Have you ever wondered what to do with your old pointe shoes? The delicate but sturdy satin shoes you’ve danced in for hours on end eventually wear out and lose their structure to perform on. As a ballet dancer, I understand firsthand that our pointe shoes don’t last forever, but I do believe the beautiful memories created in these shoes can be everlasting!
“Never judge a dancer until you have walked a mile in her pointe shoes.”Unknown
Each pair of my pointe shoes has a special meaning. These shoes have been with me during my dance journey as my classical ballet vocabulary has grown through the years of numerous classes and choreography. In the studio and on stage, almost every single pair of my dance shoes hold a lovely dance memory for me. From breakthrough moments to landing an exceptional number of pirouettes, I even remember pointe shoes I wore for some beautiful moments in time dancing on stage such as the very first time I took the world-renowned stage of the David H. Koch Theatre in Lincoln Center in New York City for the YAGP Stars Gala or the pair of pointe shoes I chaineé-ed in and battement-ed across the magical open-air theatre in Italy of the Nervi Music Ballet Festival!
Dance is an art like painting or music or acting. With so many different branches of art, I love to find new ways to create. A dancer’s pointe shoes are very special to them. My favorite way to preserve these meaningful pairs of dance shoes is to turn them into art.
“Forget the glass slippers, this princess wears Pointe Shoes.”Unknown
From performing arts to visual arts, you can turn your pointe shoes into an art project as a fun way to express yourself and immortalize your dance memories. Take a pair of pointe shoes that is worn out or that you want to display to remember your favorite moment on stage and use paint, sparkles, and more to create something gorgeous! Read on for some tips for channeling your creativity into your shoes.
When it comes to turning your pointe shoes into a newfound art piece, the most important thing to remember is to have fun! As Henri Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” Find your inspiration and follow it! You can choose an original theme you love, a color palate to guide your design, or just take your paintbrush and follow your instincts. The worn-out and faded satin of your pointe shoes can be totally transformed with some imagination, acrylic paint, and a paintbrush.
Make It Unique
Once your paint has dried, you can add some new paint on top to decorate with a second coat of paint. This is the time to add designs with a detail brush. You could even paint on an important date or the name of a routine that is special to you.
Make your old pointe shoes sparkle and shine again—literally—with new decorations! You could add vibrant rhinestones in rainbow colors, gems, glitter, ribbon, faux flowers, shapes, beads, and appliques! There are so many options for how you can approach this project and make your shoes unique and beautiful.
“I think classical ballet dancers dance on pointe because they’re simultaneously touching the earth and reaching up to the skies.”COELHO
Tip: After long hours of dancing en pointe, your retired pointe shoes have collected plenty of dirt and sweat. You can spray them with a spritz of perfume if they need a scent refresh!
Finish off your (like) new pointe shoes by painting the ribbons or replacing worn-out ribbons entirely with new trimmings! These really are the bow on top of the perfect gift. Meaningful and memorable, your shoes are now a new work of art.
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”Edgar Degas
Your “new” decorated pointe shoes are an art piece and keepsake, the true definition of a conversation piece. Mine are on display, and they put a smile on my face every time I get to appreciate their newfound beauty transformed. If you don’t want to keep your pointe shoes, you can also give decorated pointe shoes as a gift! After all, the holidays are in fabulous full swing, and it is the season of giving! Give the gift of dance to someone special. The final product of this project is definitely standing ovation worthy.
A pair of pointe shoes to treasure. Isn’t it incredible to see them go from hours gracing the stage to a perfect pointe shoe art piece? Show us your revived and rescued pointe shoes! Tag me (@royalcouturexo) and Showstopper (@goshowstoppermagazine) on social media with the hashtag #RoyalCoutureXShowstopper to share your creations.