Siberian Swan Pointe Shoes-From Russia With Love

Ballerina wearing Siberian Swan pointe shoesI can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to learn about another brand of Russian-made pointe shoes, the Siberian Swan brand.  I would like to thank one of my  readers for sharing the information with me.

Siberian Swan. What an amazing name. I can almost imagine the dancer floating gracefully across the stage appearing to walk on air by the very tips of her toes.

There is a mystique and a certain expectation of quality when we hear that a ballet shoe is handmade in Russia. After all, Russian ballet training produces some of the finest dancers in the world. Grace and elegance epitomizes the flowing movements of both the Russian ballerina and the swan. The comparison is perfect.

The Siberian Swan Pipeline From Russia To The U.S.A.

The company debuted in the fall of 2016 as a collaboration between a former Bolshoi dancer and the Artistic Director of The Russian State Ballet Of Siberia. Because one of the founders lives in The United States, there is an immediate opportunity for American dancers to get their hands on ( and feet into) these shoes.

Pavlova, Karsavina And Spessivtseva


Siberian Swan has named their three models in tribute of  some of the most unforgettable Russian ballerinas the world has ever known; Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and Olga Spessivtseva.

I was able to get an answer from Siberian Swan to my inquiry about the differences between the Pavlova and Karsavina. The Karsavina has a slightly wider platform than the Pavlova. They also mentioned that the Spessivtseva model is for future development, although no mention of how far in the future this will be.

Vintage Footage Of  Spessivtseva

What Makes Them Unique And Innovative

These models have some unique qualities that make them different from other pointe shoes on the market:

  • Heel Construction-The inner heel portion has a little gripper flap Siberian Swan Pointe Shoesto help hold the shoe in place. There is also an elasticized drawstring that centers at the side of the heel for extra tightening.
  • Matte Or Traditional Fabric-You can order your pointes traditionally shiny, or go for the matte pancake look.
  • Standard Or Plus Platforms-Models are constructed with either a regular platform, or a slightly larger one based on personal preference.
  • Toe Covers-You can choose to add handmade toe covers as part of your custom order.
  • Cedar Oil Protection-The models contain Siberian cedar oil extract which has healing properties to protect irritated skin.
Siberian Swan Pavlova Plus

Pavlova Plus by Siberian Swan

It’s incredible how many choices they offer so you can get exactly what you need in a pointe shoe. Another fascinating quality about this brand is that they create a traditional handmade product with a lot of  innovative tweaks.

They offer many more choices with custom colors, four widths and three shank strengths.  Learn more about the custom model options on their official website, Siberian

Russian Flag

Боже, благослови Россию

What’s also inspiring is that all these custom choices don’t cost extra. It’s obvious that a lot of thought went into creating these choices; most likely from gathering information from dancers and because the founders are/ were dancers themselves.

What I love about Siberian Swan is that it is all about the shoe. No hundreds of categories of fluffy dance stuff, just gorgeous Russian-made pointe shoes.

Siberian Swan continues to innovate the design and construction of their brand. As quoted below from co-founder Alex Kedrov when speaking about their vision, they intend to perfect their design for the benefit of every dancer who needs the ultimate pointe shoe.

Taking quite a lot of experiments, and engineering to ensure support, durability, and the elegance at the same time. Another important thing, as you know, is ability to roll through the demi-pointe, so the pointe shoes are flexible enough while rolling through the demi-pointe, and strong enough to provide sufficient support while on pointe. Our shank is made of special plastic, so the shoes don’t need to be broken in. Active arch support on top of the plastic shank is our technology patented in Russia to provide support for ballerina underneath the heel while on pointe, so the weight is not on the toes only. It is incredibly interesting process.”


You can visit Siberian Swan on Facebook where they have more photos and updates of their shoe debuts/ fittings across the country. What do you think? Should we get excited?  I wish Siberian Swan much success with their company.


*2/25/18 Update: Comments are now closed due to excessive amounts of spam


Keeping Up With Sansha Is A Full Time Job

In between scouting the Internet for new brands, I try to make regular visits to the websites posted on the sidebar. Some manufacturers tend to have the same pointe shoe models year after year. Others, like Sansha, are growing their inventory so quickly, I can barely keep up.

I was stunned to see that Sansha has 8 divisions of pointe shoes each with their own collection of models: 600 Series, German, Essentials, Square Box, Stage Line, La Pointe Numero, F.R. Duvall and Academia Series. Wow!

Apparently, if you have feet that go on pointe, Sansha works hard to create a shoe for your foot type and expertise. Although some of my readers may have heard of the models I have listed below, they are new discoveries for me.

The 600 Series Celebrita Is Ready To Go

Sansha Celebrita


The Celebrita is advertised as a lightweight, ready-to-go model for professionals. From the picture, it looks like it has a low-profile toe box.  The shanks are light weight as well.

One thing I can say for Sansha is that they take lovely photographs of their shoes. The name Celebrita has a festive Spanish ring to it, don’t you think?

The Pointes Under The Essentials Category Make Me Feel Like I Am Touring Europe; No Passport Required

From left to right: Peterburg, Tchaika, Versailles, Prague. Can we say Euro-fever? I love the names of these shoes!

The Square Box Division Is An Interesting Concept

I had to think about this for a few minutes. Why would Sansha create a separate category for shoes that have square toe boxes? Most likely for the ease and convenience of the customer. With so many models, a customer doesn’t have to wade through dozens of tapered shoes to find square box alternatives.

Below: Square Box Allegro On The Left, Cadenza On The Right

The jaunty musical names of Allegro and Cadenza are so perfect for ballet. Although they both have square boxes, they have very different specifications. The Cadenza has a full-length medium shank and platform cover. The Allegro has a pre-arched 3/4 shank.



Sansha Pointes: Multiplying Faster Than Rabbits

Several pointe shoe manufacturers like Capezio, Bloch and Freed offer demi-pointe models for young students. I have yet to find one that offers more than  a few varieties.  The  demi-pointe models like the American & English Soft Toe and Selco are still available.

Acadamia Series: Eight Models With Three Advertised Demi-Pointes

Looking under this series on the Sansha website, you find the models Ondine, Katia, Raymonda and Myrtha  featured as having flexible memory shanks that are available in different strengths. Next is the Debutante which is recommended for first-time-on-pointe students.

When A Demi-Pointe Is Really A Pointe Or Vice Versa

Here is the interesting part: the Flor, Ghislane and Beatrix are labeled as dedicated demi pointes made for the first three years of pointe work. The models are on their toes. Has something changed in pointe shoe world that I need to know about?  Take a look for yourself @ Sansha Academia Series.

Selco Demi Pointe

The Shank-free Selco Demi Pointe

Demi-pointes have always been shank-less shoes with hard toe boxes that were not to be used for going on your toes. Sansha, please explain what a dedicated demi-pointe is. If they have shanks and you can go on pointe with them, aren’t they just regular pointe shoes?

Take the vote and tell me what you think:


2/28/18 Update: Comments are now closed on this post due to spam.

The Mayer BX1 By Studio Danza

Mayer BX1Recently, I made a single model discovery of an Italian pointe shoe with the interesting name Mayer BX1. To my old-fashioned ears, this sounds more like the name of a dirt bike or motorcycle, but that is just my ballet-shoes-should-have-girly-names preference.

The shoe is sold by a company named  Studio Danza in Casagiove, Italy. What’s interesting about their official website is that they not only sell their own model, but other pointe brands like Freed and Grishko.

The Mayer BX1  Is Supposed To Last 3-5 Times Longer Than A Traditional Paste  Pointe Shoe

Mayer BX1 SoleThis ultra-modern pointe shoe is constructed with a special type of flexible paste that has little to no break-in time and a sole design that immediately hugs the arch. According to the specifications, the BX1  paste material creates a moisture barrier that prevents it from breaking down as quickly as traditional pointe shoes. Like Gaynor Minden, the BX1 has shock absorbing thermoplastic toe boxes.

Studio Danza has a modern looking website.  They offer several categories of online PDF catalogs, but if you want to see the Mayer BX1, you can visit this link to the shoe PDF and scroll down to page 8.  You can also visit Studio Danza on their Facebook page.


Salvio’s Pointe Shoes-A Fond Farewell

For anyone interested in pointe shoe brands, watching new models appear and discontinued ones disappear is somewhat like riding  a wave. It can be disheartening to learn that a certain model will never be made again.

It is even more sad when a pointe shoe manufacturer is literally forced to close its doors after more than 130 years in business.  Salvio Dance Shoes of Australia will be no more.

So Much History, So Much Legacy

I see the founder of this company, Enrico Salvio, coming to Australia from Italy in 1881 and setting up his cobbler shop with dreams of supplying the dance world with his hand-crafted shoes. A labor of love and hard work; a new life in a new country.

Since 1881, Salvio’s had remained a family business. It was passed down from one generation to the next with his Grandson, Ted Salvio, passing it to his daughter.  Now, in 2016, this precious tradition has been laid to rest.

A Poignant And Touching Goodbye From Salvio’s Shop

Is The Handmade Pointe Shoe Business In Peril?

What happened to the Salvio company? Why did they choose to forever go out of business? According to this article, Australia’s last handmade dance shoe shop Salvios Shoes closes its doors, competition from cheap imports did them in.

Instead of outsourcing their work to exploit cheap labor and materials for a larger profit, they refused to compromise their craftsmanship, values and hands-on approach to dance shoe construction.

This says so much about the Salvio brand name and family. Enrico Salvio would be proud of his descendants for their unwavering dedication to the art of handmade ballet shoes.

Although Salvio has stopped production and closed up shop, any dancer who still has a precious pair of Salvio pointe shoes should hold on tightly as she not only has a collectible item, but a lasting legacy of one of the oldest manufacturers of handmade ballet shoes.

Salvio’s Pointe Shoes-1881 to 2016


Aux Fleurons De La Danse Of Paris

aux fleurons de la danse shop paris

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Paris shop front

In my world, few things ballet-related tug at my heartstrings more than the image of a solitary cobbler working quietly at his bench constructing a pointe shoe. Even though many reputable manufacturers employ large numbers of cobblers, there is something really beautiful about the lone pointe shoe maker who runs his own little shop servicing the individual needs of one dancer at a time.

Somewhere in the heart of downtown Paris, France is ( or was) such a shop. Here, a dancer could come in and have her pointe shoes made especially for her by Monsieur Dimitri Angelakov .

Who Is Dimitri Angelakov ?

From my hours researching the background of Monsieur Angelakov, I found only  bits and pieces of  his legacy online. There is a patent for the business name from the 1970’s. He is mentioned fondly on a French dance forum and on Facebook.

I don’t know his nationality or the journey he took to learn the craft of pointe shoe making. What I do know is that he was a very special man to the dancers who relied on him for their custom-made pointe shoes in that section of Paris.

Aux Fleurons De La Danse Translated Means:  The Jewels Of The Dance

There is something so beautifully personal about the relationship between a pointe shoe maker and his client. The care and love that goes into making each shoe is obvious in the video.

Each layer, each pleat, every brush of glue and turn of satin is gently and patiently tended with the delicate touch of an artist.

 These precious artisans are tucked away in obscure places, yet mean so much to the traditions of ballet.

As I write this, I am not 100% sure that Monsieur Angelakov is still here.  The last activity noted for Aux Fleurons De La Danse on Facebook was in 2011.  The web domain for his business,, expired last month.

Monsieur Angelakov in his shop

Although custom-made pointe shoes are available online, nothing can compare to knowing and talking to the person who makes your shoes. If Monsieur Angelakov has indeed gone to that big cobbler shop in the sky, somewhere on the streets of Paris walks many a broken-hearted dancer.



Janas Pointe By Rudoph

Map of Italy

Cagliari is on the southern tip of Sardinia

If you were a ballet dancer and happened to live on the Italian island of Sardinia, what type of dance supply shops would you have access to? If you happened to live in the vicinity of Cagliari, you could request a catalog from Rudolph’s to browse through in between rehearsals.

Some Company Tidbits

Since its founding in 2004, Rudolph has been the main supplier of Grishko pointe shoes on the island. Rudolph is a distributor that appears to only do business through online sales. It’s hard to say if they would allow a local customer into the warehouse for a personal fitting or not.

The company history makes no mention about the founder. Online research shows that the main website is registered to Alessandro Dessi, but that doesn’t mean he created the Rudolph company.

What Makes Rudolph Unique

Rudolph LogoAfter so many blog posts and years of research about pointe shoe manufacturing, I have learned that many companies begin with their own models, but start offering competitor brands that are more popular or mainstream with dancers.

Rudolph did it the other way around. As you can see on their official website,, the featured shoes are all Grishko models.  In January of this year, Rudolph decided to create their own model; Janas.

What’s So Special About The Janas Pointe Shoe?

Janas pointe by RudolphAccording to the debut advertising, the Janas pointe is strictly a professional shoe that combines a very lightweight construction with a flexible sole. The shoe is created with plastic polymer materials making it one of those “high-tech” pointe shoes.

It has a slightly tapered toe box with a u-shaped vamp. It is made to maintain  elasticity which means that it can bounce back without breaking down. One of the most interesting features is the mention of enhanced aesthetics because of the color.

Rudolph has it featured on its own separate website, Janaspointe.

The Janas pointe is described as a pinky-tan shade and slightly matte. This is supposed to make them blend in with tights giving the dancer a longer, leaner leg. I won’t start freaking out about this anti-satin-shine conspiracy just yet, but am aware that Chacott is also touting pinky-tan blend-able pointes of their own.

Long Live Lustrous, Lovely Shiny Pink Satin Ballet Shoes!

Okay, now that I have calmed down, I can proceed. I am tickled that we can see these shoes live on a video.  I wish every brand took  the time to do this.

To my eyes, the vamps look longer in this video than they do in the pictures. What do you think? They look like very pretty traditional paste shoes, but I see shiny satin instead of the advertised matte finish. 

I was thinking about the name of these shoes and how it relates to ballet. What is the meaning of the name Janas? According to one page on, the name is linked to creativity, boldness, high aspirations, energy and action. That sounds ballet-inspired to me.  * Read more about this topic on a previous post, Pointe Shoe Models-Does The Name Matter?

Feel free to comment and let me  know what you think about these shoes. Learn more about Rudolph on Facebook @ Rudolf Store Cagliari




The Catatac-Finch No Pain Pointe Shoe Concept

Controlling the ouch factor of dancing on your toes is right up there with finding shoes that fit and look aesthetically beautiful.  Dancers are always padding and wooling, taping and gel-tubing their hurting toes from the friction and impact of pointe work. At the end of the day, a dance student never knows what she will find when she peels off her shoes; a blister, a bunion, a bruise, or all three.

Pain Relief , Modern Materials And Technology

What if someone could invent a pointe shoe that is 100% pain-free? It’s a challenging task when you consider it.  In one of my earlier posts, I was stunned and intrigued by the concept design of the Nike Arc Angel.  Because my heart belongs to the traditional in ballet, these futuristic designs are head-shakers. Enter another shocker; the Finch No-Pain prototype.

Designed On A Computer, Not By A Cobbler’s Hands

Catatac-Finch Prototype By Dennis Finch

Catatac-Finch Pointe Shoes

Dear Pavlova, Perhaps it’s best you aren’t around to see this.

So, how do we make dancing on our toes completely painless? We create a pointe shoe that doesn’t allow any of our weight to go to the toe box. Eureka!

However, as you can see by this photo, it  takes major mechanical engineering to create moving parts from rigid material.  The general premise here is a pointe shoe that has a stiff structure like a ski boot and has a “ledge” under the heel bone to hold you up.

What the computer forgot:

  1. Few of us have feet shaped like an upside-down L that can rest on a ledge.  Movement causes slippage downward, hence weight to the toes.
  2. The brain of a dancer will have to be rewired to use her heels as a reference during turns on stage.
  3.  Feet with low arches will have to lean back for support. The swans in Swan Lake will fall backwards.
  4. Flexibility is a must. Bolts and hinges inside of a pointe shoe is a scary idea. Will they need oiling?
  5. Gravity is gravity.

It appears that this pointe shoe idea was made public in 2011. The shoes were called Cat A Tac and featured as a computerized design on From the home page, it links to

It is now approximately 5 years later. The idea was thoughtful in purpose; let’s invent a shoe to give those poor ballet tootsies a break.


Part Of The Beauty Of A Ballerina Is Encapsulated In Her Gnarled Toes

Should ballet be painless? Isn’t part of the sacrifice and discipline of dance training to earn a few blisters or bruises? As much as it can be painful, professionals do everything they can to put as little between their toes and the floor as possible.

For many, gnarled toes are a right of passage, a sign of a long and beautiful career as a dancer.  I am not sure if we should be trying to tame pointe shoes into behaving like comfy bedroom slippers. What do you think?


Capezio’s New Pointe Shoe Model-The Cambré

As a person who has followed Capezio products for a long time, there was always a long waiting game before Capezio would add a new pointe shoe model to their collection.  However, they seem to be picking up steam at the factory these days. As you recall, the Tiffany, Bella and Airess made their debuts in rapid succession. Now,  another one has  popped off the cobblers bench this month: the Cambré.

Here a few of the specifications of the Cambré:
  • Dancer’s can choose from two toe box shapes; tapered or broad.
  • The 3/4 standard shank comes in medium or hard.
  • Capezio emphasizes the sole design of this model as being thinner,  shorter and scored for traction.
  • Cambré  is a low profile shoe with a long vamp.
Capezio Cambré Pointe Shoe

The Cambré tapered toe box version

What is interesting about the Cambré is the lack of pleating that is typical on most toe boxes. It is made smooth not unlike the Gaynor Minden toe style. It also has a diagonal or bias side seam in the same fashion as the Mikhail Baryshnikov pointe shoe collection of the 1990’s.

This model reminds me of the Bloch Axiom in concept. It’s all about toe box and platform, less about heel support and shanks to lean on. This is a specialty pointe shoe that is not going to be for the masses.  Perhaps this is a purposeful move away from the idea that Capezio pointe shoes are popular with beginners, not professionals.

Of course, when a new pointe model comes out, I must do my name and image critique ( so much fun!) . Did Capezio give this shoe a good name? In fairness, Capezio always takes professional photographs.

Cambré definition : to arch or bend

Yes indeed, the marketing photo shows a dancer with a high arch trying to bend its way out of those shoes but for the pink satin restraints. The name Cambré works perfectly for a pointe shoe with thin outsoles and 3/4 shanks.

So, what do you think about Capezio’s latest model? Fantastic? So so? Do you think Capezio is making  too many new models too quickly?



D’Mauro Pointe Shoes From Cali, Columbia

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoes

D’mauro pointe shoes with interesting curly-cue drawstrings

Are you ready for another pointe shoe brand from South America? In one of my earlier posts, I featured a model from Colombia made by Calidance. It looks like I discovered a possible competitor in the same beautiful city of Cali, Colombia.

D’mauro Ballet  Is All About Dance Shoes

D’mauro Ballet manufactures professional dance shoes for companies in and around the Cali area. They offer both ready-to-wear and custom-made ballet slippers and pointe shoes.  They also make jazz and salsa shoes.

The D’mauro Pointe Model

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoesThere are two things that caught my eye about the D’mauro model:

  1. The drawstrings appear thicker than many I’ve seen on other brands.
  2. The beautiful workmanship of the D’mauro logo imprint on the sole. It has an elegant look because the lettering is applied so precisely.

D'mauro Ballet pointe shoes

Sadly, thanks to my trusted translator friend ( Mr. Google) , there is 100% certainty that the official D’mauro website offers zero specifications about their pointe model. There is no name or number to the shoes. As a matter of fact, the page where they are featured pictures them in a very unusual way.

They are dyed in red-pink with blue bindings and yellow ribbons. At first, my eyes were in shock. What are they thinking? Oh dear, oh my…

Then I thought perhaps this is a representation of the colors of the Colombian flag. Yes, of course. It makes sense.

If you want to see some Colombian- flag-colored pointe shoes, visit Dmauroballet, chose Zapatillas, then click on De Punta to see what I mean. The D’mauro pointe model is photographed in its plainly pretty state on their Facebook page.

A Little Intriguing Note For You:

In Spanish and Italian, a name like D’mauro means of or by Mauro. Could it be that this brand was created by the seasoned dance choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti?  I sent an inquiry to D’mauro and will update this post if they choose to bless me with an answer.

Is it me or do those drawstrings look like little lamb tails?


Ditas Pointe Shoes From The Czech Republic

Being an American that has never traveled overseas to Europe makes researching tDitas Pointe Shoeshe production of pointe shoe brands in that region quite an exotic and brain-stimulating experience. I feel a bit like Christopher Columbus sailing around making discoveries once hidden from the rest of us, but now no longer a secret.

So far on the sidebar links we have brands from Italy, Germany, France, England, Spain, Holland and Austria. Now, we have another country to add; The Czech Republic and the Ditas brand name. I am thrilled to find a Czechoslovakian pointe shoe brand.

Some Information About Ditas

This dancewear company is located in the heart of Prague.  They began production of their garments and shoes in 1991. According to their About Page, they supply many theatrical venues in and around the country; including The National Theatre of Prague.

It appears that Ditas has one advertised model in pink satin, although the catalog mentions that they take custom orders for shoes in beige, black or white. Although I am slightly disappointed about the lack of specifications on their pointe model, it hasn’t burst my discovery bubble.

I searched high and low for any social media accounts for Ditas, but couldn’t find any. You can find their interesting product catalog on their official website,