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Perfectly On Pointe

~ First Pair Of Pointe Shoe Concerns ~

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Hello fellow dancers!

I recently got my first pair of pointe shoes this past January. They are Suffolk Stellars 5.5 XXXXN.

I sewed crisscross elastics onto them, so I could get maximum suppoirt for my feet. Once I had finished sewing them on, I realized that the position of the elastics made my shoes look unclean. So, can I move them? Or should I remove them completely and sew single ankle bands? Maybe I should wait until my next pair, and try a different position of my elastics?

I attached some images, so you can see what I mean......

Also, I don't believe I am doing well getting over my box for taking 2-3 thirty minute pointe classes a week, for two months. I bent my shanks back and forth, and this helped my left foot a little, but not my right at all.

Is it my feet, or my shoes? Or, am I doing fine, and have to wait until they mold to my feet more, over the next months?

Thanks for helping a fellow dancer out!

 

- Perfectly On Pointe

 

P.S.

I will cut my ribbons/elastics when I am sure I don't have to move them or tighten them.

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I think this is more for Doing Dance Thread! 

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In regards to the getting over on the box, I would suggest speaking to your teacher and asking her. They’ll be able to suggest ways best suited for you to improve this. They will also be able to determine if it is the shoe or not that is the issue. Good luck! 

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The elastic you are using  looks rather ‘heavy’.... you might prefer the look of the ballet tight coloured mesh elastic (they may sell this in other skin tone colours now also?) 

Definitely tack on & keep moving & re-tacking until you feel placement & tension is right....then sew firmly in place (then take photos to remind you when you want to see next pair in case you forget to keep old shoes as guide!) 

Make sure you do all this with tights on if you will be wearing tights (I note you are bare footed in photos) as they may make a slight difference in elastic length needed. 

As far as shoe fitting/getting over the box, your teacher is the best person to work with on this.

good luck! 

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@Sheila Beelam would be a good person to ask. ☺️ From your photos, I wonder if you actually *need* elastic on these shoes as elastic, especially criss-crossed, is not always necessary, especially if you’re not falling out of the shoes.  I wonder if the ribbons could move slightly too, to where the elastic is currently.

 

If you’re having trouble getting over onto the platform, the shanks may be too hard or the vamp too deep.  If your shanks are full length, you might be better with 3/4 shanks. 

 

I agree with asking your Teacher too - and I’m sure you already know this but your ribbons should be tied in knots, never bows 😉

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Awesome advice! I never knew elastic wasn’t a requirement.

One question, is it okay if I remove my elastics from my shoes, and move my ribbons up? Or will it ruin my shoes’ lining, and I should just wait until my next pair?

Thanks again! :)

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Better ribbons &/or elastics are in right place & you are secure, comfortable & happy! A few marks or stitch holes of former positioning would never notice from on stage or even be noticed by fellow dancers..... I’m sure if you look closely at many a pros paid I’d shoes they may be unsightly with glue marks, knife scrapes, blood stains & goodness knows what! 

They are tools of the trade after all! 

Edited by Peanut68
Typo
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That makes me feel much better!

I am going to adjust my ribbons/elastics soon....This community is the best!

Also, which side should I tie my ribbons on? The inner ankle, or outer side of my ankle?

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8 hours ago, Perfectly On Pointe said:

That makes me feel much better!

I am going to adjust my ribbons/elastics soon....This community is the best!

Also, which side should I tie my ribbons on? The inner ankle, or outer side of my ankle?

 

On the inner side, in a double knot with the ends tucked in, making sure the knot is not on your ankle bone.  ☺️

 

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I would totally agree with Anna C, that looking at your feet you do not need elastic. Elastic should only be used when really necessary to support an hyper flexible foot and instep or to keep the shoe on at the heels when a good fitting shoe can still not do that job - the student has a very narrow and shallow heel. In the case of the shoe slipping off the heel then the elastic should be sewn in a single strip from near the back of the shoe and fits around the ankle.

Maybe you could try a more flexible backed shoe or your teacher can give you extra exercises to develop and strengthen your feet.

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Spray a little hairspray on heels to help prevent slippage & also you can spray the ticker in ribbons & knot to help prevent them coming undone.....although maybe not needed for regular class when you may need to quickly be able to put shoes on & off! 

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Okay awesome!

I have high arches (and everyone keeps telling me I have ideal ballet feet) so I’m excited to have to not use elastics. I kinda found them annoying.

 If my heel slips off, I’ll add a single elastic band, or try some hair spray.

 You guys have helped me so much!

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Lisa Howell - how to break in pointe shoes

 

I posted this recently on another thread but it is so good it is worth repeating.  Perfectly on Pointe, try following Lisa's instructions as to which is the right place to soften the shank.  Looking at your photos I wonder if the vamp isn't a bit too long for you.  Finally on the question of elastics, I disagree with the comments above.  I always insist on them from behind the heel, (beside the heel seam), round the ankle and back to the other side of the seam.  Look at photos of professionals, everyone has elastic these days.  It can be rather dangerous not to have them.  

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Thanks for the advice!

I believe that my heel might slip off, so I will move my elastics to the back, and see on a single ankle band.

I will also move my ribbons, to where my crisscrossed elastics are now.

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Yes you’ve already had excellent advice here .... I just noticed your ribbons were a bit far back  ...we’ll certainly for where I would need to place them 😊

When you bought them did you try several pairs on first? I don’t know where you are based but it’s worth getting to a shop which has a good stock of shoes and book someone who is experienced to help you get a good fit. Especially for a first pair. 
There’s usually more than one make of shoe which will be okay but you get to like certain ones with experience.  
There are some good YouTube videos on how to sew on ribbons and how to tie them. You usually don’t need to spray the knot with anything for class ...more for performances or exams when it’s important the knot stays in place! 
Don’t get too enthusiastic about the latter though ....and end up having to cut the ribbons off to get out of the shoe!🙄😬😩


Pointe shoes are expensive so unless they are really uncomfortable and putting you off wearing them I wouldn’t rush out and buy another pair just yet. You could have a look at others pointe shoes though meanwhile. 
 

Good luck on your pointe journey 🍀🍀🍀

Edited by LinMM
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I’m very happy everyone is helping me out :)

also, I tried on 5 different pairs of different sizes of brands, and different brands.

All of them, didn’t give my support in my arch. I could feel that the Suffolk Stellars fit my arch better (don’t know if that makes sense!).

In a few months, maybe the summer (since I got them in January), I will go and get refitted and some new shoes, but maybe a different brand.

I have very wide feet, and a long second toe.

I’m going to try to get Grishinkos or maybe Russian pointes next time!

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19 minutes ago, Perfectly On Pointe said:

Also, even if my vamp is a little bit long, can I still use my shoes until they are dead?

Then when I can’t wear them anymore, I get shoes with a shorter vamp?

 

Yes, I would check with your Teacher but if she says it’s ok, that’s fine.  Just bear in mind that you may have to work a little harder to get perfectly onto your platforms in these shoes but don’t force anything. 

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2 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Lisa Howell - how to break in pointe shoes

 

I posted this recently on another thread but it is so good it is worth repeating.  Perfectly on Pointe, try following Lisa's instructions as to which is the right place to soften the shank.  Looking at your photos I wonder if the vamp isn't a bit too long for you.  Finally on the question of elastics, I disagree with the comments above.  I always insist on them from behind the heel, (beside the heel seam), round the ankle and back to the other side of the seam.  Look at photos of professionals, everyone has elastic these days.  It can be rather dangerous not to have them.  

 

That’s interesting, PdQ, thank you.   Dd was never at risk of coming out of her shoes (she has very high arches under her feet but straight/lowish insteps) and only ever uses elastic (a loop at the back) on her Gaynor Mindens to stop them slipping slightly at the heel.  

She never needed it in her Freeds, just the ribbons were perfectly sufficient.   Out of interest, why do you say it’s dangerous not to?

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6 hours ago, Perfectly On Pointe said:

I’m very happy everyone is helping me out :)

also, I tried on 5 different pairs of different sizes of brands, and different brands.

All of them, didn’t give my support in my arch. I could feel that the Suffolk Stellars fit my arch better (don’t know if that makes sense!).

In a few months, maybe the summer (since I got them in January), I will go and get refitted and some new shoes, but maybe a different brand.

I have very wide feet, and a long second toe.

I’m going to try to get Grishinkos or maybe Russian pointes next time!


 

Why do you want Grishko or Russians next time if you say the Suffolk’s fit your arch? Where did you go to get them fitted? 
 

I’m a little concerned that you didn't know how/where to tie the ribbons or what type of elastic is best or where to sew the elastic or ribbons. Usually a teacher or the shop assistants should advise on all this if it’s your first pair? Where did you buy them from? Also, where are you taking classes? How old are you? Usually beginners only do one pointe work class a week unless they’re late starters so a bit older and stronger. 

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The ribbon position looks similar to where I was first shown to sew them in and should mean you don’t need elastics. I didn’t need any but now I sew them further forward I need a loop of elastic or the heel pops off. I believe the second method is more popular in the US. Personally I prefer it as it pulls the shoe into the arch. To me it looks like you have a bit too much wrinkling around the heels- are you sinking?  I’m surprised your shoes look so clean and shiny with that much pointe work, your studio must have a great floor!

Edited by Peony
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Hi. I was just wondering how many years worth of Ballet lessons you have taken before starting pointe work? Normally with enough prior training, being able to "get over onto the box properly" is not an issue, and the transition to pointe shoes is a smooth one, as all the groundwork has already been laid. Forgive me if I am incorrect, but looking at the photos of you en pointe, it doesn't seem to me that you have been studying Ballet for very long ? ( I apologise if I am wrong).

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Thanks Anna :)

I agree with the above, though I don’t think elastics at the heel are strictly necessary. However every foot is different and I do think the fitting of shoes should be looked at on an individual basis, the first port of call being your teacher and then your fitter. 

I wouldn’t like to comment on the fit of the shoes without seeing your bare feet. But I would suggest you always tie your inside ribbon first to minimise any movement of the shank away from the arch of your foot.

 

So start by wrapping the inside ribbon around the front of your foot, then around the front of your ankle and back to the inside. Hold that and then wrap the outside ribbon over your foot and around your ankle, to meet the other ribbon on the inside.

 

Please work closely with your teacher and don’t go on to pointe without putting your shoes on properly, even if practicing at home. The ribbons are functional, not decorative ;) 

 

Going back to elastics, if you feel your heels are slipping off you can stitch elastic in a loop at the back of the shoe so it sits around your ankle. However make sure you stitch it parallel to the back seam of the shoe and not over it or sideways, as this adds to the bulk at the back of your heel and can irritate your Achilles. 
 

You don’t look like you need elastics at the front of the shoe so I would remove those and move your ribbons slightly forward as people mentioned above. 
 

Nothing comes quickly with ballet, it takes time to build strength and rushing will only lead to injury and bad habits, take your time and enjoy the process! 🥰

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This refers to the flat part at the tip of the shoe. The part of the shoe you actually stand on. From the photo it looks like she is not standing correctly, or standing far enough over, onto the box of the shoe.

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Following up on the question of elastic for the heel - to stop the heel popping off when coming down from pointe dancers sometimes get a shoe that is too small for them .  A good fitter will always make the dancer stand in 1st &/or 2nd position and do a demi plié to check the length of the shoe.  If a dancer has a shoe that is too short they will not be able to do a demi plié properly.  In the long term this can cause tendinitis and other foot/ankle injuries. 

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