“I was dancing Odette in the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp’s graduation gala, and rehearsals were really taking a toll on my body. I was experiencing horrible ankle pain and swelling, and my pointe shoes — which needed to be very hard to support my feet — were seeming to add pressure to the problem.
My injury kept getting worse until it reached an exploding point. I really didn’t think I could dance. My teacher had a suspicion that the pointe shoes I was wearing might be adding to the problem because they weren’t absorbing shock in the best way, and she suggested I bring in a pair of Gaynor Mindens I had purchased.
I rose onto pointe and felt zero pain. It was so unbelievable! I was able to dance and felt happy and confident. These shoes made me rely on my own strength instead of a hard shank. At first it was a challenge to get used to what felt like less support, but then I built up the correct strength to lift out of the shoe on my own.
Gaynor Mindens especially helped me discover the control of rolling through demi-pointe, which added a whole new nuanced dynamic to my dancing. I feel they show off my feet and allow me to extend to full flexibility on pointe without worrying about killing my shoes! It has saved me (mostly my parents) a lot of expense as well — going from a pair of shoes a day to a pair of shoes a month was incredible. So thank you!”
Katherine Higgins was born in Wilton, CT, and began dancing at the age of 3. At 15, she began training at the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp in Belgium, graduating in 2013. In August 2014, Katherine joined l’Opera de Paris. Katherine has competed in and earned medals in many international ballet competitions all over the world, including the Prix de Lausanne, Youth America Grand Prix, Helsinki IBC, Varna IBC, and Moscow IBC.
Photo by Igor Zakharkin, courtesy of Moscow IBC.