Our Frequently Asked Questions

Search through our most commonly asked questions for assistance

We only offer applicable returns for store credit or exchange within 14 days of purchase. No returns will be given via original payment methods (including cash sales). See our full terms for details.

Returns | Exchanges

You can conveniently use our Returns/Exchanges portal directly on our website.

Please note, following our portal does not guarantee we will refund for store credit or exchange any item. We are not responsible for any shipments lost in transit. However, using our portal will allow us the ability to retrieve tracking information to pursue lost parcels. Please allow 24-48 business hours for your request to be processed.

 Items that are for Pre-Order (not available yet for immediate delivery) will be treated as a standard order and are subject to availability by the manufacturer.

You will be notified to the Estimated Time of Delivery (or ETA) after your order is placed, please allow us up to 48 hours to collect this data.

Paid Pre-Orders for standard stock merchandise are eligible for return by store credit or exchange within 14 days of when we receive it.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our Customer Service Team

All items specified on the product page via markdown, or labeled as as final sale are not returnable or exchangeable under any circumstances.

All services rendered by Footlights such as alterations make the product a final sale product and cannot be applied to our Return or Exchange policies under any circumstance.

We are not liable for any dissatisfaction of a product or service rendered. For questions or concerns regarding our Final Sale Items policies, please contact our Customer Service team

We can evaluate returns/exchanges in person but to save you the trip, you can conveniently use our Returns/Exchanges portal directly on our website or mail in the package by following the directions below.

Please allow 24-48 business hours for your request to be processed.

Our full return policies should be read through this link here before proceeding with any returns/exchanges: 

https://www.dancefootlights.com/policies/refund-policy  

You can always use our Return/Exchange portal to request a refund or exchange via mail. Please note, following our portal does not guarantee we will refund for store credit or exchange any item. We are not responsible for any shipments lost in transit. However, using our portal will allow us the ability to retrieve tracking information to pursue lost parcels.

Please allow 24-48 business hours for your request to be processed.

If we grant a store credit return, you will be given the information containing the total of your credit in person, via email or over the phone. All store credits contain an expiration date. 

Store credits cannot be "cashed out" for the cash value at any time under any circumstance. Items purchased with store credit cannot have the monetary value of the item returned to a credit or debit card and cannot be refunded in cash. For more information regarding store credits, please contact our Customer Service Team

You can read more of Return & Exchange policies here

That period of time before your order is ready for shipping or pickup

Processing & Handling

All online orders are processed Monday-Friday (excluding days closed) between 11a-3p.

*Typically orders are filled within 48 hours depending on the time and day you place your order. Holidays, store closures and carrier delays can impact this turnaround.

We are not in control of if a carrier skips a parcel waiting for pickup. We do not handle the delivery of your goods, therefore we cannot guarantee, represent or warrant that your package will be uninterrupted, timely, or kept secure.

Carriers typically pickup processed orders on following business day that we're open on, from when your order is processed (not from when you placed the order). Express/Next Day delivery options do not work on Fridays thru the weekend.

If you have a time sensitive order, we suggest that you visit our boutiques or call during our Boutique hours to ensure your items are available and ready for purchase for expedited services.

You can always purchase items over the phone (and pay for shipping) during our boutique hours. For further inquiries about shipping, please contact our Distribution Administrator

All online orders are processed Monday-Friday (excluding days we are closed) between 11a-3p.

*Typically orders are filled within 48 hours depending on the time and day you place your order. Holidays, store closures and carrier delays can impact this turnaround.

We are not in control of if a carrier skips a parcel waiting for pickup. We do not handle the delivery of your goods, therefore we cannot guarantee, represent or warrant that your package will be uninterrupted, timely, or kept secure.

Carriers typically pickup processed orders on following business day that we're open on, from when your order is processed (not from when you placed the order). Express/Next Day delivery options do not work on Fridays thru the weekend.

If you have a time sensitive order, we suggest that you visit our boutiques or call during our Boutique hours to ensure your items are available and ready for purchase for expedited services.

You can always purchase items over the phone (and pay for shipping) during our boutique hours. For further inquiries about shipping, please contact our Distribution Administrator

If you're not located within the US, there may be higher fees for shipping, depending on the destination address globally.

Additional duties/customs charges are the responsibility of the client.

All additional fees will be collected before an order is complete.

Any failure to respond to additional money requests within 48 hours will automatically void the transaction and the client will be refunded the total cost of their order.

If you need to make a change to your order, please contact our Distribution Administrator at shipping@dancefootlights.com immediately.

If your order status is marked as shipped, your order cannot be changed and you will need to create a separate order for any additional items.

For exchanges, follow our Returns/Exchanges policies and conveniently use our online portal to process this request. Some items are not eligible for returns and exchanges. Please allow 24-48 business hours for your request to be processed.

We do not handle the delivery of your goods, therefore we cannot guarantee, represent or warrant that your package will be uninterrupted, timely, or kept secure.

You can file a claim yourself by going to the carrier's website and follow their directions. We are not liable to replace any lost or damaged materials.

If you believe your package to be lost, contact our Distribution Administrator

You will be contacted with the details of what (if any) product you ordered that is no longer available from us or the manufacturer. You will automatically be reimbursed for this item via the payment method used.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Customer Service

We primarily use USPS and UPS services but also use FedEX and DHL on occasion.

We are not responsible for any lost, damaged or stolen parcels.

Common Questions

General Questions

Our Fitting Hours during August-September: we stop the wait list sign-up in person for pointe fittings an hour before closing during the week and at 2p Saturdays.

Both Boutique locations stock the same quantities and styles of all products and are operated daily by certified fitters.

Please be mindful of the time: the average ballet flat/jazz/tap fitting takes ten-twenty minutes. If you are arriving five minutes before closing, this is not enough time to fit you properly and process your checkout time.

To contact our boutique, please use the provided sources:

HERE

Yes, we offer sewing services for a fee. Typically, your shoes will be ready within 5-10 minutes once we begin sewing. You can also purchase this service and apply it to your online orders. 

No, we do not offer re-sales of used merchandise. We suggest donating lightly used dance supplies to your studios or local dancers in need. 

Yes! We do offer gift cards.

You can purchase online here: https://www.dancefootlights.com/products/gift-card-pos-only?_pos=1&_psq=gift%20card&_ss=e&_v=1.0

If you need a different value, please contact our Customer Service Team. 

All Gift Cards contain an expiration date. Gift Cards cannot be "cashed out" for the cash value at any time under any circumstance. Items purchased with a Gift Card cannot have the monetary value of the item returned to a credit or debit card and cannot be refunded in cash. 

For the security of the Gift Card value, the received Gift Card email contains the only accessible point to the Gift Card number for redemption.

We cannot reissue or view a Gift Card number due to security limitations outside of our control. The only way to receive a Gift Card is via email. If you lose access to that email account or provide the wrong information, we cannot guarantee the Gift Card can be transferred to a new account without further payment penalties.

For security purposes, we strongly advise using the valid email address of the purchaser instead of the receiver to ensure the card is securely received.

At that point, the Gift Card can be forwarded to another email address, printed or otherwise distributed to the receiver from the purchaser.

For more information regarding Gift Cards, please contact our Customer Service Team

Follow the link here: https://omniform1.com/signup/v1/60776ba58a48f70785838c58_60777cf599f0b77fca353919.html

You can always us the Subscribe Now button on our website as well!

Orders placed for in-person pickup are processed within 24-48 hours, depending on the date and time in which your order was placed. Orders are not processed over the weekend. For time sensitive orders, please contact the desired boutique directly for escalated assistance.

You will be contacted when your order is ready for pickup. Please be mindful of our Boutique Hours and contact the pickup boutique if you have any questions about pickup times and processes.

We are not offering curbside pickup. When you arrive for your pickup after you've received the notification your order is ready, please see a team member at the checkout counter inside for assistance.

Yes, we do have a fitting fee. Our fitting fee applies to fittings for shoes that you anticipate purchasing elsewhere. The $50.00USD fee can be applied to your future purchase if you decide to buy the shoes from Footlights at a later time within fourteen days of your fitting.

We only implement this fee to help ensure the care and condition of our products.

We do not fit pointe shoes for clients who intend to purchase elsewhere. 

What you Need to Know

Appointments + Studio Shopping

You do not need an appointment for individual service.

Studio/Group fittings need to be scheduled no later than 30 days in advance by contacting us to ensure the requested date and time are available.

Groups of 3+ that do not schedule ahead may be asked to wait (wait times can exceed an hour) or re-schedule for another day.

Details regarding Studio/Group fittings can be found further in our FAQ's regarding "Studio Shopping" or by messaging our SmartBot, Phoebe on our site.

We offer select hours outside of our regular business hours for individuals to schedule for shopping/fittings.

To check our availability, please follow the link here

If you're planning to bring more than three friends/siblings that need to be fitted at the same time, yes, you should schedule ahead with us.

We ask that you contact the desired boutique directly (at least 30 days before your desired time) to set this up before confirming dates and times with parents to ensure our services are available.

Please note: When a teacher/dancer arranges a fitting with our team, our Professional Fitters conduct the entire fitting experience. Instructors are encouraged to participate in communicating the "Next Steps", but are asked to refrain from touching shoes or fitting a dancer during the process. This allows our Fitters to comfortably conduct a safe and productive fitting to our certified standards.

To schedule, please message our SmartBot, Phoebe on our site or call us (301)-888-6901

There are hundreds of dance studios that recommend Footlights because of our highly sought after professional fitters and luxury boutique offers. Due to such high volume of recommendations coming from around the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond, we do not have every list of requirements. We always suggest if you are unsure of your requirements to check in with the studio directly prior to purchasing merchandise.

Do you have everything you need for dance class? Check with your studio for any possible dress code requirements established for your level and class. Many studios have uniforms and suggested or preferred options to every part of the dress code, including your bun! 

Please note: When a teacher/dancer arranges a fitting with our team, our Professional Fitters conduct the entire fitting experience. Instructors are encouraged to participate in communicating the "Next Steps", but are asked to refrain from touching shoes or fitting a dancer during the process. This allows our Fitters to comfortably conduct a safe and productive fitting to our certified standards.

Clients of studios cannot apply on behalf of a studio.

Faculty who wish to apply must have permission from the studio owner prior to applying.

For the Studio Bulk Buying Program

At this time, we are scheduling events and fittings. Please contact our Director, Ezzie, if you're interested in these services at info@dancefootlights.com

We offer informational events and specials to local studios in the region. For more information please contact us at info@dancefootlights.com

We service studios throughout Maryland, D.C. Northern Virginia, parts of eastern West Virginia, and south-central Pennsylvania. Please contact our director to find out more for your studio: info@dancefootlights.com

How to Save at Footlights

Discounts | Sales

Save more at Footlights with the Footie Rewards Program. You're automatically enrolled when you create an account with us and earn 1 point!

Easily sign up on our website by creating an account and start gaining points for every $50 spent.

Earn even more points by following the Reward prompts through the Reward bubble.

Earn Points by doing the following:

Spend $50, get 1 point back

Refer a Friend - Give 10%, get 10% Back

Order Totals:

Place 15 orders, get 15 Back

Spend more to save more with our exclusive VIP program.

Tutu Tier: Entry level. Spend $1,000 within a year to qualify. Receive 10 bonus points!

Spotlight Tier: Mid-level. Spend $2,500 within a year to qualify. Get 1.2x the points and receive 15 bonus points!

Prima Tier: Top level. Spend $4,000 within a year to qualify. Get 2x the points and receive 20 bonus points!

Points expire 365 days from earning and some rewards require minimum cart values to redeem and cannot be applied to all merchandise. If you receive a refund for an order you earned points on, those points are removed from your rewards balance.

VIP tiers can be downgraded after a year if goals are not hit.

All pricing is in USD. 

This applies to limited time sales (Flash Sales, annual sales and other deals that are only active within a specific timeframe). All promotional offers are only valid for a limited time. These offers cannot be applied to previous purchases for any reason.

Every year we host our Annual Back to Dance Sale to help dancers get everything they need for the new school year.

All promotional terms will be announced with each discount offer. Typically, we offer sales both in person and online. At any time a discount is only offered in person, we will specify if a client can also get the discount over the phone or via email if they cannot participate in person.

Common Pointe Questions

Pointe Shoe Fittings

We are a team of master fitters, senior and newly certified fitters who strongly believe that no one is ever truly "done" learning something new about the detailed professionalism that goes into proper pointe shoe fittings. The craftmanship, technology and dancers' needs are always evolving and so does our training.

We're certified professional fitters with renowned recognition in the industry; we offer in-house customizations and custom orders. Every one of our pointe-fitting trainees spends months training in the art of fitting alongside our senior and master fitters.

Every fitting you receive at Footlights is done by a trained professional.

In addition to our certifications, we work closely with manufacturers to test pointe shoes in development and only stock shoes we believe are exceptionally made and truly benefit dancers.

Growth room in pointe shoes is very dangerous. Footlights does not fit with growth room in pointe shoes under any circumstance. 

Toe pads, spacers and additional protection varies dancer to dancer. Not everyone needs spacers, and not every instructor prefers toe pads. Some instructors prefer their dancers to wear thin padding, while another prefers thicker and another could ask dancers to not wear anything in their shoes. When you visit Footlights for a fitting, our professional team will go over all the options and what works best for your feet and instructor. 

You should always have an instructor approve your pointe shoes prior to sewing them, they may be looking for something specific that we are not made aware of during the fitting. If you are sewing them by hand, allow yourself at least one full day before your pointe class to allow sufficient time to sew – and to fix any mistakes! If you do not have time, we offer sewing services for a fee. Follow along our return policies for further details as needed. 

We often hear the term ‘master-fitter’ in the Dance Retail World – but what really makes one? For us, we consider our Master Fitter’s to be the owners of Footlights Dance & Theatre Boutique. For us, it’s about experience, expertise and service. All of our trained fitters were taught by our founder Joy, and co-owners Joe and Molly.

Trainees are not approved to fit pointe shoes until Joe and Molly both feel the trainee has mastered the craft themselves.

Any time you walk into a Footlights boutique you will receive top-notch expertise and experience with our team.

The care and consideration you receive during a fitting is an upmost importance to us as a company. Fittings can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes, if not longer!

We strive to give each and every one of our customers the same valued services and to do so, we need that time to properly help each and every one of you in a timely manner.

There is no need to schedule a fitting with a Master Fitter when working with Footlights because of the extensive training our team receives.

If you feel that you need more attention from a Master or Senior fitter, please reach out to our Director, Ezzie, at info@dancefootlights.com to discuss further. 

Not at this time! We offer select virtual assistance for pointe and demi pointe shoes. For those of you who are looking for your first pair, we feel strongly that those first fittings be done in person. 

Every dancer is different, therefore the life span of pointe shoes varies dancer to dancer. On average, traditionally made pointe shoes will last you about 12-15 hours of pointe work. 

Unfortunately, pointe shoes do not last forever. The best way to tell if your pointe shoes are shot is to evaluate the amount of support you feel in your shoes. Over time, the fabric and materials used to create your pointe shoes begins to break down. When your shoes feel “squishy” (no longer stiff or supportive) or you feel unbalanced, you may need a new pair of pointe shoes. The best way to determine this is to ask your instructor or stop by one of our boutiques to show our professionally trained staff. 

There are many variables in which depict the life span of your pointe shoes. Ultimately, there will be a point in which your shoes are no longer affective or supportive and in some cases, dangerous to wear. To help extend the life span of your pointe shoes, let them air dry often. Take them out of your dance bag, take toe pads or other toe protection you might use out of the shoes and let them hang somewhere they can air out. Air drying your shoes helps dry out the sweat in your shoes which breaks down the materials over time. If you dance en pointe daily, alternate two pairs of shoes. This allows one pair to dry fully while you’re using the other. If needed, we also offer products such as jet glue which hardens the materials of the shoes and adds an additional barrier to break down. We also offer extensive services in our boutiques to help with dancers who feel their shoes are too soft or dying too quickly. We can apply these services to online orders, but strongly suggest you visit us in person first to talk over the options with our professional team to ensure those are the services you need. All alterations, including those rendered by Footlights, make shoes non-returnable/exchangeable. 

Make sure you bring your current pair of shoes in along with your padding each time you come in for a fitting, even if you love your current shoes!

Every dancer is different. Some dancers whose feet have not changed in strength or size have an easier time purchasing the same shoes again online as opposed to coming in for a new fitting. However, pointe shoes are often handmade and can vary with consistency. We encourage dancers to come in to try shoes on, even if it’s the same thing. Other dancers, and typically new pointe dancers, find that their feet are in a constant change which affects how they feel in shoes and ultimately need a fitting. It’s always best to come in for a fitting to ensure the best fit for you, but we understand that isn’t always an option! 

If you’ve been dancing en pointe but have not previously been fitted for pointe shoes at Footlights, we ask that you bring your current pointe shoes, toe pads and any other additional accessories you may use in your pointe shoes. This allows our fitters to get the best idea of what you’ve been working with and address any possible changes you would like or need. 

No. We do not take shoes back that have been worn. If you feel unstable in your new pointe shoes, we suggest coming in person to have them evaluated.

Pointe shoes do not maintain consistency from when they were purchased. When you begin to wear pointe shoes in class, they begin to shift and change to shape to your foot. Sometimes, the way a pointe shoe breaks down can greatly alter your balance and how you feel in the shoes.

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee how this will affect a dancer prior to them wearing the shoes; every shoe and every dancer are different. 

With over 30 years of extensive experience and training, our expertise has been sought after from all over the Mid-Atlantic region for many years. With our founder's knowledge combined with innovative training from our vendors, it make us the largest team of professionally certified fitters in the Mid-Atlantic. Manufacturers and designers are in constant works with Footlights on what new pointe shoes they have, often using Footlights as one of the first distributors of new designs for feedback not just from our customers, but also our fitters. There hasn’t been a foot we couldn’t fit – experience the Footlight fit for yourself in store today. 

Depending on the time of day and year, there may be an extended wait time to be fitted. You should expect us to examine your feet and posture. Make sure your toe nails are filed down and not too long! If you're currently en pointe, bring all of your toe protection and your current pair of pointe shoes (even if they're too small or you do not like them). Expect to spend between fifteen minutes to an hour+ between wait time and fitting process at our boutiques. 

In general, new pointe shoes will be snug and secure. They will not feel roomy or comfortable like your street shoes. Our professionally trained staff will walk you through the details during a fitting, allowing us to customize and fit perfectly to your feet. If you’re coming in for your first fitting be prepared to work with our staff from 15 minutes to an hour+ between fitting and wait time. We suggest you come in with any and all suggestions or notes that your instructor has for you, including shoes they do not like! If you are currently en pointe but have not been fitted at Footlights before, we ask that you bring along your current pair of pointe shoes and any toe protection or accessories you use inside your pointe shoes for us to evaluate. 

Typically, we recommend dancers come in every three months to have their shoes looked over to ensure the dancer is receiving the proper support and stability needed.

Oftentimes, new dancers do not realize their shoes are dead, or try to push the limits of their shoes lifespans well beyond their use.

When in doubt, come in and let us take a look!

Everything You Need to Know

Pointe Facts 101

  • NEVER keep your toe pads stuffed inside the box of your pointe shoes; this kills the shoes by allowing them to absorb moisture from the toe pads directly into the shoes long after class is over.

  • You can wash your toe pads but make sure they air dry. Your toe pads will last at least a year. If you feel they aren’t giving you enough protection, always let your fitter know the next time you come in and we’ll start with finding you new padding.

  • NEVER wear your pointe shoes without the same padding you were fitted in at the shop. If it starts to feel better without padding, your shoes need to be evaluated immediately.

  • If you wear dead shoes for prolonged periods of time this increases your risk for arthritis and joint damage.

  • If you are experiencing blistering, bruising, or pain, please discontinue use of your shoes immediately and come in for evaluation with your shoes and padding.

1) NEVER try to break your shoes in with your hands, a door, or other objects.

Doing so can damage the shoes in a place that shouldn’t be broken down, strips the lifespan of your shoes and can lead to serious injury. To ensure your best placement in class and the longevity of your shoes, don’t manipulate your shoes by hand.

2) NEVER get your shoes wet! This will breakdown the shoes and cause irreversible damage.

3) Let your pointe shoes air dry often after use.

Utilize a mesh bag to offer ventilation to your shoes. Keep your mesh bag on the outside of your dance bag for max ventilation. If you keep your mesh bag inside another bag, it doesn't allow your shoes to truly air dry properly.

4) NEVER try on someone else’s pointe shoes or let anyone try your shoes on.

Not only is this dangerous to do, it can also damage the shoes. Everyone is fitted specifically into a pair of shoes for their feet and shoes will breakdown to mold to their feet, not yours and vice versa.

  • When en pointe, you are using 12x your weight on the ankle and feet.

  • Over-stretching reduces flexibility overall and can lead to stress fractures.

  • On average, your pointe shoes will begin to last about 12-15 hours of pointe work.

  • In your first pair, you’ll most likely grow out of them before they fully breakdown.

  • It is normal for one foot to feel tighter in the pointe shoe than your other foot but should never feel like your toes are curling.

Discontinue use of shoes if you feel your toes are curling and seek an evaluation fitting as soon as possible.

  • If you’re dancing in your pointe shoes every week, even if it’s only for a few minutes at a time, you need to have your shoes evaluated every three months.

These shoes are not intended to last half a year to a year and while they may feel fine, they might not actually be fine.

  • Stretch ribbon should only be used for dancers who are experiencing tendentious or other sensitivities. Stretch ribbon does not give you the same imperative support non-stretch satin ribbon does. If you feel like your satin ribbon isn't supportive, it may be how you're lacing or it could be how it's sewn, or even the material itself against tights/skin,etc.! Seek our fitter's assistance for more help.

While we are certified to fit pointe shoes, we are not medical professionals or certified physical therapists.

All information provided in this guideline and during a fitting should not replace a physician's evaluation of if you're physically capable of wearing and dancing in pointe shoes. Regardless of an instructor or studio graduating a dancer to pointe work, it is always recommended that a physician sign off on the dancer's physical capabilities as well prior to purchasing or trying on pointe shoes.

It is your responsibility to use these products in a safe, appropriate manner.

We are not responsible for injuries sustained while wearing shoes purchased from or fitted at Footlights.