My Pointe Shoes

I’m back in love with my pointe shoes again. Here’s some pics! And a walkthrough! (Bourée-through?)

First of all, Pointe Til You Drop has the best guide to stitching your ribbons and elastics, with lovely clear photos. I’m just adding my own observations and notes from talking to pro dancers

Ok so, my shoes are Capezio’s Tiffany with a medium skived shank. They’ve just recently come in to the UK Capezio shop in London from the US! Swit-swoo. I got myself some nice coloured toe pads too, fancy-dancy. Also will show up the muck less than the nude ones I reckon?

 

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To prepare them I used this video, recommended by a teacher:

Because of the skived shanks the shank prep was very straight-foward. However the demi-pointe prep was really difficult. I just couldn’t massage them as shown in the video. I’ve taken to wearing them in the house (just on flat, of course) and putting on my foot duvet slippers to warm them up, then stretching through demi-pointe. Side-note: you need foot duvets in your life, believe me.

Sewing: you’ll need a thimble. I use soft-pink Nymo, it’s very nice to work with. I stitched my ribbons using the Grishko method as demonstrated here:

It made sense to me that an uncut ribbon would be stronger than a cut one. Also, using the inside heel of the shoe as you sew the ribbon is supposed to help your shoe stay on your heel. This made absolutely no difference to me whatsoever, my shoes just popped straight off anyway! Maybe if you need minimal help with heel movement the Grishko method would make a difference?

I didn’t stitch my elastics on for my first class. Some feet just don’t need elastics and it’s better to dance without if you are able to. However my heels will not stay in my shoes AT ALL without, so I went straight for the cross-over elastic. I’ve secured the ends right down in the heel, and crossed over. An important point here: watch where you stitch the end of the elastics nearest the box. Initially I put them forward of the seam, as it looked neater:

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No! Don’t hold yourself back, girl!

This isn’t good practice! The more forward the elastics sit, the more they will hold you back from “going over”.

I re-stitched, aiming for behind the seam: actually they are over the seam to sit flush with the ribbon.

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Lovely!

I haven’t done anything to the platform. The little crafty crafter in me was secretly disappointed not to darn them, but as we’re beginners and not dancing in the centre yet we’re advised not to fiddle with the platform. We have been advised, however, that when the time comes, to dispense with darning or suede caps and just get a craft knife to the platform and just cut the satin straight off. Eek!

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Finis.

 

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7 thoughts on “My Pointe Shoes

  1. Beautiful! I’m glad you’re happy with them and that you’re getting good guidance from your teacher.

    I sew my shoes similarly (although I use stretchy ribbons in four pieces… and the front of my elastic cross goes right on top of the ribbon and I sew the heals outside of the shoe). Criss-cross elastic will keep you nice and secure… I know girls a couple of girls who dance without ribbons that way.

    Happy dancing!

    • Thank you! Do you find the stretchy ribbons make a big difference in terms of security? Or is it support for your achilles? We’re not actually allowed to dance without ribbons! And we’re not allowed Gaynor Mindens, either, for that matter… 🙂

      • I can’t imagine dancing without ribbons, just saying it’s the elastic that really does the grunt work of keeping the shoe safely on.
        The stretch ribbons make me feel way MORE secure because I can tie them tight enough to feel them without them being too tight… and I don’t get tendonitis. 🙂

        • It’s funny how the ribbons seem to be comparatively flimsy but actually majke such a difference isn’t it? I’m still figuring out how my feet work, and our feet really got worked in this weeks class!

  2. Always such a time consuming effort on my behalf, sewing those pointe shoes. Grrrr… But luckily once you’ve done it a couple of times it does become easier and you know more and more what you like and don’t like.
    Your shoes look lovely, you have pretty feet! 🙂 We aren’t allowed to break our shoes in before class, but that’s like going through HELL on pointe shoes..!

    • Thank you! We started warming-up with demi-pointe exercises in this weeks class, which I’d really like to write about. I’d like to think I’m pretty handy with a needle and thread but it took me a lonngg time to sew all my modifications!

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