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How Do You Break In Your Pointe Shoes?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Thank you for the question, Solveig.

Breaking in pointe shoes… oooh every dancer that you meet, will do it differently. Pointe shoes are as individual as your own feet. It will take some trial and error but it will be an interesting journey and before you know it, you will have developed some of your very own odd, ballerina pointe shoe tricks. 

I do customize my shoes which is a blessing because it cuts down on the time that I need to spend breaking them in. Although, I still do a few things to my shoes after I’ve sewn on my elastic and ribbons and have darned my them. Here are the four things I do to prepare my shoes: 

1- Glue

I lightly glue the bottom of the toe and up either side about 3 inches with HotStuff glue. (Jet Glue in the States) 

When I am glueing my shoes I have the shoe stand up on pointe as I move it in a circular motion until it dries, which is for only about 10 seconds. I do this thinking that it is evenly spreading out the glue on the toe but I cannot prove that.  Just something that I do. Then I let my shoes remain standing on pointe for several minutes after I’ve glued them.

2- Shave the outside down.

I do shave the outside of my shoe. PLEASE BE CAREFUL AND HAVE AN ADULT HELP YOU. This is no joke. I’ve seen girls do some very painful things by accident while shaving their shoes down. The hobby knife that I use is really, really sharp. I shave the shoe from the point of where my foot bends and downward. The heel still has full support. I do this so it takes less effort for me to be able to bend the shoes when I pointe my feet. 

3- Chair Trick.

Always, always, always. I will not wear my pointe shoes until I’ve done this trick. I take a chair and place it on my bent pointe shoes OVERNIGHT. 

4- Water the Bunions. 

The final thing that I do to my pointe shoes is once I’ve put them on for class, I will run to the bathroom to splash a small amount of water on the bunion area. Nobody got time for blisters and water softens the material where I know it will be rubbing my feet. 

These are the four things that I do. Some people stand on them and make them pop, some people press them in to doors, some people bang the shoes on the ground…. there are many options to try to find your best break-in routine. I hope this helps!

xoxo
-Hol

What Are Your Favorite and Least Favorite Steps!?

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By TurnedOutPointeOfView on Friday, June 5, 2020

Thank you for the question, @andreeaunicorn

Favorite Steps!

-TURNS: I really enjoy that floating sensation. Turns for me are almost like my rest step. I look forward to them in my variations. I enjoy all turns but fast pike turns that really travel across the stage are definitely, one of my favorites!

Pike turns in Tchaikovsky Pas De Deux

-BIG JUMPS: When you leap, it’s almost like you are flying! And that feels amazing!

Ravn Campaign.

– MOVING FAST: I really enjoy the challenge of moving fast. I think it is interesting to the eye of the observer and fun for the dancer. You also have to be so on top of what you are doing because there isn’t a split second for hesitation! That’s a thrill!

Ballo Della Regina.

-POINTE WORK: I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with pointe shoes, but I sure loving dancing in them. It is so much fun to dance on my toes while doing little, feminine steps. But oooooh sometimes my toes can be so painful, I can barely breathe! Although, ever since i switched to using PerfectFit Toe Pads, it has been a game changer and has taken away almost all the pain!

Lead Marzipan in The Nutcracker.

Least Favorite Steps!

PENCHE WITHOUT A PARTNER AND IN POINTE SHOES: This is, without a doubt, my least favorite step. From the fact that the bottoms of pointe shoes aren’t really flat, to the reality that you have nothing to hold on too and can easily, EASILY fall… all penche’s are terrifying. Giselle has quite a few of them in the second act. At one point, she is the only person moving on stage, so all eyes are on her, and there is a terribly bright spotlight on her and there she is trying to do an impossibly slow penche! That is tricky!

Penche in Giselle Second Act

SLOW ADAGE: If adage becomes too slow, I find it not fun. My legs feel heavy. My hips start to hurt and it no longer feels like dancing but rather fighting for poses. BUT it’s always good to have something to work on.

xoxo
-Hol

A Slow Adage Section from the ballet, Giselle