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Full Flight Shoe Appeal

Help fund the perfect landing for Swan Lake

Are you curious about the art of dancing on pointe?

Not every year sees a return of Swan Lake. This particular version by David Dawson is technically challenging and filled with pointe work. Rehearsals are in full flight, so now is the time to stock up our shoe shelves!

It’s hard to believe that each Scottish Ballet dancer dances through at least 60 pairs of pointe shoes a year. Dancers don’t just wear one pair of pointe shoes at a time until they replace them. Instead, they have six or seven pairs of shoes on rotation depending on the choreographic requirements. For Swan Lake, new shoes stay firmly on the shelf in favour of worn-in, quieter shoes for the running and jumping elements of the ballet. And for dancers in a pas-de-deux (duet), a less broken-in, supportive pair is just the ticket.

Breaking-in, rotating and choosing the right pair of shoes is a job in itself!

Amy McEntee, First Artist



To achieve comfort and the perfect fit, pointe shoes are hand-crafted and personalised using ten specific measurements. It’s incredible to think that the dancer’s weight is balanced on those tiny platforms. But despite reinforced areas, the sole and block (front of the pointe shoe) break down quickly during intensive use.

Shoes that are too soft can become unsafe; the main reason for having plenty of them in supply for our dancers.

First Artist Amy McEntee says, ‘I love preparing my shoes before I wear them, stitching on the ribbons and elastics, and making them just right for me. After that, breaking-in, rotating and choosing just the right pair of shoes is a job in itself!’

In the run up to Swan Lake, our dancers are working with specialist pointe-work coach Lynn Charles. The focus of her ‘4pointe’ method is a daily mix of exercises to strengthen the 26 bones, 30 joints and 100 muscles of the feet, to prepare them for pointe work.

Principal Roseanna Leney is dancing the famous character of Odette/Odile and can’t wait for the role of a lifetime. She says, ‘David Dawson’s choreography pushes the entire body to extremes. There are big movements, stretching from the tips of our toes to our fingertips to create the right shape. It feels amazing to dance but it’s hard on the body and especially the feet!’

I love the way pointe shoes create that beautiful extended line classical ballet is known for. The feeling of turning on pointe shoes that are just the right fit, is amazing.

Roseanna Leney, Principal


Scottish Ballet’s 20 female dancers are each allocated 60 pairs of pointe shoes annually, at a cost of £50 per pair. But when a physically demanding ballet like Swan Lake is programmed, we need an additional 200 pairs of shoes to cover six weeks of rehearsals and 16 performances.

With your support we can help dancers like Amy and Roseanna spread their wings in full flight and provide the perfect landing.


All those who donate £40 or more will be accredited here on our website, and those who donate £80 or more will also be accredited in a souvenir programme, unless you would prefer to remain anonymous.

Two fresh pairs of pink and brown pointe shoes

I would like to support Scottish Ballet’s Full Flight Shoe Appeal: 

We welcome cheques too! Please make them payable to Scottish Ballet and send to:

FREEPOST RTCE-KABC-XHJJ, Advancement Department, Scottish Ballet, 25 Albert Drive, Glasgow, G41 2PE

If you live in the US and would like to make a tax-deductible donation, you can do so here.

Thank you to all who have kindly donated so far:

Jamie & Kyle Anderson Weir
William Barr
John Bogle
Antonia Brownlee
Stewart and Janie Clark
Alison Cornwell
Sir Sandy & Lady Crombie
Elizabeth Danby
Lady Sue Douglas
Ralph Fielding
Elspeth Fleming & Gordon Campbell
Hazel Forde
Wendy Gordon
Avril Halliday
Jinny Hutchison
J & A.R. Jackson
Carol Gee Jonson
Joseph & Anne Kelly
Janice Leney
Geoff Lewis
Michael Lind
Sarah & Ian Lister
Katharine Liston
Mark Llewellin
Jacqueline Mackenzie
Sandra Martin

Chris & Gill Masters
Ian W. McEwan
Moira McWhirter
Robin Morton
Morag Mulligan
Norman and Pam Murray
Jane & Bernard Nelson
Sue Oliver
Vivienne Parry
Rosemary Rankin
Morag Ritchie
Lawrence Robertson
Mike Rutterford
Pat Sinclair
Terry South
Alastair & Sheila Stewart
Janet Storry
Charles Swainson
Ann Thewliss
Sally Thomas
Christopher Tidmarsh
Joanna Tucker
Anne Wall
James Watt
& six anonymous patrons