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When should pointe not hurt anymore?


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#1 Dance mom of K and J

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:09 AM

My 11 year-old dd started on pointe a month ago. She was very excited but she was not expecting it to hurt this much! She is in pointe classes twice a week and on pointe for about 45 minutes per class. She is using an Ouch Pouch Junior, gel toe caps for big toe pain, and lamb's wool. She keeps tinkering with the padding to come up with the right combination but she is still in a lot of pain. I took her back to the store she was fitted at a few weeks after we got her shoes to make sure they were fitting properly and to get advice on padding. They thought they were fitting her correctly, did not think she was sinking too deep into her box, and added the lamb's wool then. Her big toes are where she is having the most pain but she is not in love with the gel toe caps - in her words, she feels like they are suffocating her big toes. How long of an adjustment period should we expect until she is not in so much pain? Is 45 minutes of pointe twice a week too much for a beginner? Any advice would be appreciated!

#2 Victoria Leigh

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 10:16 AM

It could be the fit of the shoe, or it could be too much padding. Her teacher should be able to tell what is going on. It could also be that she is not all the way up on the platform, but I don't think it's the 45 minutes that is the problem, unless they are attempting to do things they should not be doing yet. Start with the teacher about the fit and also ask if she is all the way up on the platform of the shoe. Also ask your daughter exactly what they are doing in pointe class, and let us know what she says.

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#3 Dance mom of K and J

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:27 PM

Thank you, Victoria. I will talk to her teacher next class and let her know about the issues and see what she thinks. The shoe may be wrong for her as we were told she has tapered toes and that a Grishko 2007 would probably be best. When she was being fitted, though, the Grishko did not feel good to her and she ended up liking the Bloch European Balance best but I know that has a more square toe. It was hard to do the fitting since she did not know how it was supposed to feel with it being her first pointe shoes and she did seem to have an easier time getting up in the Bloch's than what she did in the Grishko's. This experience has been an adventure! I just want her to enjoy this since she loves ballet so much, not sure how much pain is normal a month in.

#4 Clara 76

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:31 PM

Time to head over to the pointe shoe forum and fill out the form/and/or post pictures!

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#5 Dance mom of K and J

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 01:44 PM

Time to head over to the pointe shoe forum and fill out the form/and/or post pictures!


I will check it out, thanks!

#6 dancingjet

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:45 AM

My daughter suffered for several months when she was new to pointe. She tried all different combinations of padding, taping, wrapping, etc. What finally made the difference was a subtle tweaking in shoe size. She needed something a bit longer and a bit narrower, and suddenly all was well again. :) Based on her experience, I'd say make sure your DD is in the right shoe.

#7 Dance mom of K and J

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:31 PM

Well, it seems like this is a work in progress. :) She tweaked her padding Thursday night and danced without pain. She has pointe again tonight so I told her I hope she has memorized exactly what she did with her padding the other night so she is pain-free again! The last class was the first time I picked her up and she had a smile on her face.

#8 Tarantella2000

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 02:38 PM

From my DD's experience I will say, less is more. Undoubtedly, going on pointe is a very exciting yet, yes, painful undertaking, until your kid has figured out the right padding. It took my daughter a good few months to 'solve' the padding mystery :wallbash:.

I remember that, while my daughter was at a SI, (almost) all the other dancers were wearing (fashionable) toe tape. So, she, of course, wanted it too, even though she did not need them. Sure enough, she developed bad blisters from sweating under these tapes... Lesson learnt, just only put in/on what YOUR feet, toes need.

Since I am not in my DD shoes, I always encourage her, to immediately tell me, if something (anything) does not feel right, in order to not make it worse.

#9 dancingjet

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 04:09 PM

I agree about less is more. When my DD got into a better fitting shoe, she found she didn't need all the extras in terms of padding and such that she was having to experiment with before.

#10 Hillary1

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:13 PM

I second Clara 76's suggestion. Just by filling out the on-line form, answering the questions accurately, and writing a description of the problems, Ms. Devor was able to make a suggestion, and it turns out to be very good for my DD.
First, your DD may just have to experiment with different styles & sizes. I'm sure your wallet does not want to hear that! My DD has been to many pointe fittings. Several were free fittings for various reasons and others I've had to pay if we don't buy the shoes... but I want her to speak up if there is something she doesn't like. It's easy for young dancers to get caught up in the excitement of getting pointe shoes.
I've also learned in this process that some fitters are better than others. Some store employees just don't know a thing about fitting shoes and others seem like shoe whisperers! Not knowing where you live, you may want to try taking DD and her shoes to a different fitter carrying different products and describe the problems.
I think there is some trial & error in this process.
Good Luck!

#11 Dance mom of K and J

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 09:41 AM


I will try and fill out a pointe shoe form today. She had class again last night and was struggling with pain again. The fitter we went to came highly recomended by both of her ballet teachers from each of the schools she attends so I am fairly confident she knows what she is talking about. Part of the problem may have been lack of choices because my dd's feet are tiny - her Bloch European Balance's are size 2x. There was not much available in that size. The Grishko 2007's were what the fitter thought would be best for my dd but when she tried them on, she thought they were uncomfortable. First time fittings are tough!

#12 Hillary1

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 11:31 AM

I should defer this to the pointe shoe experts, but I believe there are many shoes in small sizes. DD has a classmate with tiny Gamba 97s. I'm sure Ms. Devor will come up with some great ideas. Good Luck!

#13 Tarantella2000

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:39 PM

...or Russian Pointes (Jewel Series), which were the first pair for my DD and fitted her perfectly. But I agree with Hillary1, it seems that this blog has a wonderful expert, Ms. Devor, for Pointe shoe evaluations/recommendations.