Saturday, April 4, 2009

So Many Pointe Shoes, Only Two Feet

Being able to dance ballet in pointe shoes is the result of years of careful practice. Young dance students in their first ballet class have visions of tutus and pink satin pointe shoes as they struggle with their first battment tendus, or ballet foot exercises.

While every ballet exercise is a workout involving posture, balance and turnout, every single pointing of the foot contributes to that day when the students go to the ballet store to seek exactly the right fit in pointe shoes. And when you get to the ballet store, so many pointe shoes!

Years before you get to the dance wear store to find the right pointe shoes, have you missed any opportunities to prepare?

You can prepare the best with The Perfect Pointe Book.

Every ballet class is a pre-pointe class, if you want to look at it that way. Every battement tendu, battement degage, every releve, every jump, is a pre-pointe exercise.

It's all about your use of your feet.

In a dance class, and between dance classes. From the way you stand on them, to the way you point them, to the way you support your foot muscles with posture, turnout and balance, involving your whole body.

It's also about the nutritional support you give them. And the rest and relaxation, perhaps using a pinkie ball or a foot roller to get rid of the residual tension after classes.

It's about your between-class-shoes, maybe not wearing the cute floppy type sandals, but wearing something more supportive. Glue some bling on your sneakers!

Okay, back to the ballet store to fit pointe shoes. Here you are with your two feet. Do you know your foot type?

Have you stood on a piece of paper and outlined the right and the left foot? It helps. Even a professional pointe shoe fitter will appreciate that.

Hopefully, you will find a good fit, the right brand, right style, etc., in your first few pairs. But ultimately, it's the strength of the foot muscles and the accuracy of your technique that will get you dancing in pointe shoes, as opposed to struggling with the exercises.

Whenever that is, do not be in a hurry. It's what you do BEFORE you wear pointe shoes that matters.

To get into pointe shoes faster, get The Perfect Pointe Book.


  1. I have an extremely high arch, wide feet, and very strong ankles. Currently I am using Grishko's Elite in size four, medium shank, and five "X". These shoes are meant for wider feet but awful for my feet. My teacher doesn't like they way they work with my feet and they way they fit my feet. Any suggestions for my pointe shoes?

  2. Since I can't see your feet, your shoes, or your dancing I'll make my sight-unseen suggestion. Try on several other brands and shapes. Try narrower, as I understand you're saying the shoes you have are for wider feet. Strengthen your feet even more. Just keep fitting! Regards Dianne.

  3. Is it possible for me to email you a picture of my feet? I could do one on demi-pointe, demi-pointe in pointe shoes, full releve in pointe shoes, a picture of my foot pointed and angles of my foot flat (so you can see how wide it it).

  4. JCDBella: I'm not sure I can help you, but I will try, if I may post the pics you send so perhaps other students can also view them and learn from your situation. Is that alright with you? If so, post the pics and your previous comments at, ballet, Dianne Buxton. I think that will work. I can reply from there.

  5. I just went to and was not able to post pictures because I am doing all my blogging etc. on my iPod. I am not able to upload pictures on websites. Could you please give me your email address? I would be able to send you pictures throughout that. It would be greatly appreciated!


  6. Hi Isabella, How about you upload your pics to picasa or google images and post the link? Or if you want to post your email address here, I will send you mine privately, not to be shared.