In any profession there are always hacks you learn along the way - here are ours ...
Not for haemmorrhoids but for numbing toenails ! A lot of people assume we get a lot of pain through blisters but actually it’s the toenails that can make us wince ! This cream has saved a lot of shows. There was a run of Swan lake Shows and I don’t know how I could have done them without this cream !
We darn the end of our pointe shoes as it gives more of a platform when you are on the toes. It also makes the shoe ‘last’ a bit longer as the toes after time can go very soft.
Soft cream cheese
A lot of dancers, in particular, in Germany swear by this soft cream cheese for bunion pain ! They pile a load on their bunions before they go to bed and wrap it with cling film. The next day all swelling disappears!
We cut our ballet tights
We cut our tights for all kinds of requirements. The heel is cut so I have extra grip for my pointe shoes. The toe area is cut for two different reasons. Firstly I can plaster my toes with ease ( and use that haemorrhoid cream ) without taking the tights all the way off. Secondly it makes me feel the pointe shoe more with less sliding around.
Floor polish - Shellac
Pointe shoes don’t last long. They are made of papier mache and get soft over time. To preserve the lives of our shoes (or to delay the inevitable sewing!) we swill the shoe inside with shellac and let it dry. A couple of layers of this brittle liquid means that the shoes will last a show or if we are lucky, an extra few days!
To hide from the audience that we actually do cut our tights we apply pancake ( make -up ) to fill in the hole and make it look smooth. Simple.