Ballerinas Talk About the Agony of De Feet

Alison Stroming's feet (Lucas Chilczuk)

The Washington Post just ran a rather epic story about ballerinas' intense, inherently abusive relationships with their feet. And while a lot of it is stuff that serious dancers already know—getting up on pointe requires dancers to be as strong as football players, every dancer has her own pointe shoe break-in method, etc—the piece also includes anecdotal gems from the likes of Lauren Lovette and Julie Kent. (And some pretty photos of Washington Ballet dancers Sona Kharatian and Ashley Murphy.)


Our favorite story comes courtesy Kent, who talks about her utter panic upon finding out that her Freed pointe shoe maker was retiring. "I wrote him a letter," she told the Post, "and sent a photograph of myself in Giselle praying, looking very pleading, saying would he consider just making a limited amount of shoes for me a year." (It didn't work, for the record. She had Bloch copy the old design instead.)

Check out the whole story—and then click over to our "Feet First" feet-ure (see what we did there?) to read more about dancers' ever-complicated relationships with their hardworking feet.

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