    Always Assal 4 days ago

    I always put these silicone things in my pointshoes and that feels so soft and it doesn't hurt that much. HOW CAN SHE PUT A PAPER TOWEL IN HER POINTSHOE?! THAT HURTS SO BAD!!!

  • Lucinda_xoxo
    Lucinda_xoxo 4 days ago

    Wow the work they go through to get the shoes right is incredible. Have always admired ballet dancers they are soo graceful and endure a great deal.

  • Iloise Maree
    Iloise Maree 4 days ago

    Poor shoes

  • joce bothon
    joce bothon 4 days ago

    take a shot every time her voice cracks

  • Lothar Wörfel71
    Lothar Wörfel71 4 days ago


  • Irenue _ Jurene
    Irenue _ Jurene 5 days ago

    I feel bad for those shoes man

  • xRosetta Yellowx
    xRosetta Yellowx 5 days ago

    0:03 abuse slipper :O

  • Jc S
    Jc S 5 days ago


  • Rachael Drucker
    Rachael Drucker 5 days ago

    I take ballet and I am like “gosh those are pretty feet!”

  • He who shall not be named

    As a point dancer I can confirm, we beat the devil out of your pai- I mean shoes! Personally, banging them on the ground is my favorite method.

  • Trishya Salvo
    Trishya Salvo 5 days ago

    The people who make these ballet shoes are probably crying right now

  • Euphoria Soul
    Euphoria Soul 5 days ago

    I thought it's gonna be graceful and soft and the first thing I see is her using spikes and bangging the wall like if she was boxing the shit out of it.

  • Renate Seldon
    Renate Seldon 5 days ago

    Love You! Dance On!

  • Juicing Julianne
    Juicing Julianne 5 days ago

    Very cool. I'm not a dancer but I'm so intrigued by the art of it all ❤❤

  • L Y
    L Y 6 days ago

    All ballerinas do that to their shoes?? Or just she??

    • angry Lemon
      angry Lemon 5 days ago +1

      It's different from dancer to dancer

  • Katrina Pereyr
    Katrina Pereyr 6 days ago

    guys stop its a normal thing for ballerina dancer if you would be in ballet you will understand

  • Madison Payne
    Madison Payne 6 days ago

    for all of these people who dont dance ballet, we have a lot of fun destroying our shoes. i dance with abt (sometimes) and when i'm in class girls are like jumping on their shoes and having a blast while i'm over here like quietly bending my shoes because i can't really manually break them in. uwu that made no sense have a good day. also im sick yay. ok opening up to strangers because no one irl loves me hahahah ok fr fr bye.

  • Lizzfizz123 Tdmt
    Lizzfizz123 Tdmt 6 days ago

    2:54 I’m dead

  • Romy
    Romy 6 days ago

    I don't know why but i watch this video Like 2 Times in a week😂🤷

  • Jennifer Hakanson
    Jennifer Hakanson 6 days ago

    As she beats the shit out of the wall too. Who fixes that?

  • Katie Munro
    Katie Munro 6 days ago

    She had such good technique and her lines are perfect! Also her feet are not destroyed which I don’t know how! When I’m did pointe (before I broke my ankle) my feet were covered in calluses blisters cuts bruises etc

  • obsessedwithwordsandcoffee btw

    you can tell she is a professional because she is almost killing her shoes so that they look very good. Our teacher always tells us we shouldn't break them that much.

  • Don’t Ask me
    Don’t Ask me 6 days ago +3

    Gorgeous girl and gorgeous feet!!!

  • Prasheta Deepak
    Prasheta Deepak 6 days ago

    Who needs a sledgehammer when you've got a pointe shoe.

  • Carrie Krout
    Carrie Krout 6 days ago +3

    *sHoE aBuSe*

  • abanana 2006
    abanana 2006 6 days ago

    00:03 *well this looks like it's gonna be an agressive video* 😂😂

  • Shaye Anstey
    Shaye Anstey 7 days ago

    Some of y’all have never worn your tights under ur body suit and it shows

  • Rachel Dannheisser
    Rachel Dannheisser 7 days ago

    This is my kind of ASMR 😂❤️😂

  • 큥바다
    큥바다 7 days ago

    I've never seen someone use paper-towels as padding before.

  • Abel Zeppenfeldt
    Abel Zeppenfeldt 7 days ago

    There are holes in the wall now

  • Libby Morgan
    Libby Morgan 7 days ago

    pointe shoe breaking asmr 😂

  • Fiorella Marinos
    Fiorella Marinos 7 days ago

    I use to be a ballerina and I know why she is talking about I can relate 😂

  • Fiorella Marinos
    Fiorella Marinos 7 days ago

    Wait I thought he point shoes had blocks of wood in the 🤯

  • Nicole Bjornsen
    Nicole Bjornsen 7 days ago

    2:56 oml you can see all of the dents in the wall lol

  • Q. Garvizu Castro
    Q. Garvizu Castro 7 days ago

    She is so pretty and talented

  • Velvetblue
    Velvetblue 8 days ago

    Never heard it's being smacked against the wall.

  • bindi06
    bindi06 8 days ago

    Had no idea ballerinas went through this to break in pointe shoes, but, isn't there a company that manufactures them at least halfway broken in?

  • idiot things
    idiot things 8 days ago

    fcking happy & proud to finally see a black ballet dancer!!!!!

  • Veronique Gamer
    Veronique Gamer 8 days ago

    “And now I’m gonna BANG them” I laughed so hard! 😂

  • Nusaiba Siddiqui
    Nusaiba Siddiqui 8 days ago

    Lol the struggle is REAL!!!

  • Nicole gaming, makeup vlogs and more

    Point shoes are so expensive in my studio you get 1 free point shoe a week if it "breaks" you buy one!!!!

  • Bunbunnys
    Bunbunnys 8 days ago +2


    *What life has got in store for me.*

  • Teh
    Teh 8 days ago +4

    Anybody else want an ASMR version of this?

  • L B
    L B 8 days ago

    For some reason this gives me so much ASMR...I've been scouring youtube trying to find all the ballet shoe mod videos I can find

  • harveythepooka
    harveythepooka 8 days ago

    These people are athletes, using modern training, physical therapy, medical assistance and on and on and yet they are using shoes from 1850.

  • Charnika Snelling
    Charnika Snelling 8 days ago

    I never knew it was a box in the shoe I thought they just bend there foot

  • Griffs’ Books
    Griffs’ Books 9 days ago

    Pointe shoe asmr

  • 7x7x7x7x721 REAL
    7x7x7x7x721 REAL 9 days ago

    This video should be named “Why ballerinas destroy their pointed shoes”

  • Hannah gregory
    Hannah gregory 9 days ago

    Why are they destroying rosin rosin is for your bow on violin veolla chello bass I play the violin

  • Katie Prowting
    Katie Prowting 9 days ago

    95% of the comments are about 0:02 😂

  • Jasmine Pomeroy
    Jasmine Pomeroy 9 days ago

    I'm so happy I got my Ribbons because next year I get my pointe shoes

  • Muhammad Mikhail
    Muhammad Mikhail 9 days ago