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LauraR

What is the purpose of using demi-pointe shoes?

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LauraR   
LauraR

We do not have the official word yet, but my 11yo daughter will most likely be advancing into the pointe class next year at her pre-pro school. She is too young to attend the SI, but the school offers a Jr SI for the younger dancers. This year they are offering a separate pre-pointe program for the three week program and the girls will use demi-pointe shoes for their ballet class. We don't normally use these at our school and I was wondering what the benefit is? I was speaking to one of the instructors (not her primary) who was telling me what was going to happen and said that the shoes had a wider box and strengthen the foot.

 

My daughter is excited, but is wisely waiting for the final word from her firm and conservative (but lovely) primary teacher. As a parent, I want to know all the details, and my husband is groaning at the thought of buying expensive shoes that will only be used for 3 weeks. :shrug:

 

Thanks,

Laura R (FL)

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Small Slipper   
Small Slipper

Laura,

 

Our daughters are about the same age (mine will turn 11 this summer). Last year my DD spent almost a year in pre-pointes. They DID strengthen her feet a lot. The shoes also helped her learn how to move in pointes across the floor and during center work, which I understand is a big adjustment from slippers. And yes, my daughter went on pointe younger than most in her school, she was the exception, not the norm.

 

You may want to look for the Sansha version of the soft blocks (pre-pointes) because they are very inexpensive, I think our dancers get them for about $18. (without ribbons)

 

SS

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yankee   
yankee

My dd used to attend a school where all pre pointe work was done in demi pointe shoes. As you know, they are constructed to look very similar to a pointe shoe. There are major differences, however, and students should be emphatically told NOT to attempt to rise to pointe. These shoes merely look like pointe shoes but do not have shanks and do not have the same wing support, vamp, and platform strength that pointe shoes have. The toe box is there in an extremely soft version in order to give the student somewhat of a sense for how a pointe shoe feels at the front of the foot. Pointe shoes are the next range, however. Learning to properly sew elastics and pointe shoe ribbons in addition to learning how to correctly tie the shoes are beneficial to future pointe shoe use. Certainly rising to demi in pre pointe shoes is going to feel very different because of the toe box, and bourees across the floor on demi feel different too.

 

I think the jury is still out on whether or not there are any other benefits to using pre pointe shoes. For MOST students, gained strength may have just as easily come about had the student just continued to work in soft slippers during the pre pointe years especially since there is no shank in the shoe (and therefore, no strength required to truly manipulate the shoe).

 

As for brands of demi pointe shoes, as Small Slipper mentioned, Sansha pre pointe shoes range in price to $25, Bloch Tensus demi pointe shoes range from $41-$45, and Grishko Elite pre pointe shoes range from $45-$50. My dd started in Grishko only because we didn't know the others existed. When she outgrew the Grishko's I saved some money by buying Sansha. The form and function were the same so there was no point to spending a lot on these shoes. If the junior SI program could make it optional I would likely not spend the money on shoes which will only be used for three weeks since, even if they require them for the fall before she begins pointe (in actual pointe shoes), she may outgrow them by then.

 

Probably my biggest concern about these shoes is that the age range of students finds it VERY tempting to rise to pointe. In my daughter's class there were ten students and one student in particular was constantly rising to pointe when she was out of range of the teacher, despite the teacher's warnings, etc. She managed to sprain her ankle on one occasion but worse, she was very, very likely doing damage to the bones in her feet. I think that a parent has to know their child well enough to know whether the temptation would be too much and even then continue to keep a watchful eye (if possible) on them. In my dd's case, she is a cautious child but I still asked the teacher to let me know if she ever misused the shoes so that I could take them away if necessary.

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Small Slipper   
Small Slipper

I agree completely with what Yankee said about the temptation situation, these really need to be used where the students are monitored at all times. The temptation at this age, "to be like the older girls" would be the greatest negative in using these shoes, in my opinion.

 

 

In a perfect world if they were to be used, names would be written in them and they would be kept under lock and key at the studio ;-).

 

I do however think they strengthened DD's feet alot, most likely more than slippers, because they do have a harder sole than typical slipper.

 

I agree that if they are only to be used for 3 weeks, I dont think it is worth the cost.

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LauraR   
LauraR

Not sure, but I think they may use these shoes in the beginning of the year (August) as well. That's assuming they would still fit. The school, well our teacher in particular, is not very sensitive to expense.

 

I know what you mean about the temptation and I'm sure there will be some girls who will sneak a rise when the teacher isn't looking. I can think of a few already. There's a couple of young ladies in our class who are new this year and were not placed on pointe even though they came from schools that allowed them to dance on pointe. From what I've heard (from their parents), they have continued their pointe work at home to stay in practice and one girl has suffered a lot of foot problems from overuse that lead into achilles tendinitis and cannot dance at all. All of these girls would do well to understand this is more than a game and you can seriously injure yourself. I've cautioned my dd and she understands that she cannot go up at all. I corrected another girl the other day who was telling another that you can only go all the way up in demi-pointe shoes if you are at the barre. I told you are not to go up at all and to always follow the teacher's instructions because these shoes have no shank. OY! I hope this isn't more trouble than it's worth. The school is re-structuring its levels and trying to streamline its classes and syllabus. More to come...

 

Laura

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vrsfanatic   
vrsfanatic

I am not sure what is meant by demi-pointe shoes! :wub: Is it a more contemporary version of what used to be called Russian ballet slippers, but made in satin? Pre-pointe classes can be constructive as preparation for pointe work however they do not require a special shoe. Ballet slippers should be fine. To give the student the look of having pointe shoes on, maybe ribbons might replace the elastics on the shoes. Just a more reasonable financial alternative to preparatory pointe classes. :thumbsup:

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yankee   
yankee

Wow. I'm speechless. I say that I am shocked to hear that some parents would allow their daughters to use pointe shoes at home but I have to admit that there is a part of me that isn't shocked. I have met one such parent (and her daughter was SEVEN at that time) and tried to appeal to her by giving her the facts (which she already knew by the way because she has an older daughter who used to dance). She outright admitted that she was attempting to sway the school to allow her daughter to "begin pointe." No such luck. The school was not foolish enough to put the child in pointe shoes. So even if we educate ourselves and encourage others to read the same facts, there will always be parents who are out there buying pointe shoes and allowing their daughters to use them at home.

 

It may be worth calling or emailing the teacher to tell her about the conversation you had with one of the students so that the school can discuss these critical safety issues.

 

And you are right, this is not a game. Some have judged my daughter for taking what she does "so seriously." I'm glad she feels that way.

 

Keep us posted.

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DDTimes3   
DDTimes3

The RAD require the use of demi-pointe shoes in their Vocational exams from Intermediate onwards. They are used to take the place of ballet flats. I believe that they are used (according to the RAD )to strengthen the foot. At Intermediate exam level, girls would likely have been on pointe for a minimum of two years. They are never used in place of pointe shoes. Also, although they have boxes in them, the boxes are much softer than a normal pointe shoe. I would think that to try to rise en pointe in them would be very difficult and extremely dangerous. Luckily, since the RAD introduce them after pointe work has begun, there does not seem to be that temptation.

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vrsfanatic   
vrsfanatic

Thank you for the explanation of "demi-pointe shoes". I was unaware that they are something required by RAD! I will get a more education from a friend who teaches RAD in her school! :blink:

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hippiechicken   
hippiechicken
and my husband is groaning at the thought of buying expensive shoes that will only be used for 3 weeks. :blink:

 

 

Welcome to the world of pointe. DD's shoes are lasting about 3 weeks at almost 100 dollars a pair!!

Maybe the demi shoes are a nice way to break the news of how expensive pointe is!

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Clara 76   
Clara 76

Here is a link to Freed's Demi-pointe:

Freed

:wub:

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vrsfanatic   
vrsfanatic

Thank you for the link to Freed. I have seen the shoes online but was unaware that the block was that much stiffer than a ballet slipper. Hopefully my friend, who teaches RAD, will have a pair I may look at next time we are together. :wub:

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CDR   
CDR
Welcome to the world of pointe. DD's shoes are lasting about 3 weeks at almost 100 dollars a pair!!

Maybe the demi shoes are a nice way to break the news of how expensive pointe is!

Have you tried Gaynor Mindens? One of my students was starting to get through her pointe shoes rather quickly so she tried GMs and they've lasted a year so far but now they really need replacing!

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hippiechicken   
hippiechicken
Have you tried Gaynor Mindens? One of my students was starting to get through her pointe shoes rather quickly so she tried GMs and they've lasted a year so far but now they really need replacing!

 

not yet, but will look into them.

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Mel Johnson   
Mel Johnson

Sorry, but this thread is about demi-pointe/soft block shoes, and GMs are not this kind of a shoe. We've swung :P

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