Professor of Dance Jennifer Fisher Shares the History Behind Pointe Shoes

Watch Professor of Dance Jennifer Fisher explain the history of pointe shoes on a segment of The Pointe Shop with Josephine Lee.


A former dancer and actor, Professor Jennifer Fisher had careers as a travel writer, film critic, magazine editor, television critic, and media commentator for CBC radio in Canada. In the 1990s, she made a few unlikely comebacks in the arena of performance, appearing on the sidelines of the Kirov Ballet's Romeo and Juliet and La Bayadère, and later, alongside Mikhail Baryshnikov in David Gordon's "The Matter," which used La Bayadère music and was remounted for "PastForward," a White Oak Project. She has presented papers at many professional conferences and has guest lectured for American Ballet Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, San Francisco Ballet, and many other organizations.

An excerpt of Nutcracker Nation appeared in Dance Magazine. Dr. Fisher has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," ABC's "Nightline," and "CBS Sunday Morning."

Fisher holds the distinction of being the only self-appointed ballet coroner to hold regular inquests into the death of Giselle.

Below are a few recent pieces of press from Professor Fisher:

November 28, 2022 | Australian Broadcasting Company radio show, The Stage Show.

"The forgotten ballets of Australia" (Play the show: Includes a 20-minute segment starting at 40 minutes.)

November 25, 2022 | The Washington Post, writer Sarah Kaufman’s latest perspective piece.

"Cracking open ‘The Nutcracker’s’ dark Russian past" (Read the feature)