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Heather McKinney

Spanish Dance - Nutcracker

MK Dancewear is owned and operated by Heather McKinney, Master Fitter and an award winning former professional dancer and choreographer.
Heather has over 35 years of industry experience in ballet, ballroom, jazz, modern, tap, highland, musical theater and choreography.

Owned by a dancer; for dancers!

"Chicago" the musical

Arabian 2006 Nutcracker 2006Nutcracker Sugarplum 1995

Photos courtesy of the Kalamazoo Civic and the Kalamazoo Ballet Company

What customers are saying about MK Dancewear:

“MK Dancewear is the only place we will go for our pointe shoes and other dance needs! The shoes are the best of the best and their customer service is phenomenal! We drive over an hour to go to MK, even with stores closer to us, because they are THAT GOOD!”     
– Heidi Clark

“Heather has been so helpful as our daughter has started her pointe shoe journey! She was a ballerina, so she completely understands the world of pointe shoes and the importance of finding the right shoe. The store has a great selection of dancer necessities and wants. Highly recommend MK Dancewear!”     
– Jandr

Expert pointe shoe fittings by appointment.
Fittings are free of charge.

Lansing, and Byron Center, MI

Email:  [email protected]
(please indicate which location)


Nutcracker 2007

Young dancers fixing hair

Customer Service

Customer Service isn’t just about being “nice”.  It’s about courtesy, respect, sharing experience, listening and responding to your needs and wants, answering questions with accurate information, offering suggestions of new styles to try, properly fitting garments and shoes, supporting you during a big performance or competition, congratulating you on a job well done, and offering classes and workshops
on skills that matter to you.
Our customers are the most important part of our business,
and that shows in everything we do!

Rewards Program Details

1 point for every dollar spent
225 Points = 20% OFF Total Purchase!
Tracked automatically; No punch cards needed.
No exclusions! No expiration! No worries!

Group fittings receive 20% OFF – ask us how


Sustainable Business

We take pride in ownership. That’s why, as much as possible, we’ve chosen brands that produce items made in the USA, United Kingdom, France, Canada, and Ghana.
Our business practices demonstrate environmental stewardship, economic vitality, and social responsibility.
Social responsibility is a key element in a successful workplace! Our well-trained and well-qualified staff enjoy a living wage, plus additional benefits!
We’re proud to be active participants in the Southwest Michigan Sustainable Business Forum. And we have an A+ rating from the better business bureau!

Dancers posing at the barre

Dancers may arrange a fitting with Master Fitter Heather McKinney, or another MK Dancewear certified fitter, to provide superlative pointe shoe fittings to students, pre-professionals and professionals. Heather has over 35 years of industry experience.

Pointe shoes are a specialized tool in dance. Properly fitting pointe shoes can enhance your performance with the confidence that your shoes will be there for you and working WITH you while you perform. In contrast, if you’ve been incorrectly fit into improperly fitting pointe shoes, not only is your performance affected, but your health could be as well. It’s extremely important to be properly fitted into the right pointe shoes! Bruised toenails, pain, exacerbated bunions, excessive blisters, broken toes, even broken ankles can occur when you’ve been
improperly fit into the wrong pointe shoes by an inexperienced fitter! While some fitters mean well, they don't have the variety of inventory on-hand to find that perfect fit. Come find out why MK Dancewear is the preferred fitter for all of Michigan and surrounding states.

The damage that an incorrect fitting can cause, not only to the foot itself, but your technique, is not worth the risk! Make sure your fitter has the knowledge and experience required to fit pointe shoes!

A Note from Heather:
“If you’re like me, you’ve struggled in the past to find a pointe shoe that fits properly. Trying brand after brand, style after style… you know, the ones your fitter thought were “ideal” to your foot type. Or worse, settling for the one that doesn’t twist on your foot; never mind that you’re now dancing directly on your toes because it was fit too wide to prevent twisting. Never mind that it presses so hard on your little toe it cuts off circulation five minutes into pointe class. Never mind that your teacher asked for a clean heel, so now it’s so short it gave you tendinitis. The fitters didn’t know my struggles, didn’t listen, or just didn’t know how to fix the problems. Yep, I’ve been there; done that! That’s why I decided long ago to be my own fitter. I tried virtually every shoe out there to find the one that worked for me… on my own. Along the way, I paid attention to what each shoe did on my foot. I took note of what the manufacturer’s descriptions meant in practice. I paid attention to how long they lasted; how the structures affected my dancing. I calculated how tweaking the length, width, vamp, heel height, and even the shank made the shoes work for me, or not. I even physically altered several shoes by cutting the vamp, trimming the sides, shortening the heels, and sculpting the shanks until I found the perfect combination. Those trials taught me a lot about how pointe shoes are supposed to work. How changing something about the configuration can drastically alter the way it works. Yes, I made a few mistakes. I ruined more than a few pairs, but you know what? I learned… a lot! After a while, I could look at a shoe and tell right away if it was going to work. I started paying attention to the shoes my dancer friends were wearing and making suggestions on shoes that would suit their foot types. That level of understanding is not common, especially with those fitters who don’t have much experience with pointe shoes; those fitters who’ve never even worn pointe shoes. That’s why those fitters couldn’t figure out what to do about strange problems with my pointe shoes. That’s why I didn’t trust anyone but myself to figure it out. I found out the reasons why they do what they do. But mostly, I learned how to fix it. Every shoe, every problem, every time.”

— Heather McKinney, Owner MK Dancewear
Nutcracker Arabian 2007