Are you interested in getting a pair of pointe shoes? Yet, you are not sure where to start?
Then, let me help you!
Those dance shops below offer first-time pointe shoes fitting. Please arrange an appointment for your fitting as it can take up to an hour- especially for a first pair.
A & A Dance wear
116 Park Cres, Barry CF62 6HE
60 Cotham Hill, Bristol BS6 6JX
Weston Super Mare
46 Orchard St, Weston-super-Mare BS23 1RH
Pointe Shoe Tips & Bits of Advice
#Preparation For Your Pointe Shoe Fitting
Please wear something comfortable that you are able to move freely in- leggings are ideal. If you have them, convertible tights are helpful. If you do not have convertible tights socks are fine (please do not wear full footed tights as we will need to examine your bare feet).
Make sure your toenails are neatly clipped and your feet are clean. If you have had a pair of pointe shoes before please bring your most recent pair, this will help us in finding a new pair and also to look at your habits en pointe. Please also bring any padding and spacers that you would normally wear as this will affect the fit of the shoe.
"Now, you finally got a pair of Pointe Shoes? Let's crack on! "
#'Breaking In' Your Pointe Shoes
Remember to gently break in your shoes and mould them to your feet by wearing them for short periods of time around the house, perform rises in first and sixth position (parallel) focusing on rolling through the demi pointe position up to full pointe and back down through the demi pointe. It is important that the shoe breaks in the correct places for you, not where you happen to bend them using your hands, or shutting them in doors (this is an old myth as instructed by some teachers/fellow pupils)
#Sewing Your Pointe Shoe Ribbons
There are many methods of sewing on your ribbons, we advise you to use one length for each shoe.
1. Fold down the heel piece of the shoe and draw a pencil line along the inside crease on both sides.
2. Fold the heel piece inside out and pin the centre of one piece of ribbon to the centre seam of the heel so that the ribbon sits in front of ie. towards the toe box and flush with the pencil lines.
3. Using the lines as a guide, sew the ribbon in to place. Sew along each side of the ribbon and along the drawstring casing (be careful not to sew through to the outside of the shoe, stitching should not be visible when the shoe is on the foot) Do not worry if you cannot stitch the whole way round ie. where the ribbon meets the inner sole- the heel will hold the centre of the ribbon in place and you can just tuck the excess ribbon underneath the insole.
This way of sewing your pointe shoe ribbons gives more support to the foot when en pointe and also reduces the chance of the ribbon coming loose as it is much more secure.
#Seal the ends of the ribbons
Seal the end of the ribbons to prevent them from fraying. To do this, carefully burn the end of the ribbon with a lighter/match (please ask an adult to do this for you). The nylon ribbon will melt and this will prevent it from fraying.
The satin on your pointe shoes can be quite slippery and after some wear can rip. It is therefore advisable to alter the platform to protect the satin and also to give some grip whilst dancing. Some dancers like to darn their shoes- especially their first pair. However, this can be quite time consuming! A quicker alternative is to glue a piece of suede onto the platform. If you choose the suede tips, use a white glue like copydex or PVA (not super glue) to glue them into place.
#How To Glue Your Suede Tips
1. Glue the round part of the tip to the platform of the shoe.
2. Fold the excess suede under the shoe and trim so that the edge of the suede tip meets but does not overlap the outer sole of the shoe, glue into place.
#Taking Care Of Your Feet And Your Shoes!
Make sure your toenails are neatly clipped before class, as this can cause bleeding feet and will make dancing in your shoes uncomfortable. Be careful not to cut the nail too short and only cut straight across (not into the corners as this can cause ingrowing toenails). If you have any blisters or cuts on your toes, it is a good idea to put some microporous tape over them.
After use, remember to store your shoes in a mesh bag (rather than the plastic one some of them come in) so that the shoes can breathe and dry out. This is important to prolong the life of the shoe. The moisture absorbed by your feet when you sweat in class tends to soften the box, giving you less support in the shoe. If possible, hang the shoes out to dry over a door inside your house by tying the ribbons together and hanging one shoe either side.
It is important to always have your shoes fitted, even if you have had several pairs, as your feet will change as they grow/gain strength.
"Congratulations! Now, you know all about it! So, C'mon, what are you waiting for?
Contact me to check the availability of magical experience of Pointe!"