Russian Pointe team member joins dance company

We’re very proud to announce that Dustin Crumbaugh, a longtime employee at Russian Pointe, has recently been chosen to be an inaugural member of Big Muddy Dance Company, a new contemporary dance company in St. Louis!

Although we will be losing a wonderful member of our staff, we are happy to see Dustin on his way to achieving his dreams of being a professional dancer.

A native of Texas, Dustin, 27, began his dance career with the second company of Houston Metropolitan Dance Company. From there, he studied dance at Point Park University and then joined Ballet Austin for one year before returning again to the Houston Metropolitan Dance Company.

In 2006, Dustin moved to Chicago to dance with the Luna Negra Dance Theater, and as luck would have it, he also landed a job with the Russian Pointe Dance Boutique, where he has been providing excellent customer service and expert pointe shoe fittings for the last four and a half years.

Unlike many male dancers, Dustin has significant experience in wearing pointe shoes. He took his first pointe classes in college at Pointe Park University, and since then, he has taken several pointe classes here in Chicago and danced en pointe during a performance in Montreal.

Originally, he says he wanted to dance en pointe in order to fully understand the sensation that women have when they’re dancing so he would be able to do choreography effectively later in his career. And he says all of that experience also allowed him to have a better understanding of what dancers look for in their pointe shoes and how to fit them properly.

Dustin says one of the best things about working at Russian Pointe was the broad perspective he gained on the dance world by doing fittings and selling shoes to dancers from companies and schools all over the country.

“It really opened me up to what all is available for dance in the United States,” he says. “It really helped me step back. It helped me reassess my dancing and where I want to go with my dancing.”

In St. Louis, Dustin will be both performing with the company and teaching at their conservatory, but eventually, he says he dreams of owning his own dance school or company that expresses his artistic vision.

Dustin says he’s grateful to have worked at Russian Pointe, where he learned that if you treat customers well, you learn how to treat yourself well, too, and have a better outlook on life.

We wish Dustin the best success in his new adventure!