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Novice question about breaking in new pointe shoes....


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Apologies, ignorant apprentice ballet mum question!

 

DD began pointe work 2 years ago, with her first pair of pointe shoes. As she was a beginner, those shoes (Bloch Serenades, if it is relevant) were broken in gently as she went through the first gradual stages of pointe work in weekly 45 minute beginner pointe lessons.

 

We have just bought her second pair of pointe shoes (Bloch Sonata) because her old ones, though not broken, are, as the fitter commented 'well worn'.

 

The thing is, DD no longer just does gentle exercises on pointe - as she is now 13, her ballet solo is on pointe, she is a member of the school's senior performing group's ballet group etc and her weekly 45 minute pointe lesson is much more 'full on'.

 

My question is, what is the best ways of breaking the shoes in under these circumstances? She wore them for the full pointe lesson this week, but because they are very stiff at the moment, found some of the exercises very hard. Does she just continue to do that (she's keeping the old ones for performances over half term)? Is there some recommended 'wear them for part of the time, then swap over' routine? Should she be doing basic pointe exercises outside the lessons to break them in??

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Are Sonatas traditional paste construction, or TMT?

 

If they are traditionally made, then how much breaking in will largely depend on how strong your dd's feet are and how quickly she "kills" pointe shoes. Many students outgrow their first few pairs of pointes before the shoes are dead, which is not a problem (except for your purse!).

 

At 13 in her second pair of pointes, it may be enough to simply wear the new shoes around the house, with socks over the top to keep them clean. It's a good idea to wear slipper socks with non-slip soles but even so, she should be extremely careful going up and down stairs!

 

I would not recommend any unsupervised pointework at home except perhaps holding onto the back of a chair and alternating feet to go gently up to demi pointe and down again. This will soften the vamp slightly for pointework.

 

If you search youtube for "Lisa Howell break in pointe shoes" there's an excellent video on how to gently and safely break in traditionally made shoes.

 

Bloch TMT shoes have their own break in process which the fitter should tell you about.

 

Hope that helps. :-)

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Completely agree with Anna's advice, but would also suggest she speaks to her teacher. Sometimes students seem reluctant to talk to them, but their teacher knows their feet the best and if the fitter hasn't explained what to do, I think their teacher would be best at showing students how to do this :) 

Sx

 

PS Lisa Howell's videos are excellent!

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Definitely agree with previous posters - ideal is to have her dance teacher show her how to break her own pointe shoes, then all you have to do is pay for them ! Seriously as she gets more into pointe work you will probably find that the shoes don't last very long and that she needs to have 2 pairs on the go, in case they die suddenly.

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Thanks all! DD dances with older and more advanced students - and her first pointe shoes have lasted an unusually long period of time - and thus I think may have missed out on some of the basic advice from teachers that she might normally have had.

 

I'll get her to ask her private lesson teacher - also her pointe teacher - in her lesson tomorrow

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I had a student whose first  - and last - pair of pointe shoes were Grishkos.  Believe it or not she never bought another pair of shoes!  I know they were very hard and "clonky" shoes , so perhaps they were unusually tough - she was very light on her feet, so a combination of both.  In her final year she came to me and asked if she could do something on pointe, so I added her in to one of my classical dances as a soloist, with four others on pointe and a younger group as the corps.  She insisted on wearing her old shoes, but they were really pretty "dead" by then!  How she got through the dance on them I have no idea, but I have never forgotten that - a pair of shoes that lasted six years!!!!!

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I've heard tell of these wondrous things before...the everlasting pointe shoes... they are as rare as unicorn eggs... I'd stand by with your credit card at the ready if I were you :D

This would have made me laugh had dd not announced this week she has killed all her pointe shoes and the brand we thought were lasting a few weeks per pair are now lasting a few days. Guess I will be also doing the half term pointe shoe hunt again in the mistaken belief that someone will have developed a longer lasting shoe. I'm more likely to find the unicorn eggs I think!

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All these young ladies are so lucky to have parents who will and are able to fund these incredibly expensive shoes.

 

I had no choice but to make do with one pair a term whilst in full-time training!

 

Luckily I had very square feet and they became very very strong....

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I bumped into another mum in the dance shop the other week, she was complaining how her dd's pointes only lasted 6 weeks!!! I couldn't help smiling and saying she was lucky my dd's last 10days,(3 pairs/month), needless to say, all my family contribute to the pointe fund rather than buying presents for Birthday and Xmass!! Is it worth it? The look on her face when she is dancing says it all..........

Keep on dancing  :)

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I was really lucky to get a grant of 50 pounds a year for pointe shoes from the LCC (as the GLC was called then).  I needed a new pair of pointe shoes every week whilst I was at the RBS Upper School and they cost one guinee a pair.  I won a scholarship for my 11+ which I didn't use as I moved to a private school on scholarship, and happily was able to reactivate it for my training at the Royal.  My parents couldn't afford the cost of so many pointe shoes and so we wrote a begging letter to the council.  To my great surprise they gave me the pointe shoe grant. I imagine they agreed because they were so surprised at the request - don't suppose they were often asked for money for pointe shoes!

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