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Short: Shoes Of The Trade

Kevin C. Brown
90.5 WESA
Julia Erickson rehearses for a performance at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Stay on your toes. For Julia Erickson, a principal dancer with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, this phrase is more than metaphor. It’s part of her job. And one that requires a special tool.

Pointe shoes support ballerinas as they dance on their toes, pirouette and jeté.

“When they fit you well and when you can dance in them well, it is like an extension of your leg,” said Erickson.

After 17 years with the company, Erickson took her final bow as a principal dancer in October.

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Margaret J. Krauss is WESA's development and transportation reporter. She previously worked for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide reporting initiative that covers problems facing Pennsylvania's cities and possible solutions. Before joining Keystone Crossroads, Margaret produced a 48-part radio series about Pittsburgh's lesser-known history, biking 2,000 miles around the region to do so.