Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a good week. I'm finally on vacation with my family and it was definitely way overdue. We're checking out two colleges on the coast my brother has shown interest in and of course going into my favorite city in the state. I've gotten my fill of Urbane Cafe and Fiore so I'm very happy.
Today I wanted to share with you my tips and tricks for pointe shoes! Enjoy.
1. Make sure you find the perfect fit
I can't stress enough how important finding the perfect pointe shoe is when you begin. It took me over three hours to find the perfect brand. And I've stuck with them ever since. I'm very loyal to my Bloch Serenades. Make sure, the person who is helping you get fitted knows what the hell she's talking about. It can be career ending if you get the wrong pair of pointe shoes and get hurt.
2. Get a Theraband
Therabands are life-saving. Yellow and red are lame colours. I would suggest getting blue (that's what I have) they are extremely cheap ($1 a foot. Its recommended you get three feet. You can get them at most medical supply stores) When I first started pointe my ankles weren't as strong as they should be so pointe was extremely hard for me in the beginning. I got twisted ankles a lot. I don't as often anymore because I'm stronger. You can also purchase therabands at discountdance.com. I suggest the dark red one.
3. Break your pointe shoes in properly
This was my biggest mistake. I didn't break my pointe shoes in the way I do now. I was always off balance and it was just terrible. Click here for the proper way to break in pointe shoes. I still use this video from time to time.
4. Elastics are better than ribbon
When I buy new pointe shoes I never use ribbon. They sell elastics that tie around your ankle. I prefer those because they offer me more support. This is what I always buy. I highly recommend them. Click here if you want to look into them.
5. The price
Pointe shoes are damn expensive. I bought my first pair at the dance store in my hometown. Now I buy them off of discountdance.com. They're a lot cheaper for me that way since I have to pay for them myself.
Tricks of the Trade
1. I use Pillows for Pointe Gell Tip toe pads because my toes are really sensitive. I recommend those to all dancers starting pointe.
2. Microfoam tape can also be used as toe tape. I don't use micro-foam toe tape often because they fall off easily.
3. Masking tape is an amazing toe tape. This is what I use all the time. It may sound painful but it's not. Its comfortable and can last for hours. Fabric stretchy bandaids are a good alternative as well.
4. Burn the ends of your elastics. This is so they won't fray. I usually hairspray mine because it's safer.
5. Rosin (its powder you put on your pointe shoes so you won't slip) isn't necessary in class unless the floor is really slippery which in that case is a bad idea to dance on anyways. I'm crazy about rosin. It's an amazing life saver!!
6. I put baby powder in my pointe shoes after class. It absorbs the sweat and it makes them last longer. I also took old stockings, cut the foot part off and filled it with rice. I put those in my pointe shoes to help preserve the shape.
7. When I break in my pointe shoes I actually get them wet with a spray bottle. It makes the process go faster and it's easier to break in pointe shoes with a strong shank.
8. Always wear toe pads and tights when dancing en pointe. It's so freaking painful if you don't wear toe pads or tights.
9. When ever I get new pointe shoes I wear them all day so they'll mold to my feet, once my elastics and ribbons are sewed on of course.
10. I take a pair of scissors and make scratch marks on the tip of my pointe shoe. Since I don't use rosin in class this creates some friction which can be helpful when dancing on slippery surfaces.
11. Replace toe pads every six months.
12. When I try on my new pointe shoes, which ever shoe goes on the right foot gets an R drawn on the inside. Same with the left shoe. This doesn't matter to some dancers but it matters to me. *remember no two feet are alike*
13. To make the box softer I like to smack my shoes against the wall. I also step on the vamp and the sides of the box. This also helps breaking the demi pointe.
14. I only spend about an hour to break in my pointe shoes (or well until it feels comfortable to me).
You don't want to break them in too much because when you dance in them you'll break them down even more.
And that concludes my post on Pointe Shoes 101. If you liked this post don't forget to give it a +1 on Google+, share with all your dance friends and leave me a comment below telling me what are your tips for breaking in pointe shoes. See you all in a week.
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