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Soft Pointes and deshanked pointes

Guest joodiff

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Guest joodiff

Hi all, after pointe class yesterday, my teacher told us to consider using soft pointes or deshanked pointes for regular ballet classes because he feels that we still do not have the adequate strength and articulation in our feet. I didn't get to ask him exactly why he wanted us to do so .........so i thought that I'd just post a few questions here.



1. In what way do soft pointes and deshanked pointes work the feet? The toes? The metatarsals? The ankles? All of the above?


2. Which is better? Using soft pointes or deshanked pointes?


3. If anyone in this forum has used these shoes before, could you please share your experience?


4. Any disadvantages in using such shoes? Eg. Not ready for more rigourous work on feet (???) etc.


5. Lastly, I take classes with other teachers besides the one i mentioned above, so I'm wondering if teachers on the whole frown on students using such shoes......


Thanks if advnace! :D

Edited by joodiff
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These are just my theories :D so I guess ms Leigh or mr Johnson could give you much better answers.



1. I think that what the teacher means is that you don't articulate your feet enough to use those shoes with shanks because they are too tough for you. So instead you're ending up doing whole foot and toe tip thing in the tendues (no demi-pointe or anything in between)


2. I have always believed that de-shanked pointes are the same as soft pointes. I think that you mean those pre-pointes when you say soft pointes? As far as I have understood those pre-pointes are usual pointe-shoes but without the shank. So if you take out the shank from your ordinary (old) pointe shoes you will pretty much have the same thing.


But the rest I cannot help you with :wacko:

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Guest Dr.Pepper

Hi. When I was younger my teacher required us to wear only Freed point shoes. Needless to say they didn't last very long, so she would then have us de-shank them and wear them in class. I still will occaissionally wear deshanked shoes because I find it requires you to work your feet more than soft slippers but not quite as much as in regular point shoes. So when I find my feet getting a little lazy in slippers, I'll put on my deshanked shoes. I also have a teacher-friend who says that the deshanked shoes have a different "feel" than slippers, so they prepare your "placement" for point shoes.

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Oh yes! What I ment in No1 was that soft ballet shoes doesn't provide as much resistance as the deshanked shoes, while full shank pointe shoes might be a little bit too hard!


(I couldn't find the "edit" button :wacko: so I just made another post!)


Hmm now I saw the "edit" button on this particular post, but the "edit" button is still disappeared on my first reply on this topic...why is that?

Edited by Susanne
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I'm also very curious about all the questions joodiff asked... I know there have been answered questions about deshanked pointes on the Teens boards.. but I haven't seen anything about reasons not to use them and how teachers generally feel about them...

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I really have nothing against deshanked pointe shoes, but I do object to them being used until they are so ratty-looking that they almost make camouflage!

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Guest beckster

I have a pair of freed soft-pointes (bought like that, not de-shanked). I doubt they would be good for absolute beginners or people who have problems with turning, since they do make it harder to balance and get a full high demi-pointe. Plus I think beginners have enough to worry about! They are meant to be tight-fitting as well, so if you already have problems with your feet you might be better off in slippers just so you don't exacerbate anything. I like them, but I rarely wear them now. If I ever reach the stage of getting moved up a level, I might continue to do the lower level class but use the soft-pointes to give me more of a challenge.

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soft-pointes or deshanked pointes are in a few ways different than normal soft ballet slippers:


the resistance of the shoe is different

the placement of the weight can feel different, because of the nose of the shoe


as for to use soft pointes or deshanked pointes...it's more up to what you want.


i prefer soft pointes, as they are made and finished in the factory. everything is nice and straight, as just with buying normal pointeshoes.


using deshanked pointes is different...it's not as neat (on the inside) as pre-made soft pointes, because some pointes are quite diffecult to deshank and you cannot get some parts out of the shoe. while dancing, you can feel everything that is left in the shoe.


i prefer wearing soft pointes also because when i deshank my pointes, they are a little bigger and i always use a little of padding in my shoes to avoid standing on only my big toe... :) !!!


there are a lot of soft pointes....all from different brands...i know about freeds that they're normally for dancers with wider feet and feet that don't tend to sickle very much. bloch shoes can be ordered in different widths, a being the smallest and e being the widest.


hope this helps you out a bit!!



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I feel like my tendency to sickle is much more controlled when wearing pointeshoes or deshanked pointes because I feel I can push my toes more outward because of having the box there (instead of squashing my toes on the floor)... I this something I imagine or could it actually be working like that?


I glued sockliners into my deshanked points to lessen the annoyance of the bumps from deshanking.. It works... glue 'em down well though! :)

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Deshanked pointe shoes are your own worn-out pointe shoes. Soft-block shoes are available from stores which distribute Freed, Gamba, and Bloch products.

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Teresa, I personally prefer to start the students approaching pointe work in soft blocks. In order to have deshanked shoes, you have to have something worn out to deshank, so I generally recommend that they stick with the soft blocks until they start pointe, then use soft ballet technique shoes to work on the articulation of the feet, which will be further utilized in the pointe work to follow class. In some places, I don't have any choice. RAD requires that candidates for certain examinations use soft blocks in them. I really don't see the need for deshanked pointe shoes for class until one is in an advanced state of training, on a scale of all dancers. But this is just me, and there are other answers.

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Too bad. My dd has been on pointe for 1 1/2 years now and has gone through more shoes than I can count. She now takes about 4-5 hours of pointe a week and goes through shoes in about a month. I was hoping to find some use of all those old shoes. I hate throwing them out! It's the pack rat in me. :) By your use of the word "advanced" I will assume my daughter has a long way to go before she can use all those old shoes. :P

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