If the Shoe Fits

Last week, a specialist from Freed of London came to Kansas City Ballet to fit the company for pointe shoes. A few lucky KCBS students also received their own personal fittings! Check out some photos of KCBS student, Annaliese Willis, trying to find her perfect fit!

A Few Freed Facts: 

  • Freed pointe shoes have been handmade in London since 1929.
  • In 1986, Freed was bought by Chacott, a Japanese dance wear brand.
  • In 1989, Chacott was purchased by Onward Kashiyama, Japan’s 4th largest retailer.
  • In 2012, Freed of London supplied the shoes for the opening and closing ceremonies for the world Olympics.

 

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Dancer Spotlight: Whitney Huell

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Photography by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

This is Whitney Huell’s first season with Kansas City Ballet. She is originally from Irmo, South Carolina. Read below to learn more about Whitney, how she got started in dance, and her experiences with Kansas City Ballet!

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Q: How did you first get involved in dance/ballet?

A: When I was 5 years old I attended my big sister’s ballet recital. I was enthralled and afterwards my mother asked if I would like to start taking ballet. I replied yes and I took my first ballet class a few months later.

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Whitney Huell

Q: What drove you to ballet as opposed to other dance forms?

A: Ballet is the first form of dance I tried and I loved it. I did try jazz, tap, modern etc., but it didn’t appeal to me as much as ballet did.

Q: What do you like most about being at Kansas City Ballet?

A: This is my first season at KCB and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I think the work environment is what I like most here. The beautiful studios, talented dancers, encouraging staff and the continuous opportunities I’ve been given make me feel very grateful to be a part of this company.

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Whitney Huell & KCB Dancers. Photography by Steve Wilson.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: In my free time I love to watch movies, try out different restaurants, and shop. I also love to drive and will jump at the opportunity to take a road trip every chance I get.

Q: What is one of your favorite roles you’ve performed this year and why?

A: Performing the Caterpillar in “ALICE (in wonderland)” would have to be one of my favorite roles this season. It was my Kansas City Ballet debut on the Kauffman Center stage and performing it on opening night was a wonderful experience. I was lifted, tossed and bent in half by five partners, definitely a career first.

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Whitney Huell & KCB Dancers. Photography by Steve Wilson.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring dancers?

A: I would advise aspiring dancers to focus on their technique; to work on their weaknesses and not to avoid them. If you’re a natural right turner, try to focus on the left. I believe that continuous improvement is possible and produces great results.