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Ballet Shoes

Pointing To Recovery

The Story

In December 2002, I (Amy Waddle) began inpatient eating disorder treatment at Remuda Ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona. While there, I was diagnosed with bulimia and bipolar II disorder. Part of my recovery process was grieving the loss of my ability to dance due to a spinal injury at the age of 17.


I had kept all my old pointe shoes in the hopes to hold on to those memories, because dance had been such a huge part of my life and identity. The shoes became a symbol of me choosing recovery and leaving my eating disorder behind. I never wanted to forget that moment. It was one of the greatest turning points in my life. It started when I signed the last pair of shoes I wore on stage before my spinal injury. I wrote, 'I chose recovery,' not knowing that it would be the start of this impactful awareness project.  

This project was created to inspire dancers through these images and to show them that they are not alone, and that they have a community who can empathize with their challenges. We are asking dancers who have either struggled in the past or are currently struggling with body image, eating disorders, or disordered eating to sign their old shoes and mail them to us. Your shoes will be featured on our social media accounts and website to help other dancers feel supported and uplifted.

To donate pointe shoes, please call (805) 296-2600 or email

Worn Ballet Pointe Shoes
Instagram of Amy's Pointe Shoes that say "I chose recovery"
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