Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to Buy Pointe Shoes

How to Buy Pointe Shoes

En Pointe is the art of dancing on the very tips of your toes while performing steps in ballet. Dancing on pointe is strenuous, difficult and can be dangerous. Dancers are not commonly allowed to begin pointe work until they have mastered at least five years of traditional ballet, and even when beginning pointe work the drills and training must be exercised with great delicacy and diligence. Pointe shoes are a specialized ballet shoe built with a hardtoed block and stiff shank, which help the dancer stand on tiptoe. The irregular position that a pointe shoe forces a dancers foot into, along with the strenuous act of actually dancing in this position, means that the fit of a pointe shoe is of vital importance to the health and longevity of a dancer and her career.



    Some modern improvements have been made to the shanks and block to increase the life of a pointe shoe, but most of this is done in vain. Because of the way a pointe shoe is used, it is not durable, often lasting only one performance. Professionals may go through more than one pair each night.


    Its the size that matters most. Pointe shoes are like bras. If they arent sized correctly they dont do you any good. Capezio, Russian Point, Bloch and Grishko offer a wide selection of sizing options and color combinations.


    Pointe shoes can cost anywhere from $30 to $75 and are available in all colors from green to red and yellow to the traditional pink.


    Ask the salesperson at a dance shoe store for assistance. You should also discuss the process with your instructor.


    Pointe shoes should be snug and fit like a second skin. They should not cause your toes to numb or fall asleep or apply excessive pressure to any part of the foot. One of the leading causes of dance injuries are incorrectly sized pointe shoes.


    To find the correct width, try several. All five toes should lay flat against the sole. When you apply weight to the platform or go up onto pointe, your foot should not slide down into the box. If it does slide you need to try a smaller width. Pointe shoes usually run smaller than your regular shoe size and come in soft, medium and hard. To add to the confusion, they come in widths of B, C, D, E and EE.


    Everyone has a variation in their foot size. Though in most cases and with most everyday shoes, the difference is barely noticeable, pointe shoes are different. Be sure to fit each foot separately to ensure proper sizing.


    You should be able to feel the end of the box with your toes, however when you perform a pli, your toes should not be forced to curl under.


    Soften the shoe and box. Place the box (this is the hard block at the toe) between the palms of your hands and gently apply pressure. Do this for each shoe to soften them.


    A proper fitting pointe shoe does not allow for growing room, so if you are a young dancer and your foot is still growing, you should be refitted every six months to ensure that you maintain a healthy and proper sizing of your pointe shoes.

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