Allynne Noelle, 32, preps her feet for pointe work at the Los Angeles Ballet studio. The ballerina says spending an average of 9 hours a day in pointe shoes can make simple nuisances like corns and blisters quickly become debilitating.
Ballet shoes have a hard base made of layers of paper, leather or burlap. Allynne Noelle said ballerinas often suffer from Achilles tendinitis and ankle sprains. “It’s not uncommon to hear snap,” she said.
Allynne Noelle, principal ballerina with the Los Angeles Ballet, has broken two ribs. One partner squeezed her rib too hard and it broke in the middle of a lift. The second rib gave out during the repetitive nature of a dance movement.
Noelle snapped her Lisfranc ligament during a performance, but said adrenaline masked the pain. Doctors replaced scar tissue in her right foot with an artificial ligament.
Noelle was uninsured for almost four years, until the Los Angele Ballet offered her coverage under the Affordable Care Act. She thinks every ballet company should make health insurance a priority for their dancers.