Russian Pointe® Retailer: On Your Toes
When Laynie Terban, owner of On Your Toes Dancewear in Peabody, Mass., went to the Nutcracker this past December, her eyes immediately went to each dancer’s feet. “Every young girl who had a Russian Pointe® shoe on her foot looked stunning,” Terban says.
When Terban first started carrying Russian Pointe shoes, local dance teachers were reluctant to try something new. But in the last three years, especially with the release of the Jewel Collection, sales of Russian Pointe®s have skyrocketed, and today they are the second most popular brand she carries.
“The shoes are probably some of the most beautiful shoes you can see on a young lady’s foot,” she says.
A dancewear retailer for 26 years, Terban got into the business when she was only 22 years old. At the time, she was teaching aerobics a local gym, and she used to go into a small dancewear shop every Friday to get a new aerobics outfit. One day, Terban decided what she really wanted to do was run her own dancewear store.
She opened her first store in Revere, Mass., in 1986, followed by a second store in Peabody, a suburb of Boston, in 1995. Then in November of 2012, Terban closed the Revere location and opened a new, larger location in Peabody, more than doubling her space to 4,400 square feet.
Throughout her career, Terban has gained a reputation as an expert pointe shoe fitter. In fact, Terban is the only retailer in the United States who is a member of the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, an international body made up of orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and dance educators who come together every year to share information about the latest research in dance injury prevention.
As such, Terban does a thorough analysis of each dancer before every pointe shoe fitting, checking to see if she has enough calf and foot strength to support herself en pointe.
Once Terban has determined the dancer is physically ready for pointe shoes, she spends 10 to 15 minutes explaining how pointe shoes are designed and manufactured, as well the latest medical information to prevent injury.
“I like to do the beginners,” she says. “That’s the educator in me. It’s my passion.”
As a fitter, Terban says she loves Russian Pointe® shoes because of their ability to mix and match widths, shanks and vamps to allow her to create the perfect fit for each dancer. “Having that flexibility with Russian Pointe® is excellent,” she says. “It is the most incredible thing in the pointe shoe industry.”
Terban’s expertise draws dancers from several hours away. Just the other day, she had three dancers travel from as far away as Maine and western Massachusetts for a pointe shoe fitting. “This girl had a smile from ear to ear tonight,” Terban says. “It’s such a joy to see these girls’ faces light up when they get their first pair of pointe shoes.”