Russian Pointe® Retailer: Barry's Capezio
“I listen to the dancers,” Kaufax says. “I take a dancer’s dream and turn it into reality.”
Kaufax has been carrying Russian Pointe® shoes since 2006, and he loves Russian Pointe®’s vast array of styles and selections, which makes it easy to find the right shoe for every foot.
“There is no one manufacturer that can say that they can fit every single foot, but in my opinion, Russian Pointe® comes pretty close,” Kaufax says.
He is also impressed with Russian Pointe®’s impeccable quality. “Of all of the pointe shoes that I’ve carried over the years, Russian Pointes have the least amount of manufacturer’s defects,” he says.
Unlike some dancewear retailers, Kaufaux truly knows dance shoes from the inside out. He studies dance shoes like a scientist, curiously taking them apart to see how they are glued and stitched together.
Although not officially a cobbler, over the years Kaufax has made or repaired shoes for numerous celebrities when they have come into town, including Cher, Ann Miller, lion tamer Gunther Gebel-Williams, and Mikhail Baryshnikov. One of his crowning achievements was co-creating the first jazz tap shoe, which was sold by Capezio from 1991 to 2004.
When fitting pointe shoes, Kaufax says it’s important to remember comfort is more important than beauty. “I don’t approach the fittings from an art form standpoint, it’s from an athlete standpoint,” he says.
If a shoe doesn’t fit correctly, a dancer will be in pain and won’t be able to execute the choreography to the best of her ability, so Kaufax says it’s essential that shoes fit properly. “If you do your job as a fitter correctly, then you take their mind off the pain… and the standing ovations ensue,” he says.
Barry’s Capezio was started by Kaufax’s parents, Pearl and Irv, in 1958, first as a children’s clothing store, and later as a dancewear shop. Pearl became famous in the dance world by inventing the stirrup tight, which became standard attire in modern dance classes all over the country.
Today, Kaufax is proud to continue the tradition that his parents started more than 50 years ago and to find the perfect pair of shoes for every customer who comes in the store. “It’s a passion, like dance is a passion,” he says. “The work that you do, when it comes from the heart, it is paid back.”