When we are not rehearsing or sweating in ballet class, warming up in the practise room, squatting in the gym, practising our repertoire, having intense Physio, stretching in the Pilates room, fuelling up in the canteen, glamming up for shows, having wig fitting, or a costume fitting you will probably see us in a corner of a studio sewing ribbons on our pointe shoes! We go through a lot of ballet shoes in a season and they don't come ready prepared so we have to prepare and sew them ourselves. Although it is time consuming, dancers are very particular on how their shoes are sewn (where the ribbon lays on the foot, what type of elastic and how that elastic is placed on the shoe,) the list goes on. The more experienced you are as a professional, the more you work out what you need from your shoe. It's your tool and you need it to be perfect so it fits you like a glove. It took me 4 years to work out my brand of shoe and another two to work out what kind of thickness of elastic I needed. I know it sounds crazy, but the relationship between a ballerina and her ballet shoes is personal and very intense!!