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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Soft/Demi Blocks .... advice for an adult please :)

Guest TashaKat

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Guest TashaKat

Hi, first of all let me introduce myself as I'm new here.


I'm from the UK and studied ballet as a child and went back to it again as an adult. I'm hoping to RESTART again in the next couple of weeks. I also figure skate and ice dance which I took up about 5.5 years ago.


Before I had to give up the last time (as an adult) I had just been advised by a local ballet shop to go into Soft Blocks (I did some pointe work as a child) and ended up buying Rusbal shoes which I didn't really get on with, they just felt totally the wrong shape for me and the sole too thick. I've got loads of soft ballet shoes but would like to know what you all think about soft blocks. I've got quite strong feet anyway but was told that these would help me strengthen them more!! I'd like to get back on pointe at some time if I could.


Does anyone have any advice, tales, comments?


Many thanks



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  • Administrators

Hello Lynne, welcome to the Adult Ballet Students' forum on Ballet Alert Online!


I'm afraid that I have no experience at all with soft blocks. Never wore them, and none of my students here in the US wear them. Major Mel may have better advice on this question, since he teaches RAD and has spoken about these shoes before, somewhere on the board, most likely on the Young Dancers' forum.

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The first time I ever encountered soft blocks was on an adult dancer working at an intermediate level. If I were you coming back from a long layoff, I'd start with nice soft ballet technique slippers, whether full or split sole, and then go to the slightly more resistant soft blocks after a couple months. Gamba's or Freed's seem the most popular with our girls, with Capezio demi-pointes a distant third.

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Hi TashaKat and welcome to the adult ballet board!

I have a pair of soft blocks/demi pointes whatever you prefer to call them. We had to wear them for RAD elementary, and they are meant to make your feet stronger for the dancer preparing for pointe work. I personally prefer the soft split sole ballet slipper, but find when I wear my soft pointes that I can actually feel if I am rolling my feet inwards esp. with plies etc, whereas I don't feel this too obviously with my soft slippers. You also have to really work your feet in the soft blocks just to get a good arch, whereas slippers esp. split soled ones you can look pretty good as long as you point your foot.

For regular classes I would just wear my slippers, but if I felt I wanted a more intense class and more of a challenge then I would wear my delco soft blocks.



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Actually capezio has discontinued their soft block/demi pointe shoes as of this year. sansha,grishko,and salvios also make soft block shoes.

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Guest beckster

Would these soft blocks be good for someone like me, who would love to do pointe, but has a long way to go yet technique-wise? Also I have feet which no-one would consider ideal for ballet, so would having to work them harder in these shoes be good for them?


Cheers :)


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Becky, a couple of things come into play here, not the least of which is your teacher's advice. If that's in the affirmative, then go for it. If you just want to have them for home practice or something, you're an adult, and know how to make informed choices about this sort of thing. Just bear in mind that the soft block shoe has a full oak-tanned leather sole and produces much more resistance than a split-sole technique shoe. You may find them comparatively rigid and tiring for your feet. You're the grown-up - your call.

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