February has been an exciting month for us, with wrapping up our all-new production, Tales from the Floating World, releasing new merchandise (ask us about this if you’d like to order BFan items) and indulging in good wine and food at our Caribbean-inspired Cooking with the Choreographers event. The cherry on top was the fact that we were able to meet our Kickstarter goal of raising $5,400! In fact, we surpassed it with a total of $5,941 thanks to everyone’s (arch) support!
Our goal with the Kickstarter was to help us fund new pointe shoes for our dancers. Pointe shoes are essential for ballerinas, and at BFan we work 12 months a year so our dancers go through countless pairs of shoes. This blog post from Capezio describes in detail just how many pairs of pointe shoes dancers can go through. A pair costs approximately $75 and considering that each dancer can go though three pairs of them within a week of performances, the cost for shoes quickly adds up! Our dancers pay for their own shoes, sometimes using grocery money to buy new pairs. Therefore, we asked everyone – our friends, fans and the public – to help us raise $5,400 ($75/pair x 6 company dancers x 12 months) so that we can continue to produce new art without putting our dancers’ feet in danger.
Yes, you read that right. Dancing with worn out pointe shoes can be highly dangerous. Dancers call these shoes “dead shoes” because the shanks become broken and dancers can feel their big toes touching the floor. A soft platform and box are also signs of a dead shoe. (Check out this article for pointe shoe anatomy.) Dead shoes are no longer supportive, so continuing to use them makes the dancer more susceptible to injury and causes significant stress on her feet and bones. Healthy feet are crucial for ballerinas to be able to dance, so replacing old shoes with new shoes is a must!
“I am excited and thrilled that so many people donated to us,” says BFan dancer Leanne Mizzoni. “Honestly, I didn’t think we’d reach our goal, so this is amazing and a blessing!”
We couldn’t have reached our goal without all of your help! Thanks to you, our dancers can rest assured that they will have supportive pointe shoes throughout the rest of the year!