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Finding Pointe shoes that might fit


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#1 Trulhammaren

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 09:35 AM

Ok, so the men's ballet technique class at my school is only offered during the spring semesters and during the fall at that time a beginning/intermediate pointe class is offered instead. I'm thinking about taking the class and have talked with the instructor, there are a few things she is concerned about the primary one is whether or not I will be able to find pointe shoes that will fit. The two pair of flat's that I own are Sansha 16-M and 18-M. I think my street shoe size is 12.5.

I have no clue where to even begin looking for shoes that might fit me and would appreciate and nudging in the right direction.

#2 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 11:52 AM

Men's ballet technique does not include pointework, so that fixes your problem right there. Do the pointe exercises on demi-pointe; that will somewhat satisfy the technical issues involved in men's technique, and also improve the quality of your demi-pointe.
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#3 MJ

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:54 PM

Unless your school or company is planning to perform "en travesti" I don't see much use for men taking point.

#4 Trulhammaren

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 01:01 PM

I'm not taking the pointe class as a replacement for men's technique per se, it's kinda just how the scheduling at my college works out. There are some things I think pointe will help me figure out better in terms of just understanding the physicality of certain things. Besides I think it will help me understand better what can and can't be done for a choreography view when I get around to taking the choreography class again as I don't really choreograph with classical movement.

#5 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 02:51 PM

For purposes of choreography, do what Balanchine used to do. Say, "Suzanne, dear, I don't know, I'm a man, never was trained for pointe; how would this step be done on pointe?" :)
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#6 Trulhammaren

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:01 PM

I'm a very ineffective talker especially when I don't understand the physicality of things from a personal experience, so unfortunately Balanchine's method wouldn't work for me of the way I like to choreograph movement.

Due to my inefficacy with talking, I'm going to give everyone the benefit of doubt and just assume that the way I worded my original post somehow hid what I meant to ask. Is there a shoe company that might make pointe shoes that would fit the feet of someone with the sizes mentioned above, or perhaps some other resource that might send me in the right direction in acquiring pointe shoe for feet of my size, whether it be special order purchase or some instructions that will allow me to make my own?

If this appears rude please do not take it as such I am just looking for an answer to a question that I haven't had much luck getting answered thus far.

#7 Mel Johnson

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Posted 30 April 2010 - 06:45 PM

Not at all; the later posts make it clear that you're uncomfortable demonstrating for choreography using the classical vocabulary. Isn't that right? If so, then the answer is obvious. Rather than pointe class, you need more basic ballet technique classes in order to bolster your confidence in showing dancers how you want a movement to look, whether it be flat or pointe. Men have enough to learn in order to be competent dancers without wasting time on classes which will not improve their capacity for employment. Russian, Georgian and Circassian national dances have a sort of nonclassical pointework for men in them, but no ballet in the standard repertoire contains these dances. A few years ago, it used to be not unusual for men in the French School to take pointe, but I still consider it a waste of valuable time, especially for you at college age. If you still decide to go ahead with this project, you need a long talk with your teacher about the type of shoe to get, as none of our pointe shoe advisors will go that far out on a limb to recommend pointe shoes to somebody who has not had even an initial fitting.
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#8 JHC

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 11:51 AM

Trulhammaren,

In response to your question:

Is there a shoe company that might make pointe shoes that would fit the feet of someone with the sizes mentioned above, or perhaps some other resource that might send me in the right direction in acquiring pointe shoe for feet of my size, whether it be special order purchase or some instructions that will allow me to make my own?


Many pointe shoe manufacturers readily provide their products special order, but size/fit is particularly important for pointe shoes. If you decide to pursue your interest in pointe work, you'd be well-advised to consult a local dance-retailer. You may be able to schedule a fitting and request the store order your shoes directly from the manufacturer.

The Sansha store in Manhattan offers pointe shoes in men's sizes in limited color/material selections. I doubt you will encounter similarly stocked dancewear stores outside the context of a handful of world cities with large ballet communities (i.e. - New York, Paris, London, Moscow) at most; even in these metropolises, brick-and-mortar men's pointe shoe retailers would be highly unlikely. I do not advise purchasing pointe shoes online without being properly sized/fitted by a professional. Under no circumstances should you attempt to produce your own ballet shoes.

Best of luck,

Jeremy

Edited by JHC, 12 June 2010 - 11:17 AM.


#9 MJ

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:42 PM

Speak of the Devil! I was just in the Freed shop in NYC (actually LIC in Queens, one subway stop from Midtown) This is the factory and warehouse for all of Freed's US business. nice folks. I went for technique shoes, not pointe. They are strictly 9-5 M-F so if you are in NYC on a weekday you may want to go over there. Store is a little hard to find, but worth it.

All the Best!

Mike

#10 silvergreydancer

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 01:44 PM

Not at all; the later posts make it clear that you're uncomfortable demonstrating for choreography using the classical vocabulary. Isn't that right? If so, then the answer is obvious. Rather than pointe class, you need more basic ballet technique classes in order to bolster your confidence in showing dancers how you want a movement to look, whether it be flat or pointe. Men have enough to learn in order to be competent dancers without wasting time on classes which will not improve their capacity for employment. Russian, Georgian and Circassian national dances have a sort of nonclassical pointework for men in them, but no ballet in the standard repertoire contains these dances. A few years ago, it used to be not unusual for men in the French School to take pointe, but I still consider it a waste of valuable time, especially for you at college age. If you still decide to go ahead with this project, you need a long talk with your teacher about the type of shoe to get, as none of our pointe shoe advisors will go that far out on a limb to recommend pointe shoes to somebody who has not had even an initial fitting.

At the risque of starting this whole thing up about guys taking pointe, I agree with you Mel. There are far more valuable things for a man to work on. It does appear that this young man is interested in doing pointe. More power to him but can he explain how to do a double cabriole properly? I think that some where his men's technique will suffer for a passing experience with pointe.

#11 kwdancer13

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Posted 26 May 2010 - 08:42 PM

For purposes of choreography, do what Balanchine used to do. Say, "Suzanne, dear, I don't know, I'm a man, never was trained for pointe; how would this step be done on pointe?" :thumbsup:


Just thought I would add that I love this quote! :clapping:
Mr. B. certainly knew how to put it.

#12 Kini

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:01 PM

This may be a dead thread, but there is a dance supply store in Colorado Springs that carries a very large selection of mens pointe shoes. Was amazed to see an small wall covered with them along side the women's shoes. According to the owner he doesn't sell as many as he does with the women's shoes but well enough to keep a decent selection in stock.

Edited by gburk, 30 May 2010 - 08:02 PM.

"I'd rather be dancing."


#13 davidg

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:28 PM

You can probably eventually find pointe shoes that fit. But it would be hard. Capezio might make a few models that large, same for Grishko, Bloch, Freed, maybe others. But your feet are likely just one size too big for so many makers. If you have narrow feet, you might try Gaynor Minden, they're all custom anyway. If you have wide feet, your problems will only be compounded. And I've never seen a pair of Sansha pointe shoes that worked well for anybody. Anyway, you'd really have to dig around and work with someone who knows the pointe shoe factory systems and can help you out.

Being in Idaho is a big problem. To really find shoes that work, you'd probably need to work with the pointe shoe fitters at the various stores in New York (or similar). I've seen New York fitters succeed on difficult feet when fitters at large stores in large cities other than New York completely fail. Be prepared to buy and try several pairs, as well. If you can get in touch with someone at the Trockaderos, they might be able to give you a quick assessment of whether you might find shoes, and if so, how.

If you just have a passing interest in pointe shoes and you live in Idaho and you have Sansha size 16-18 feet ---- well, finding shoes is probably next to impossible. It might not be worth the effort for you, I don't know. There is no guarantee that you will find shoes that fit, although you could certainly spend a lot of time and money searching.

But that doesn't have to dissuade you. As long as you are technically ready for pointe work (see another thread), then whether or not you pursue it is a purely personal decision. You don't need to have any reason other than a desire to learn how to dance en pointe, nor do you have to justify it to anyone.