FAQ

Straight to the Pointe FAQ’s

 

What should I expect when I come to your store for a fitting?

There will always be someone available to fit you for pointe shoes in store. As you enter Footlights, if there are already pointe shoe fittings in progress, your name will be added to the wait list.  Fittings are done on a first come first served basis. Our fitters give everyone the same time and expertise when doing a fitting so we appreciate your patience until your name is called. Please arrive at least one hour before closing to ensure a fitting slot.  If you are not in the store when your name is called, your slot will be forfeited.

What makes your staff professional fitters?

            With over 30 years of extensive experience and training, our expertise has been sought after from all over the Mid-Atlantic region for many years. With our founders knowledge combined with innovative training from our vendors, it make us the largest team of professionally trained staff in the Mid-Atlantic. Manufacturers and designers are in constant works with Footlights on what new pointe shoes they have, often using Footlights as one of the first distributors of new designs for feedback not just from our customers, but also our fitters. There hasn’t been a foot we couldn’t fit – experience the Footlight fit for yourself in store today.  

Do you have a ‘master fitter’ and how do I schedule an appointment with one?

We often hear the term ‘master-fitter’ in the Dance Retail World – but what really makes one? For us, we consider our Master Fitter to be Joy Ellis. Our founder and owner of Footlights Dance & Theatre Boutique. For us, it’s about experience, expertise and service. All of our trained fitters were taught by Joy, and are not approved to fit pointe shoes until she feels they’ve mastered the craft themselves. Any time you walk into a Footlights location you will receive top-notch expertise and experience with our staff. The care and consideration you receive during a fitting is an upmost importance to us as a company. You do not need to schedule an appointment for a single person fitting because we always have someone who is available to help you. We only ask that you arrive at least an hour before closing to ensure your fitting time. Fittings can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, if not longer! We strive to give each and every one of our customers the same valued services and to do so, we need that time to properly help each and every one of you in a timely manner.

I wore my pointe shoes in class, but I don’t like them. Can I exchange them for a new pair?

            No. We do not take shoes back that have been worn. If you feel unstable in your new pointe shoes, we suggest coming in store to have them evaluated by a store manager. Pointe shoes do not maintain consistency from when they were purchased in store. When you begin to wear pointe shoes in class, they begin to shift and change to shape to your foot. Sometimes, the way a pointe shoe breaks down can greatly alter your balance and how you feel in the shoes. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee how this will affect a dancer prior to them wearing the shoes; every shoe and every dancer are different. 

Do I need an appointment to be fitted for pointe shoes in store?

            No, you do not need an appointment to be fitted. In all of our locations we have readily available and professionally trained staff to fit you. We ask that all shoppers looking for pointe shoes arrive at least an hour before closing to ensure enough time.

Do I need to schedule a group fitting for my students?

              Yes. For group fittings of five or more we ask that you schedule a time with the store manager of the desired location. If you have preferences of toe pads and brands, please let us know in advance.

Do you schedule pointe shoe fittings or informational events at studios?

            We offer informational events and specials to local studios. Pointe shoe fittings remotely from our stores are very limited. For more information please contact us at studiodirect@dancefootlights.com

What should new pointe shoes feel like?

            In general, new pointe shoes will be snug and secure. They will not feel roomy or comfortable like your street shoes. Our professionally trained staff will walk you through the details during a fitting, allowing us to customize and fit perfectly to your feet. If you’re coming in for your first fitting be prepared to work with our staff from 15-30 minutes. We suggest you come in with any and all suggestions or notes that your instructor has for you, including shoes they do not like! If you are currently en pointe but have not been fitted at Footlights before, we ask that you bring along your current pair of pointe shoes and any toe protection or accessories you use inside your pointe shoes for us to evaluate.

I have pointe shoes, but I’ve never been fitted at Footlights – what should I bring?

            If you’ve been dancing en pointe but have not previously been fitted for pointe shoes at Footlights, we ask that you bring your current pointe shoes, toe pads and any other additional accessories you may use in your pointe shoes. This allows our fitters to get the best idea of what you’ve been working with and address any possible changes you would like or need.

How long will pointe shoes last?

            Every dancer is different, therefore the life span of pointe shoes varies dancer to dancer. On average, traditionally made pointe shoes will last you about 12-15 hours of pointe work.

How can I make my pointe shoes last longer?

            There are many variables in which depict the life span of your pointe shoes. Ultimately, there will be a point in which your shoes are no longer affective or supportive and in some cases, dangerous to wear. To help extend the life span of your pointe shoes, let them air dry often. Take them out of your dance bag, take toe pads or other toe protection you might use out of the shoes and let them hang somewhere they can air out. Air drying your shoes helps dry out the sweat in your shoes which breaks down the materials over time. If you dance en pointe daily, alternate two pairs of shoes. This allows one pair to dry fully while you’re using the other. If needed, we also offer products such as jet glue which hardens the materials of the shoes and adds an additional barrier to break down. We also offer extensive services in store to help with dancers who feel their shoes are too soft or dying too quickly. We can apply these services to online orders, but strongly suggest you visit us in store first to talk over the options with our professional staff to ensure those are the services you need. All alterations, including those rendered by Footlights, make shoes non-returnable/exchangeable.

How do I know when I need new pointe shoes?

            Unfortunately, pointe shoes do not last forever. The best way to tell if your pointe shoes are shot is to evaluate the amount of support you feel in your shoes. Over time, the fabric and materials used to create your pointe shoes begins to break down. When your shoes feel “squishy” (no longer stiff or supportive) or you feel unbalanced, you may need a new pair of pointe shoes. The best way to determine this is to ask your instructor or stop by one of our locations to show our professionally trained staff.

I was fitted in store and it’s time for a new pair of pointe shoes, do I need to come in again?

            Every dancer is different. Some dancers whose feet have not changed in strength or size have an easier time purchasing the same shoes again online as opposed to coming in for a new fitting. However, pointe shoes are often handmade and can vary with consistency. We encourage dancers to come in to try shoes on, even if it’s the same thing. Other dancers, and typically new pointe dancers, find that their feet are in a constant change which affects how they feel in shoes and ultimately need a fitting. It’s always best to come in for a fitting to ensure the best fit for you, but we understand that isn’t always an option!

Does everyone need spacers? What do I do to protect my toes?

            Toe pads, spacers and additional protection varies dancer to dancer. Not everyone needs spacers, and not every instructor prefers toe pads. Some instructors prefer their dancers to wear thin padding, while another prefers thicker and another could ask dancers to not wear anything in their shoes. When you visit Footlights for a fitting, our professional staff will go over all the options and what works best for your feet and instructor.

Can I have growth room in my pointe shoes?

            Growth room in pointe shoes is very dangerous. Footlights does not fit with growth room in pointe shoes under any circumstance.

When should I sew my pointe shoes?

            You should always have an instructor approve your pointe shoes prior to sewing them. If you are sewing them by hand, allow yourself at least one full day before your pointe class to allow sufficient time to sew – and to fix any mistakes! If you do not have time, we offer sewing services for a fee. Follow along our return policies for further details as needed.      

General FAQ’s

Who do I contact for general questions, concerns or comments?

At Footlights, we strive to make the perfect environment for our customers from product selection to customer service. For any inquiries about us please contact our customer service team.

Contact our customer service team at:

Email: info@dancefootlights.com

Phone: 800-349-1186

Mail:

Footlights Dance & Theatre Boutique

ATTN: Customer Service

306 E. Church St. Frederick, MD 21701

Do you have a rewards program and if so, how do I apply?

Yes, we have a rewards program! You can apply for our rewards program by purchasing the, “Footlights Rewards Package” in store or online. Once you purchase the Footlights Rewards Package, the program immediately kicks in! For every $50.00 USD you spend, receive $1.00 USD off your purchase. This reward is automatically applied to every purchase you make at Footlights! This is the only offer Footlights has that applies to sale items year-round.

Do I have to pay to enter your rewards program?

Yes, there is a $10.00 USD entry fee for the Footlights Rewards Program.

Can I combine my rewards program with discounts?

Yes! If you receive a discount coupon, you can use both the rewards program and the discount coupon at the same time.

What is a studio discount and how can I get one?

Studio discounts are offered exclusively to studio owners who are signed up for the Footlights Studio Partners Program. Upon the discretion of the studio owners, these discounts are provided to parents.  If your studio does not have a discount from Footlights, we cannot apply a studio discount to your purchases. For more details, email us at studiodirect@dancefootlights.com

What brand is better for dance shoes?

            There is no one brand that is better than another for your dance shoes. Every fit is based strategically on a number of variables which our professionally trained staff are able to pin point to fit specifically for you. We strongly recommend that you visit one of our three locations for a professional fitting, especially for pointe shoes.

Do you have a fitting fee?

            Yes, we do have a fitting fee. Our fitting fee applies to all fittings for shoes that you anticipate purchasing elsewhere. The $15.00 USD fee can be applied to your future purchase if you decide to buy the shoes from Footlights at a later time. We only implement this fee to help ensure the care and condition of our products. Fitting fees can only be redeemed by a customer over the phone or in store.

Do you re-sell second hand dance supplies?

No, we do not offer re-sales of used merchandise. We suggest donating lightly used dance supplies to your studios or local dancers in need.

Do you schedule group fittings for shoes besides pointe shoes?

            Yes, we offer group fitting appointments with instructors in store. Contact the store manager of your desired location to set up a date and time. If you have particular styles and brands that you prefer, please notify us during your scheduling to ensure that all options are readily available.

Do you offer in studio fittings for classes besides pointe shoes?

            Yes, we offer studio fittings for classes and special studio events. For more information please contact us at studiodirect@dancefootlights.com

Do you offer sewing services?

                  Yes, we offer sewing services for a fee. Typically, your shoes will be ready within 5-10 minutes once we begin sewing. You can also purchase this service and apply it to your online orders.

My studio gave me a uniform list but I lost it, do you have the information?

There are hundreds of dance studios around our three locations and we do not have every list. We always suggest if you are unsure of your requirements to check in with the studio directly prior to purchasing merchandise. For studios who have provided us their uniforms, we do have the information available in store. For our Partnered Studios, we have each uniform list available both in store and on our online shop (Under “Your Studio”).

What’s the difference between Canvas and Leather and which is better?

            The difference between canvas and leather is they’re two different materials. Canvas is a stretchy cloth which some style ballet flats and jazz shoes are made out of. Leather is a thicker material often used in ballet flats and jazz shoes. There is no “better” option between the two – it all comes down to what works best with the dancer’s feet

What’s the difference between split sole and full sole ballet flats?

            A split sole shoe is just that – it has a split sole on the bottom of the shoes separating the two pads for the ball of the foot and the heel. A full sole is not split but instead one solid piece from metatarsal to heel. Full sole shoes typically provide more support and resistance. Split sole shoes allow for articulation and mobility through the foot. Each dancer feels different in each style, therefore it is important for dancers (young and old) to try on the different options prior to purchasing. With the assistance of our professionally trained staff, we can find the best size and style for you.

What is a convertible/transition tight?

            A transitional (also known as convertible) tight is a tight that has a hole sewn on the bottom of the footed portion of the material. This hole allows for your foot to be open instead of covered by fabric when you want. The hole is positioned strategically by manufactures to lower irritation. These types of tights are usually used by dancers en pointe to allow easier ability to secure toe pads and toe accessories without having to fully take off/put on tights.

What do I need for my first dance class?

            Do you have everything you need for dance class? Check with your studio for any possible dress code requirements established for your level and class. Many studios have uniforms and suggested or preferred options to every part of the dress code, including your bun!

What are flesh tone/skin tone tights or leotards?

                 Flesh tone (or skin tone) tights/leotards are products that match the color of your skin tone. Many studios require flesh tone tights and leotards for performances and classes. We carry many shades and options for all skin tones both online and in store.

Can I return an item I purchased in store or over the phone through the mail?

            Items cannot be returned or exchanged thirty days after purchase.

Items cannot be altered in any way (such as sewn, laundered, dyed) including items that had services rendered by Footlights. Dying can cause shrinkage, if this occurs we cannot return or exchange the shoes. Purchase of dying services assumes you are aware of this possibility. Merchandise must be unworn, in the original packaging, including tags attached. Undergarments, nylon tights, makeup, Special Orders and sales items are not refundable or exchangeable. Shipping charges to return the item are not refunded or credited to the customer account unless there was a shipping error from Footlights or defective item.

Defective items are to be determined by management upon inspection of the item in person. Customer assumes all responsibilities for shipping charges unless otherwise determined by Footlights management. Footlights has the right to deny a request for refund of shipping charges.

 If you believe you received the wrong item or defective item, contact the store manager of the location in which you made the purchase from immediately.

Footlights Frederick:

Phone: 301-696-1558

Email: frederick@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday-Thursday 11a-7p

Friday-Saturday 10a-5p

Closed Sunday

Footlights Silver Spring:

Phone: 301-326-4351

Email: silverspring@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday-Friday 11a-7p

Saturday 10a-4p

Sunday 1p-4p

Footlights Alexandria:

Phone: 703-373-3254

Email: alexandria@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12p-8p

Saturday 10a-5p

Sunday 1p-5p

Closed Wednesday

All debit/credit card purchases cannot be refunded in the form of cash. Cash refunds are only applicable in store, we do not mail money.

If you wish to make an exchange or return via postal service, please mail your receipt and the items in their original packaging to:

            Footlights Dance & Theatre Boutique

            Attn: Distribution

            306 E. Church St. Frederick, MD 21701

We do not refund the shipping charges to mail an item back to us.

You must specify with the contents if you would like a refund or exchange and a valid contact number or email. If you would like a refund for store credit, please specify.

All items are subject to rejection upon inspection by management. All items applicable for exchange will be shipped back free of charge. All items that are deemed not refundable will be sent back to the return address from where the package was mailed and you will be notified via email or phone based on the contact information given with the package.

What are your in store return and exchange policies?

            Items cannot be returned or exchanged thirty days after purchase.

Items cannot be altered in any way (such as sewn, laundered, dyed) including items that had services rendered by Footlights. Dying can cause shrinkage, if this occurs we cannot return or exchange the shoes. Purchase of dying services assumes you are aware of this possibility. Merchandise must be unworn, in the original packaging, including tags attached. Undergarments, nylon tights, makeup, Special Orders and sales items are not refundable or exchangeable. All debit/credit card purchases cannot be refunded in the form of cash. Cash refunds are only applicable in store, we do not mail money. All cash refunds of $50 USD or more are processed in store at one business days delay due to limited funds in store.

If you feel you received a defective item, please contact the store manager of the location you purchased the item from immediately.

Footlights Frederick:

Phone: 301-696-1558

Email: frederick@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday-Thursday 11a-7p

Friday-Saturday 10a-5p

Closed Sunday

Footlights Silver Spring:

Phone: 301-326-4351

Email: silverspring@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday-Friday 11a-7p

Saturday 10a-4p

Sunday 1p-4p

Footlights Alexandria:

Phone: 703-373-3254

Email: alexandria@dancefootlights.com

Store Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12p-8p

Saturday 10a-5p

Sunday 1p-5p

Closed Wednesday

All items are subject to rejection upon inspection by management.

What is your Special Order Policy?

            Items not carried in our brick and mortar locations are considered Special Orders. These items cannot be returned or exchanged under any circumstance unless ruled defective by Footlights management. Special Orders do not apply to our returns and exchanges policies. All Special Order items are labeled as such on our site, and you will be notified of any Special Order item you are purchasing online or in our brick and mortar locations. Special Orders must be paid for up front prior to being fulfilled. Items not readily available in the Footlights warehouse can take 2-4 weeks processing from our vendors based on their stock levels and availability. Special Orders that are Made to Order by the manufacturers can take any 4-16 weeks to process. You will be notified every step of the way about your Special Order in regards to the Estimated Time of Delivery (or ETA). For all Made to Order purchases, you will be contacted to confirm an agreement to the ETA prior to us placing the order. You are given 48 hours to respond, if we do not hear back from you within 48 hours of us sending a confirmation request, your order will be automatically cancelled and the charges will be credited to your Footlights account. If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our customer service team:

Contact our customer service team at:

Email: info@dancefootlights.com Phone: 800-349-1186

 

Online Shopping FAQ’s

I placed an order over the weekend, when will it be processed?

            All online orders are processed Monday-Friday between 9a-5p. Typically within 24-48 hours of placing the order. If you have a time sensitive order, we suggest that you visit our stores or call during our store hours to ensure your items are available and ready for purchase. You can always purchase items over the phone (and pay for shipping) during our store hours. For further inquiries about shipping, please contact our Distribution Manager:

(Monday-Friday 9a-5p EST)

Email: shipping@dancefootlights.com Phone: 301-696-1558

Do you stock items for your online store separately from your store stock?

            No. We share most of our stock between the website and our multiple locations. While we vigorously maintain our online sales, sometimes duplicate orders happen! We will notify you if your item is showing in stock online, but not readily available due to technical error or a simultaneous purchase occurs. Rarely does this happen, but please be mindful of any and all emails confirming your order once placed. If you are concerned or have a time sensitive order, please call during our store hours to place an order over the phone or contact customer service.

Contact our customer service team at:

Email: info@dancefootlights.com Phone: 800-349-1186

I ordered an item online, will it be ready for pick up in store the same day?

            Online orders are not guaranteed same day pick up. With multiple locations, not all styles and sizes are always readily available at all locations. When you order is processed, you will be notified of a date your items will be ready for pick up in store. For shipping inquiries related to an online purchase, email our Distribution Manager:

(Monday-Friday 9a-5p EST)

Email: shipping@dancefootlights.com Phone: 301-696-1558

Should I order my street shoe size?

            All dance shoes vary in size. Each product will come with a size chart that is provided from the manufacturer. Some product descriptions will also contain a Footlights suggested fit. Even for flat shoes, we strongly suggest you come in for a fitting. If that is not an option, we suggest you follow along with the sizing guides provided on the product page. In general, dance shoes should be fitted to the foot without “growth room”. However, some instructors will have particular sizing parameters (typically for younger dancers). If you are unable to be fitted in store, ask your instructor for sizing advice or give us a call!                                                                           

Do you offer free shipping?

            Yes – on<