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Gaynor Minden, Inc.
140 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011

10 March 2006                                       

For Immediate Release

Contact: Amanda Tindal

212 929-0087 x12

Gaynor Minden Signs Melissa Hayden

Legendary Ballerina and Teacher Endorses the Modern Pointe Shoe

New Advertising Campaign Features Teachers

Gaynor Minden, the company that created the modern pointe shoe, has signed ballet legend Melissa Hayden to lead the teacher-based segment of its acclaimed “Amazing…Effortless” advertising campaign.   

The new campaign, set to launch in Spring 2006, will include full page ads in the dance press, prominence on Gaynor Minden’s dancer.com website, posters, and other promotional materials.

The “Amazing…Effortless” advertisements all include the headline “It’s Amazing What Goes In To Making Something Effortless” and show leading dancers in performance, rehearsal, or class. The ads illustrate various aspects of the effort that goes into creating ballet’s look of effortlessness, and show examples of dancers achieving it onstage.

Ms. Hayden has been recommending the sometimes controversial Gaynor Minden pointe shoe since 1995. She says, “Gaynor Mindens strengthen the feet and elongate the leg muscles. They facilitate articulate footwork, good balance, and correct technique. Gaynor Mindens shape to the foot, allowing it to become an extension of the leg in a long, continuous line. I recommend them to everyone I teach. They are a must for my students.”

John Minden, C.E.O. of Gaynor Minden, Inc. says, “Adding highly respected ballet teachers to the campaign acknowledges the importance of teachers in the process of creating a dancer’s technique and artistry. It’s training as well as talent that makes for great dancing.

“The new ads should also allay any concerns that other teachers, who may not have much familiarity with Gaynor Mindens, might have about their students using them,” he adds.

Melissa Hayden was one of America’s greatest ballerinas and is now one of its most highly respected teachers. She was a principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, but it was as a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, where for over twenty years she was a star in an officially “starless” company, that she is best known. She danced a huge repertory that included just about every one of the company’s leading parts, and she originated the principal roles in some of George Balanchine’s greatest works: Divertimento #15, Agon, Liebeslieder Waltzes, Stars and Stripes, Episodes, Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet, and many more. She inspired other choreographers, as well—Frederick Ashton, Jerome Robbins, Todd Bolender, William Dollar—to create leading roles for her. She appeared as a guest artist at major companies all over the world.

Since her retirement in 1973 Ms. Hayden has devoted herself to teaching: at her own school in New York City for six years, as Artist-in-Residence at Skidmore College, and since 1983 as Senior Faculty at North Carolina School of the Arts. Ms. Hayden has staged numerous ballets both here and abroad, she is active in dance education and as an advocate for the development of the arts in education; she has served on numerous boards and as a grant review panelist at the National Endowment for the Arts, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and honorary degrees.

Among her many protégés who have gone on to careers with major companies is Gillian Murphy, now a leading principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre and star of Great Performances’ broadcast of Swan Lake on PBS. Ms. Murphy is a longtime spokeswoman for Gaynor Minden pointe shoes and has used them since she was Ms. Hayden’s student at N.C.S.A.

Gaynor Minden plans to expand the “Amazing…Effortless” campaign to include other dancers, teachers, and coaches. It has already tapped dancers overseas as well. All the dancers in the series are legitimate long-term users of Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, not just models. Recent ads have featured Gillian Murphy, Maria Riccetto, Erica Cornejo, Veronika Part, Kristi Boone, Zhong-Jing Fang, and other members of A.B.T.; stars of England’s Royal Ballet including Alina Cojocaru and Zenaida Yanowsky; and Tara Birtwhistle, principal dancer at Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Unlike traditional pointe shoes in which the satin exterior covers internal components of leather, cardboard, paper, and/or burlap, held together with paste, Gaynor Minden’s internal components are durable thermoplastic elastomerics and resilient, impact-absorbing urethane foam. They are made in the U.S.A.


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