Posted by Rhiannon Pelletier under Advice
Q&A with Rhiannon Pelletier
I’m going to be going on pointe soon. What do you think about Gaynor Mindens?  Do you think they’re good shoes?
Emma -
Dear Emma,
Gaynor Mindens are very well made shoes. They are not my personal favorite, as I find they don’t allow the foot to articulate as well as I would prefer. It’s all about personal preference and the way the shoe fits YOUR foot. In 2007 and 2008 I had a stress fracture in my left foot during Nutcracker season (two different bones, two different injuries... My luck!). For extra support/cushion I wore Gaynors at that time. There are pros and cons to every shoe. Pro: Gaynors are great for balancing and turning with its wide, defined platform and they will last MUCH longer than a regular pointe shoe. Definitely more cost efficient. Con: there is limited mobility and the shoe won’t shape to your foot as well as they are made of plastic and not wood like most shoes.
Gaynor Mindens are a great shoe to start out with. Because of that wide platform it makes balancing easier and will help you get your feet underneath you (no pun intended) in pointe class. I would recommend giving them a try!
Hope this helps!
Rhiannon -

(For Megan)
Taking care of your pointe shoes is simple, but can impact the life of your shoes and your wallet in tremendous ways. Many people like to store their shoes by putting one inside of the other and even storing them in a bag, but this is not the most efficient way of storing our precious tools.
You want your shoes to breathe so the moisture they have absorbed from sweat and humidity can be released. They will become stiffer as they dry and this prolongs their lifespan. In the company dressing room at Maine State Ballet (my workplace) we are provided with rows and rows of coat hangers that aren’t used for their intended purpose. We hang our shoes overnight to dry out and get some fresh air. I even label my hooks as to where the shoes are along the timeline of their lifespan (they’re labeled: new/prime, dead, the shoes that are warped or no longer wearable for important rehearsals but still have enough life as to not be thrown away go on the demented but not dead hook, and I also have a hook labeled memorabilia for shoes from favorite roles throughout the years that I didn’t have the heart to get rid of). 
How long your shoes last greatly varies. It depends on how much you dance, the brand of shoe, and how much your feet sweat. During the summer sometimes I even put a rack in the dryer, lay my pointe shoes on it and literally dry my pointe shoes. There are many other tricks dancers use to prolong the lifespan of their shoes. Share your tips and tricks below!
Happy dancing!
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