Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Pointe Is...

Since I am very new on pointe (September 29, 2011 oh yes i still remember the date), I am still figuring out this freak of nature. I am convinced that humans were not meant to fly or stand on their toes, but it looks pretty so what the heck.

I use Russian Pointe Grandes, and this was my first pair. I recently purchased my second pair to wear for the concert next week. These are considerable harder than I remember, but they are supposedly EXACTLY the same. I have experimented with different padding, switching shoes, different warm-up techniques, everything! I didn't remember Pair 1 hurting this much; the only reason I got new ones were because Pair 1 was all torn-up and falling apart. They weren't dead, just ratty. I made a mistake. I put the old pair on today with fresh padding, and the felt like a second skin! Sooooo comfortable compared to my new shoes. I have spent all day today trying to soften my shoes up, with no success. Maybe I need to buy a softer shoe next time? I will not be getting Grandes again because 1) I am not happy with them and 2) they are discontinued. 

Pointe shoes should look like a part of your feet when you are wearing them. The picture shouldn't be a definite difference between the shoe and your feet. Here are some examples:

Michaela DePrince from First Position is one example I can give you. Watch her feet at 0:17.

Amazing, huh?

This is an example of a foot separate from the shoe.

See what I mean? During pointe class, think of your pointe shoes as part of your foot, not a shoe. They are extensions of your legs, not ballet apparel. You can get this look and feel through well-broken in shoes.


  1. I just started pointe last year as well. What stretches do you use to warm up and what do you suggest that I do over summer so I can be ready for longer en pointe classes next year?

    1. To warm up before class, I will usually walk around on demi-pointe for a little while, or I will walk backwards en pointe. After this, I will do a few rises to pointe from demi and the like. Just slow; literally warming my feet up.

      For the summer I would do you normal pointe barre every day. YEP. EVERY DAY. Even weekends girl. It may be difficult at first, but then you will get so used to the routine that it will feel weird NOT to do it! Trust me, just have patience and diligence :)

    2. Thanks so much!

      I'm sorry if I sound clueless, but do you mean regular pointe bar as in plies, tendus, grande battement (that's spelled wrong) and etc. or like walk through my feet, and releves like we did in class. Those were more feet strengthening things though so... Am I confusing you?


    3. Well, If you mean you take your entire class en pointe, then no. Use the exercises that are designed for pointe shoes. You don't need to do class barre. Yes, releves, echappe, changement en pointe, etc.

  2. what you describe is the typical feeling when putting on a new pair of pointe shoes....this is why dancers hate putting on new shoes!

    you get a pair of pointe shoes to the perfect mould to your feet, and then you realise that you have to get a new pair, and when you try on the new pair it feels awkward and uncomfortable.

    dont worry, just push through...i can tell you that i have worn hundreds of pairs of pointe shoes and i have experienced this feeling every time.....after a few times of wearing them (this will take longer or shorter depending on how much pointe work you are doing) they will start to feel comfortable...and then you will have to start the whole process all over again.

    everytime a dancer comes to rehearsals with a new pair of shoes on, i can guarantee that all the other girls will say,
    'new shoes? oh dear, good luck!'
    because we all understand that awkward new shoes feel.

    also, every shoe will feel different as most pointe shoes are hand made so no two shoes are ever alike.

    1. This is also true for other types of dance shoes. I do tap and jazz and it takes a few weeks to break them in but they last for longer after broken in. Luckily for us we only have to replace them when we grow out of them or, in the case of jazz shoes, wear a hole through them. With our shoes we have to get the leather creased to it's more flexible. :)