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School shoes and the ballet dancer!


Ecarte
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Hi hope I'm not alone in this!

 

Long gone are the days when I could persuade my Dd to get "sensible" school shoes from startright or clarkes! Mind you actually getting shoes to fit was the biggest problem I have had much easier pointe shoe fittings that "normal " shoe fittings.

 

The problem is her school shoes are now of the more flimsy fashionable ballet style (what else?!) my DD is constantly flexing her feet,toe pointing,pirouetting and generally foot exercising in her normal shoes. As a result we are getting through school shoes at an alarming rate.... More than either ballet flats or pointes.

I have threatened to buy more substantial shoes and you can imagine how that has gone down!

 

How does anyone else deal with this? It's getting very expensive. Any suggestions?

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In year 8 at school, dd wanted the fashionable 'pump' shoe type, but not long into the year she had problems with her ankle and tendons in her heels. We went to a physio who told her straight that to look after your feet you need good shoes-that did the trick! She wears Clarkes brogues-so they are still fashionable but sturdy and I have to say we have have had no recurring foot issues (touch wood!)

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I have exactly the same problem with my DD and shoes -but have given up and just buy the cheapest black bumps I can find (eg New Look, Primark) as she gets through through them so quickly ( even when I buy the more expensive/better brands).

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This is probably the biggest source of friction between me and my DD. Well, shoes in general actually, not just school shoes. I've had things relatively easy until now as she has quite small feet and so hasn't been able to get as fashionable shoes as she'd like, but she's now a size 3 and can start shopping from the adult aisles. Most of her school friends wear the ballet style flat shoes you describe for school, and towering heels out of school. Obviously I'm not keen on either! So far I have remained in control of the school shoes but it has been at the cost of compromise on out of school shoes. I hate those ballet style flats with a passion. In fact if I ruled the world one of my first dictates would be to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to wear them!I have a friend who is a foot surgeon and we have spent many hours planning the Shoe Revolution! :ph34r: I see so many girls walking round with their feet rolling out of the sides as they are so unsupportive, or with the heels slipping off. I imagine their toes all curled up inside as they try to grip the soles to keep them on GRRRR! I have had many arguments with DD about this, but she has yet to counter the argument that her real ballet shoes always have elastics or ribbons on so that ordinary shoes should have something to hold them on too. She currently has some a bit like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/GEOX-Girls-Shoes-EUPHORY-Mary-Jane-BLACK-7-6-41-NEW-/320669621282?pt=US_Childrens_Shoes&hash=item4aa9661c22

She wears trousers for school so the strap is mostly covered and they don't stand out as being too different to the other girls, but they are supportive and pretty hard wearing, plus Geox shoes are quite "breathable".

Unfortunately I have had to agree to the purchase of some pretty hideous heels and a pair of flat slip ons for out of school wear as part of our deal! However, given that she spends almost all her waking hours either at school or the dance studio, the opportunities to wear them are extremely limited so I don't worry too much. interestingly though, today is non uniform day at school and she's gone wearing a pair of those lace up pumps that are very popular at the moment rather than any of the shoes I disapprove of. Maybe she does listen to me a little bit....or is that just wishful thinking ;)

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I agree with so many of the comments above.

 

Thankfully my DD realises that if she wants to pursue a career in ballet then she really has to look after her feet! So for school (S1 this year) she agreed to a sensible pair of black wedges (very low wedge, about 1 inch max) from Clarks, for wet/snow days she was happy to wear her wellies (really cool tartan ones from Ness so I should think so). These have seen her through the entire year and with 4 weeks to go I will admit that they are definitely looking the worst for wear but they are still supporting her feet so will be worn up until the last day.

 

For S2 she's asked for a pair of black patent DM's - I'm delighted. Even at +£90 per pair (size 4) I'm more than happy to buy her these as I've had a pair for years and they still look like new. Even my husband can't find anything to argue about with these. he he

 

Outside of school I have flatly refused to buy her heels even for party wear and following a friends recent 13th birthday party she came home with tales of other girls hurting their ankles with their 'silly shoes' and told me that the mother of the birthday girl actually commented to her that she wished her daughter would wear shoes the same as my daughter. She was wearing lovely wedged sandals with different coloured leather straps - but they also had a bit of a wedge so she was happy to wear them as they made her feel taller.

 

All other times she lives in converse - the shoe of choice apparently for every child these days!

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This is just the beginning, girls in particular have to decide whether they seriously want to dance. It is called a "Vocation" (literally meaning a "Calling") for a good reason. I sometimes joke with dd and my pupils that it means resisting temptation - and avoiding shoes which may damage feet for the sake of fashion is one of the first challenges they face.

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My dd wore shoes with a wedge heel to school for a few weeks (on the advice of a physio after an injury) despite school rules not allowing them. I got around the problem by buying her extra-long trousers that covered them up and no-one noticed!

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This is just the beginning, girls in particular have to decide whether they seriously want to dance. It is called a "Vocation" (literally meaning a "Calling") for a good reason. I sometimes joke with dd and my pupils that it means resisting temptation - and avoiding shoes which may damage feet for the sake of fashion is one of the first challenges they face.

 

My daughter is a Yorkshire Young Dancer and there are often joint visits to the theatre for all the CAT students. Interestingly, it is the contemporary girls who are usually in the Converse and Nike Blazes whilst the ballet students are teetering on vertiginous heels! :-D

Edited by Kitschqueen_1
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Whilst I really don't like my DD wearing heels, I have to confess that she does walk well in them. There's no teetering invoved - that's me! I presume it's something to do with the core stability and balance that comes from ballet. When I commented that I couldn't walk in her shoes her reply was "No, But then you can't pirouette en pointe either can you?" Teenagers...pah. <_< ( I couldn't resist retaliating by telling her that she wouldn't be able to eiter if she broke her ankle though!)

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Sandals and flip flops can be a real problem. The foot not only needs support, but a thick enough sole (which few fashionable shoes have) to protect the bottom of the foot but also flexible enough (which many are not) to bend as the foot moves forward.

 

If a girl is serious about her dancing - she will be serious about how she selects her shoes.

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Their shoe selection is based on peer pressure and fashion fads, and we need to take the time to educate them about the dangers of I'll fitting fashion shoes.

 

Many of you are lucky enough to have DDs who wear school trousers under which more sensible choices can be disguised we have a skirt and there is nowhere to hide!

 

Will give Clarkes another go if my education talk is enough to persuade her to venture inside!

 

However, not sure I set her the best example with some of my own footwear choices!! I sacrifice much for her ballet but does it also have to influence my shoe choice as well??!! Noooooo not the shoes!

 

 

 

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Yes, I can see it would be harder if she has to wear a skirt. Kids can be cruel and no matter how sensible a teenager is it can be very hard for them to believe that something bad that might happen in the future is more important than the something bad that will happen when they walk into class in the "wrong" shoes. Good luck ballet taxi.

As a matter of interest, what kind of shoes to vocational students wear when they are not dancing? Are the schools very strict about non dance footwear?

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The Hammond school when my dd used to go a few years back were very strict on footwear and would check the childrens shoes. When she was at Tring they didnt have any rules on footwear. I dont know if Hammond is still the same or if they have relaxed their rules.

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Yes, Hammond are still really strict. We had an info sheet sent home with pictures of acceptable shoes. All the girls seem to accept it without question (at least in year 8 - don't know about later.)

 

The Tring sixth formers obviously don't receive the same info. I always used to be astounded by their six inch stilettos!

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I think we are lucky in this respect. At my dd's school they are very strict on what shoes they can wear and clearly stipulate that shoes must be sturdy and sensible; no ballet flats and no high heels either. At least that's one less battle!

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DD did ask for ballet type shoes one year, wore them about twice and then declared that she had no idea how anyone could wear them everyday and refused to wear them again!! We then had a bit of a result when we discovered a pair of white with pink flock DM shoes in her size (mary jane style with a buckle) in TK Maxx!! We dyed them black and she has worn those for the past two years!!

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We just struggle with shoes full stop, even in the C|larks school shoe section. They all seem to be the same style, flat and low and rarely available in the right width fitting. If anyone has any suggestions of where to look for her next school shoes, they'd be gratefully received. She's nearly 10 but is a 5D shoe fitting (same size as me but my feet are fatter)!!

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We just struggle with shoes full stop, even in the C|larks school shoe section. They all seem to be the same style, flat and low and rarely available in the right width fitting. If anyone has any suggestions of where to look for her next school shoes, they'd be gratefully received. She's nearly 10 but is a 5D shoe fitting (same size as me but my feet are fatter)!!

 

Having trained as a childrens shoe fitter and having 2 dancers myself. I try to encourage all children to wear more sensible shoes, not just dancers!

Startrite shoes are the best for either very narrow or very wide feet. However the styles are not very fashionable and most children refuse to wear them. But there are a couple of more fashionable ones called Angry Angels which are made by startrite and these are a lot more supportive than your regular off the peg ballet style pump. Here is a link and they do come up very narrow so possibly ideal for your daughters feet. http://www.angryangels.co.uk/our-shoes

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My dd lived in Startrite when she was younger, but the sizes didn't go up high enough. She had very long narrow feet, and the size seemed to follow the school year i.e. in Year 6 she was a Size 6 and Year 7 a Size 7. Luckily it stopped there and with ongoing ballet training she has build up her arch and shortened the overall length.

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Having trained as a childrens shoe fitter and having 2 dancers myself. I try to encourage all children to wear more sensible shoes, not just dancers!

Startrite shoes are the best for either very narrow or very wide feet. However the styles are not very fashionable and most children refuse to wear them. But there are a couple of more fashionable ones called Angry Angels which are made by startrite and these are a lot more supportive than your regular off the peg ballet style pump. Here is a link and they do come up very narrow so possibly ideal for your daughters feet. http://www.angryangels.co.uk/our-shoes

 

That's great, thanks. We've looked at Startrite, dd's not keen on the style and I'm not keen on the prices (not when she'll hate them! But I've never heard of the Angry Angels range, I've noticed they stock them in the shop I pass most days at work. Will def give them a whirl.

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My dd lived in Startrite when she was younger, but the sizes didn't go up high enough. She had very long narrow feet, and the size seemed to follow the school year i.e. in Year 6 she was a Size 6 and Year 7 a Size 7. Luckily it stopped there and with ongoing ballet training she has build up her arch and shortened the overall length.

 

That's reassuring, dd does seem to have slowed down now, she's been a 5 for a while now but between the ages of 8 and 9 went from a 1 to a 5! Maybe she won't end up sharing shoes with her dad after all!

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