Your Moment of Dance Zen: Freed's Mesmerizing Pointe Shoe Video
There's nothing more beautiful, more glamorous, more elegant than a pointe shoe. But the creation of each pink satin shoe—the process by which canvas and thread and glue are hammered and sewed and baked into submission? It's so humble, so ugly.
And so eternally fascinating.
GROSS! But also, COOL! (inside the Freed factory; screenshot from "Freed of London Pointe Shoes - Introduction")
Seriously: I don't think I'll EVER stop being curious about the way the pointe shoes we live and die by are made.* Which is why I pounced on the video below, recently released by Freed of London. Positioned as an "introduction" to the Freed pointe shoe, it features totally mesmerizing footage of the creation process—in all its dirty, messy glory—and a ton of fun Freed facts.
For example: Freed pointe shoe production happens, start to finish, under a single roof. And the company's makers create 700 pairs of pointe shoes a day—a total of 48,000 standard and 112,000 custom pairs a year. That is...a lot of shoes.
It seems like only yesterday this shoe was a just pile of canvas and leather. Now it's standing on its own! *tear* (screenshot from "Introduction")
Here's my favorite factoid: While Freed of London was founded by cobbler Frederick Freed in 1929, it was Mrs. Freed, formerly a milliner (hatmaker), who improved the way the shoe was measured and cut. If you know how to fit hats to heads, you know how to fit shoes to feet, I guess.
Mrs. Freed, the hat/shoe expert (screenshot from "Introduction")
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.