You'll seriously never believe what ballet dancers do to break in their pointe shoes

Hammers and knives and pliers and destruction and oh my god do they really do this?

Hammers and knives and pliers and destruction and oh my god do they really do this?

OK honestly I know this title sounds like clickbait but I genuinely had no idea that for some dancers, preparing their pointe shoes involves cutting them up with a knife, basically breaking the whole shoe in half, removing a nail with pliers and hitting the hell out of them with a HAMMER. It's a lot.

So this is a post promoting our new series Off Kilter, a ballet world mockumentary that is very funny and you should definitely watch it after you watch Off Kilter's Chelsy Meiss (also a first soloist at the National Ballet of Canada!) absolutely destroy her pointe shoes in this video.

Watch the video:

I mean…


I did not expect this!

Tell me more about Off Kilter, please!

Off Kilter highlights the less glittery parts of the struggle of going from pariah to revered choreographer. Shot as a mockumentary, each of the seven-minute episodes focuses on a different unofficial — but just as necessary — step in the course of (re)building a career. Season 1 spans "The Denial" to "The Disappearance" and demonstrates how a significant part of the process is doing everything you can to avoid the process. Stream the full series now.

Watch the trailer:

Milton Frank was the ballet world's up-and-comer who never up-and-came. After a massive plagiarism scandal, Milton keeps meaning to make a triumphant return to the world of professional ballet. It's been the next thing on his to-do list for 25 years, in fact. But it's not until his comeback gets intertwined with the agendas of a PR genius and an almost-retired ballerina that any of those intentions start to materialize.

Like many brilliant artists, Milton's struggle is to get over the past and out of his own way. A comedy that lingers in the awkward silences as much as it does on the stunning choreography of the acclaimed Shawn Hounsell (Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Theatre Ballet - Prague), Off Kilter documents the remaking of a man into the critically acclaimed asshole he never got to be in the 90s.

Watch the first episode:

Episode 1: The Denial

Milton Frank has come back to the studio after a 20-year absence, but under no circumstance is anyone to call it a "comeback." This is just for fun. A lark. A whimsical experiment.

Stream all of Off Kilter now on the CBC Player and watch out for new episodes weekly on our YouTube channel.​