Sunday, August 14, 2016

Wear Demi Poine Shoes?

  "Should I Wear Demi Pointe Shoes?"


Lisa Howell, author of The Perfect Pointe Book, weighs in on the benefits of demi pointe shoes.

"My personal preference is actually to use broken down pointe shoes of the same style as they use en pointe, rather than specifically designed "demi-pointe" shoes. For instance, one a student has broken down the shank of their first pair, the shank may be removed, and this shoe used for parts of their normal class. This helps them gain more proprioceptive feedback about what it is like to stand in those particular shoes".

source.


I was trained to use worn out pointe shoes as soft shoes. It was very economical, but also good for the foot muscles.

I mean, when are your feet strong enough, if ever?

I remember pulling the shank out of many pointe shoes, and sometimes having to pull out a nail or file down the grainy glue with an emory board. I could also press the fabric cover of the shank back in.

The Benefits Of Not Using Demi Pointe Shoes

 Ultimately, the shank can be left in if you want to really challenge those foot muscles.If you value progress over the immediate ease of "pointing your shoe", you will.

Why throw away a piece of your shoe that's going to make you strong?

Lisa Howell  brings up a good point about 'claw toes' or toe curling in the ballet shoes. Wearing satin, slightly stiffened quasi-pointe shoes can hide from your teacher exactly what your toes are doing in the shoe.

Curling, instead of lengthening the toes and following the line of your arch, prevents the development of good forefoot muscles.

I wrote in detail about the forefoot muscles HERE.

I would discourage students from wearing split sole shoes. Why? Again, you've removed a piece of the shoe that requires extra effort from your foot muscles.

I honestly think that demi pointe shoes are a marketing issue. Dance is so huge now. When I was performing it was still a subculture.

I don't disparage the glut of dancewear and choices in pointe shoes for all foot types, no not at all. But I'll repeat myself - (click HERE for the full article) you must get your feet in charge of the shoes, and not the other way around.

And don't forget that extra sole-of-the-foot strength and forefoot strength will improve your allegro too!

Here's a video showing how to use the correct muscles when you point your feet!




Thursday, August 11, 2016

Creating Your Brand As A Dancer

Creating Your Brand As A Dancer

Or as a teacher, a studio, a company, a free lance group, a choreographer, a dance writer...I'm about half way through the book The Artist's Compass:
The Complete Guide to Building a Life and a Living in the Performing Arts by Rachel S. Moore.

Released May 3, 2016, it has three reviews on amazon.com, all five stars. I will add mine when I've finished the book, but I want to write about it here first so I can say Get It Now!

Did I ever need this book thirty years ago! And you young dancers, even if still in High School, you need it now!

Your parents need to read it too!

http://amzn.to/2biQZhG

Chock full of great advice from years of experience! From early dance training to joining a company, dealing with unions, agents and...sadly, injury, Ms. Moore went on to study and work in arts management. To quote her -

"While performing artists have many educational opportunities to perfect their craft, they are often on their own when it comes to learning the business skills necessary to launch their careers. At the end of the day, show business is, well, a business."

Click on the book to read the rest of the description and about Ms. Moore's fascinating bio!

As a retired dancer and now writer (working on a series of novels about a surfer girl in pointe shoes, more here) with a writing partner, I need this book now, too.

Learning all about Social Media and how to work it and apply it properly and generously every day is gruelling! When will there be time to write?

If I were still teaching I would feel the same way - when will I do those class plans? Choreograph? Take the girls to a pointe shoe fitting?

Not that I haven't been using social media for years, but no plotting and planning has been involved. 

This book is suitable for anyone who needs branding for any reason - peeps in the Fine Arts, film, writers...anything! 

I'll add more to this when I've finished it. Get yours!!

Oh - I almost forgot! Please use the Share buttons below!