How much do you think a pair of pointe shoes cost? Go ahead, guess.
Between $75 and $100. And, they only last for a night or two’s performances.
When I was a ballet student—back in the mid to late 80s – they cost around $40 to $45 per pair. And we would do everything to get as much use out of them as possible, by hanging them to dry and shellacking the inside with floor wax to re-harden them. But still, it was expensive and stressful.
Even though I never became a professional ballerina, I can say confidently that ballet training was the single most important factor in my life (apart from my fantastic family, of course) in terms of shaping me into the woman I am today. I have ADD, and as a little girl, I couldn’t focus my eyes and sit still. Once I started ballet training, all of that changed. Virtually overnight, I became a disciplined young girl who could not only follow directions but knew she could achieve anything put in front of her by breaking it down into manageable steps, just like I was taught in ballet class.
Today, I dedicate my time and resources as a board member of Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH), a leading ballet company and school for dancers of color. DTH was founded by Arthur Mitchell (the first black dancer in NYCB) in 1969 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and has demonstrated that dancers of many hues cannot only perform ballet, but do so at the highest level.
It has always been my wish that I could fund one professional ballerina’s pointe shoe needs for an entire year and thanks to Go Mighty and Olay as part of its Challenge What’s Possible program, I now will. Even more exciting is that with this $3,000 grant, Dance Theatre of Harlem has the seed funding to launch its “Pointe Shoe Fund.”
Now, everyone on her or his feet, please. Standing ovation for Go Mighty and Olay!
Will you fund a pair of pointe shoes to help a Dance Theater of Harlem dancer? If you can, please head over here and select “Pointe Shoe Fund” in the Program Designation drop-down menu.