Painted red hearts, feathers, paper fans, beads and scenes from fantasy stories adorn 16 pairs of ballerina pointe shoes this month at a Port Moody dance studio.
The hand-decorated worn slippers are the creation of students at Caulfield School of Dance, who are auctioning off the shoes as part of a unique fundraiser to send 18 youth to Las Vegas next month for the Youth American Grand Prix.
Featured in the documentary First Position, the competition sees young ballet students from around the world and provides educational opportunities to participants.
Last year, the school founder and principal, Cori Caulfield, accompanied three students to the semi-finals in Seattle where Carter Hayes, 13, placed third in the junior category for men’s contemporary while his Caulfield colleague Hailey Rekunyk, 16, clinched a senior classical Top 12 placement award for her variation in a field of 83 solos.
The idea for the pointe shoe art came from Jocelyn Wozencroft, Caulfield’s ballet department head who will also be escorting the 18 students to Vegas in February. She led a similar fundraiser when she taught at Avant Dance Co. in Burnaby.
Kaia Neal, a Grade 8 student at Moody middle who will be flying to Vegas, spent a week last month to dress up her pointe shoes in lace and sequins for the auction; the 13-year-old girl said she was inspired by Misty Copeland and The Red Shoes.
Fellow student Madison Coulter, 15, who won’t be attending the Nevada contest, said she designed her sequin-and-beaded shoes after eyeing a photo on Pinterest.
“I want to do what I can to help them with their costs,” said Coulter.
Caulfield said the studio needs to raise at least $20,000 for the trip and she hopes the auction to make a dent with their expenses, which include an entry fee of $500 per competitor.
“They’re so pretty,” Caulfield said, reviewing the shoes displayed on the wall. “I’m so proud of our students. They’re dancers and artists.”
• To place a bid ($10 minimum) by Jan. 31, visit the Port Moody studio at 2610 St. Johns St. to view the shoes, call 604-469-9366 or go online at caulfield.bc.ca.