How Much Do You Know About Soft Ballet Shoes?

by Angie L - Date: 2007-07-10 - Word Count: 562 Share This!

Ballet teaches form and technique, builds strength and develops poise and grace and as any ballet dancer will tell you, it all starts with the feet. The feet are where the ballet dancer will find her power, balance, and agility. If a ballet dancer doesn't take care of her feet with the proper footwear, she is just asking for trouble.

The best weapon a ballet dancer can arm herself with is a proper fitting ballet shoe. It's the best thing she can use to provide herself with the support and comfort she is going to need. A good shoe will allow her to feel the contact with the floor while not causing any unneeded blisters and pain.

Needless to say the fit of your ballet shoe is extremely important. In fitting ballet shoes, always consider the preference of both the dancer and her teacher. To make sure you have accurate and proper fit, follow these few guidelines:

Wear the tights you normally will be using during your dance performance while trying on the shoes.

Place the shoe over the toes first and then gently slide it over the heel.

Now, stand flat in the shoe. You want to be sure that your toes do not curl. If by chance they do, try on to the next size or width.

Get the drawstring and criss-cross them. Pull lightly having shoe conform to the foot and not the other way around. The shoes need to fit like a second skin and not allow for any growing room.

Pointe your foot. The heel of the shoes should still be on the foot. You don't want any gaping in the width of the shoe.

If one of the shoes fit better than the other, try switching the shoes around.

You can also experiment with different sizes and widths to be sure the shoe fits properly. It is crucial that there is little or no room near the toes. If the toes do not reach the front of the shoe, the dancer cannot articulate the foot to pointe and will not feel the floor. Fitted shoes that fit improperly will make it difficult for the dancer to learn the dance technique correctly. On the other hand, a ballet shoe which is too large will cause the dancer to curl their toes in an effort to keep the shoe on while dancing often causing injury.

Sewing on Elastic - One important but often forgotten about aspect of proper fitting ballet shoes is the elastic which keeps them on your feet. If the elastic is attached incorrectly, then it's not going to fit on your foot right and cause more harm than good. Here is a breakdown of the correct way to attach the elastic.

Position the elastic high in the instep, ensuring a good fit at the heel.

Fold the heel of the shoe down until it is flat against the sock-lining.

Place a pencil mark where the fold creases closest to the binding.

Only stitch one side of the elastic onto the binding right below the drawstring. Try not to sew the elastic over the drawstring. That will cause a few problems with the shoe.

Place the shoe on your foot and gently pull the elastic strap over the instep until it feels the most comfortable.

Next, place another pencil mark where the elastic meets the binding.

Again, stitch the elastic below the drawstring. Remember to watch not to sew the elastic over it.

Related Tags: ballet shoes, point shoes, ballet pointe shoes, ballet dance shoes, ballet shoe, capezio dance shoes, girls ballet shoes, womens ballet shoes

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