(From left to right) Philip Martin Nielson as Siegfriend and Raffaele Morra as Odette in Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo's Swan Lake (Chiara Rainier, courtesy Les Ballets Trockadero)

Pointe Shoe Fitting 101—for Men

Josephine Lee, resident pointe shoe expert at The Pointe Shop in California, has found perfect pairs for quite a few men. Are you a male dancer hoping to try pointework? Here are Lee's tips for your first pointe shoe fitting appointment.


Make sure the shank is hard enough. "Men typically weigh more than women, which means the shoe has to stand up to more force."

You might have trouble getting up and over your box… "Men's ankles are often shaped rigidly to hold more weight, so you might have less flexibility in a pointed position."

…but strength is on your side. "You need a mix of flexibility and strength for pointework. If you're a guy getting good training, chances are you're strong."

Don't worry, they'll have your size! "Most pointe-shoe brands now offer a very wide variety of sizes. I still haven't had to order a custom pair, and I've probably fitted more men than most."

Speak up if you're uncomfortable. "If something is pinching or doesn't feel right, say something. Also, as a fitter, I never want you to feel like you don't belong."

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All photos by Joe Toreno. Grooming throughout by Lisa Chamberlain for The Rex Agency.

How Mark Kanemura—Artist, Activist, and All-Around Icon—Became Our Internet Dance Mascot

Twelve years ago, a baby-faced Mark Kanemura appeared on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 4. The Hawaiian-born dancer—whose winningly quirky style found a perfect vehicle in Sonya Tayeh's creepy-cool "The Garden" routine—quickly became a fan favorite. Kanemura made it to the Top 6 (Joshua Allen took the title that season), and a star was born.

But the world didn't know how bright that star was going to shine.

Fresh off "SYTYCD," Kanemura started booking jobs with Lady Gaga: first the MTV Video Music Awards, then the Jingle Bell Ball. Soon, he was a staple on Gaga's stages and in her videos, and he began to develop a dedicated fan base of his own.

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Dance Spirit followed JT Church, "Dancing With The Stars: Juniors" pro and "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation" runner-up, as he spent the weekend attending REVEL's "Rev-Virtual" online convention experience.

Hey guys! I have been a special guest faculty assistant for REVEL Dance Convention for the last four years. So I was excited to find out they'd be hosting a series of online convention weekends. With everything that's going on, I've been missing conventions so much. I knew it'd be great to be able to keep up my training.

Two of my best friends, Jordan and Taylor Goldberg—I dance with them at Club Dance—asked me to come over to their home studio so we could take REVEL's online classes together. Here's how it all went.

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It’s OK to Grieve: Coping with the Emotional Toll of Canceled Dance Events

Grace Campbell was supposed to be onstage this week. Selected for the Kansas City Ballet School's invitation-only Kansas City Youth Ballet, her performance was meant to be the highlight of her senior year. "I was going to be Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote, and also dance in a couple of contemporary pieces, so I was really excited," she says. A week later, the group was supposed to perform at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in NYC. In May, Grace was scheduled to take the stage again KC Ballet School's "senior solos" show and spring performance.

Now, all those opportunities are gone.

The COVID-19 pandemic has consumed the dance community. The performance opportunities students have worked all year for have been devoured with it. Those canceled shows might have been your only chance to dance for an audience all year. Or they might have been the dance equivalent to a cap and gown—a time to be acknowledged after years of work.

You can't replace what is lost, and with that comes understandable grief. Here's how to process your feelings of loss, and ultimately use them to help yourself move forward as a dancer.

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