How To Purchase and
Wear Ballet Shoes Properly

Ballet Shoes: Unlike regular shoes, a correct fit for ballet slippers means the shoe fits like a “glove”. Because adults are finished growing, an adult dancer would purchase a streamline fit for ballet slippers with little or no space in the shoe. Since young dancers are still growing every day, a streamline fit is not always practical or the slippers would not fit for more than a few lessons. Since most parents want to get a season’s use out of the slipper, you may wish to purchase them with a little room to grow, but do not purchase slippers with too much space in the toe or heel. A young dancer needs to manipulate his/her feet readily in the ballet slipper without slipping or having excess space making pointing difficult. Select a shoe with just a little growing room for growth. The slipper will stretch to allow some additional growth. Often parents feel it’s time to purchase new shoes, just as the toes reach the boundaries of the foot-but the slippers are just beginning to fit correctly! You need to purchase a new pair only when the slipper is so tight that the toes can not lay flat and square on the floor. The soft leather will stretch and mold to the shape of the foot as your child wears the slipper.

To wear ballet shoes properly, you must pull the drawstring carefully so it only takes up gaps in the width of the shoe. Do not pull this drawstring tightly or the back of the shoe will cut into the sensitive Achilles tendon causing pain and discomfort. Once pulled, it is almost impossible to loosen a ballet slipper’s drawstring. ( this is why you can not purchase shoes too large and use the method of pulling the drawstring tightly to “make them fit”.) When properly fit, double knot the strings and tuck the strings into the front of the shoe. If there is an excessive amount of string cut some off before tucking them in. Do not make a “pretty bow”! The strings are not designed for looks, but for a functioning fit system. Tucking in the strings allows for a professional streamline look.

Girls – Pink split sole leather ballet slippers

Boys – Black split sole or canvass leather ballet slippers

 

Tap Shoes

Unlike ballet shoes, tap shoes should fit like a regular street shoe. We do suggest purchasing these with plenty of growing room but not so much that the shoe is falling off the foot! You may want to send a pair of socks with your child to wear with the shoes until they have grown into them. Tap shoes must have buckles. Using buckles alleviates all problems associated with tying shoes ( such as it coming off and hitting someone, any mirrors, and using valuable class time to tie shoes for the many young ones who are still learning to tie, etc.).

BOYS-May purchase Tan Tap  Boys OXFORDS. (yes these tie:)

As with any pair of shoes, please check your child’s shoes regularly to make sure they fit properly!

ALL SHOES SHOULD BE LABELED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME PLEASE!

Please purchase shoes at a local dancewear shop. To find a store near you, look under DANCEWEAR in the phonebook.

Pointe Shoes

Pointe is merely ballet training which is raised from the level of three-quarter releve’ ( up on the balls of the feet), to full extension on the tops of the toes. This level change is aided by the use of special shoes, most commonly known as Pointe Shoes.

The construction of the Pointe shoe is designed to support the foot, making this endeavor safe and more comfortable than it would be without the shoe, though Pointe work is anything but comfortable in the beginning. The shoe is made of cardboard, fiberglass, and reed, so it is much more difficult and cumbersome to work in. This is why early introduction is so beneficial, so that students understand just how strong their feet will need to be. The fit of the shoe should be like that of an ace bandage: tight enough to support, but not so tight as to constrict, and not so loose as to provide no protective support.

Please do not sew elastics or ribbon until the instructor has checked the shoes you have purchased. Shoes cannot be returned if they are worn or soiled.

The first level of training begins at the barre. This serves as a first hand introduction to the shoe, and sets the stage for the level of work necessary for more advanced Pointe work. The students first year experience will be limited to wearing their shoes for the last 15 or 10 minutes of class doing barre strengthening and preparatory exercises. although many parents are concerned about Pointe work for their children, there is no need in this instance for the work is supported by the barre. Children under the age of 9 are not allowed to begin pointe work and more commonly begin around age 10 or more. Beginning students will gradually work on elementary center work but will not perform in their pointe shoes.

Students who are more on the advanced level of training will work in the center in addition to barre work and will perform in pointe shoes.

Pointe work is not for everyone. It is only for students who are dedicated to their ballet training .and this also requires taking more than one ballet class. We will not allow students to begin Pointe work until we feel they are strong enough and technically ready.

We hope you find this information useful!