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Lovely pointe shoe fitting...


ParentTaxi
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Just back from an outing with DD to Dancewell in Bristol, where we had such a lovely pointe shoe fitting that I have been inspired to come on ere and rave about it!

 

It's not very local to us, but had been recommended (and DD had an INSET day) so we made a day of it.

 

It was a genuinely lovely experience, with a fitter who really knew her stuff and was willing to try any number of pairs of different brands to get exactly the right thing (though not randomly selected - a kind of 'homing in' on a shoe that brought all the right features together). She was also lovely with DD, who appears much older than her 13 years but can still clam up like the young teen she is when conversing with an unknown adult.

 

Even I, as a total non-dancer, can see that the shoes she has ended up with both look good and technically 'work with' her feet.

 

Toe darning + ribbon attaching here we come...

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We knew what you meant!

Glad you had a good time. I always think it's fascinating watching a good fitter work. The way they can figure out a "short list" by just looking at the feet then the speed with which they dismiss some as unsuitable as soon as they are on the feet is amazing.

I did a little experiment last time DD had new shoes actually. We got them whilst we were on holiday so obviously a different shop, and I didn't tell the fitter what she normally wore and asked her to start from first principles. We in fact ended up with precisely the same shoe that DD had been wearing for several years, which was very reassuring to me.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to say that I was very disappointed with DD's first pointe shoe fitting, 18 months ago. It was at the main dance supply shop in our city (the other one is half an hour away but we are going there for our next attempt). The assistant didn't even really look at DD's feet – just asked her shoe size and then said they always start kids in Bloch Sylphide or Heritage. So she came away with Sylphide, which she never really broke in, then Heritage, then tried a friend's Aspirations (also Bloch) and liked them. So I'd stocked up on her current size and the next half-size up when... new teacher says she thinks the sole is 'twisting' when she is en pointe so it looks like her foot is sickled when it isn't... she is from Sth Africa and recommends Freed or Grishko, which are not nearly so common here and I see they are more expensive too. For some reason, Bloch here (imported from Australia but made in Thailand just like the ones I have ordered from the UK) costs twice the UK price (£60!!!). So of course we tend to get fitted once and then order online. I am going to the fitters half an hour away in January, and selling excess Aspirations on eBay. Sigh. I am envious of all the choice you seem to have in the UK!

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Many of us in the UK don't have that much choice either Cara.  We're in Central Scotland and have access to 2 shops in Edinburgh and 1 in Glasgow who stock Pointe Shoes, the one in Glasgow I would never take DD to for a fitting.  The 2 in Edinburgh have a very limited choice of makes and styles - one tried to sell us Gaynors which DD hated and the other fitted her with Grishko's which at the time didn't work for her at all, she's fine with them now as a spare pair but that's after 18 months working with them.  We rely purely on mobile fitters who have been a godsend to date.

 

Whilst DD was auditioning in London earlier this month we managed to get time to visit both Freed and Bloch for her to get a fitting at both.  It turns out the Bloch style she's been wearing for the last 2 years is exactly the same as they would have fitted her with in the shop - great news.  And at Freed they were able to find a style which suited her and she finds really comfortable - so we bought these.  She's always worn Freed soft blocks but couldn't find a Freed shoe she liked from the mobile fitters - so we're hopeful that if this one works out that she has a choice of shoe to wear.  It's a customised one that they had in the store that someone had failed to collect and we were just really fortunate that it fitted DD perfectly.  Personally I've no ideal what the customisation is, but if it works then I'm happy.

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Ballettaxi, is it within forum regulations to share the name of these online fitters? I'm in a similar situation (only two dance shops around with limited choices and one of them tried to sell me shoes two sizes too large!) so I would appreciate a fitter that is known to do a good job...

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Many of us in the UK don't have that much choice either Cara.  We're in Central Scotland and have access to 2 shops in Edinburgh and 1 in Glasgow who stock Pointe Shoes, the one in Glasgow I would never take DD to for a fitting.  The 2 in Edinburgh have a very limited choice of makes and styles - one tried to sell us Gaynors which DD hated and the other fitted her with Grishko's which at the time didn't work for her at all, she's fine with them now as a spare pair but that's after 18 months working with them.  We rely purely on mobile fitters who have been a godsend to date.

 

Whilst DD was auditioning in London earlier this month we managed to get time to visit both Freed and Bloch for her to get a fitting at both.  It turns out the Bloch style she's been wearing for the last 2 years is exactly the same as they would have fitted her with in the shop - great news.  And at Freed they were able to find a style which suited her and she finds really comfortable - so we bought these.  She's always worn Freed soft blocks but couldn't find a Freed shoe she liked from the mobile fitters - so we're hopeful that if this one works out that she has a choice of shoe to wear.  It's a customised one that they had in the store that someone had failed to collect and we were just really fortunate that it fitted DD perfectly.  Personally I've no ideal what the customisation is, but if it works then I'm happy.

 

I'm another Central Scotland mum who'd love to know some mobile fitters, if you might be able to pass names on?

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Apologies, I'm back at work now and haven't been able to indulge in the forum to my usual extent!!

 

I'll drop you both an IM with the details and phone numbers of the fitters we use - I'm just conscious that I believe one has cut down on her travelling as her 'day job' is exceptionally demanding so wouldn't want to put her contact details out there publicly in case she'd prefer that not to be the case - I hope you understand.

 

x

Edited by ballettaxi
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