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Ballet Talk for Dancers



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I have a question that has been bothering me for a while now and I hope I can get some feedback from you guys.


I bought a pair of Sansha ballet slippers (2months ago) that I thought fit me ok. My toes have some wiggle room but my foot isn't slipping out. And now that I'm going to a lot of classes and just started rehearsals for the Nutcracker, I'm able to really pay attention to whats going on down there.


When I'm wearing my shoes and I go onto Eleve or Relelve or even doing a Pique turn, basically anything that requires a rise, it feels like the suede pad on the bottom of the shoe doesn't really let me get onto the first and second metatarsal of my foot. It doesn't look nice and really doesn't feel strong. Now, when I'm barefoot I can do this without a problem. I really noticed it when I was in rehearsals for the Arabian pas de deux (which I'm so happy to have been chosen for), I found it hard to grab the floor with my foot because of that darn pad.


So I guess my question is, are there any shoes that have thinner or better pads? Should they be in a specific place on the foot? Or did I just get a pair of shoes with some craziness going on? :yucky:


Thanks, :devil:


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Do tendus in them. Lots and lots of tendus. MANY tendus. They'll warp into shape eventually.

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Schachtner is also very nice in this respect. It's a pain to find them in the US, though.

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I've gone through alot of shoes and my ultimate favorite is the Bloch Pump! It's great, I can wear the stock shoe, but I get it custom made to have a few things i like. It's such a comfortable shoe!

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Tomorrow I'll go to the local dance shop and see what they have. I'm just going to have to make sure that the person helping me really knows the differences. Some of thier sales people aren't very versed in ballet and ballet shoes.


I know they carry Bloch, but I don't know if they have the ones mentioned. I haven't heard of Fuzi or Schachtner. I can't buy a pair online without trying them on, so...if I find a pair at the dance shop that'll work, I'll get them of course. But I'll also keep the sanshas around too.


Any other suggestions or fitting tips would be great! :D

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Also look at the Capezio Romeo. It comes in leather and canvas (but canvas is harder to find). It fits pretty well right out of the box and is cut very nicely. If you have a really good looking foot, this shoe will compliment it. The pad is extremely thin yet durable. It take no time at all for me to break a pair in.

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I had the same problem with Sansha. The suede was very bulky and felt unfomfortable. I have Bloch now for over a year and it is much better. Give it a try. Fortunately, flats are not very expensive :-)

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So can some of you explain for me the difference between leather and canvas. Which is better? I mean it can't be all about tase, right? Personally, I'd like to try the leather but people have told me canvas is better for whatever reasons they weren't really clear. :cool2:

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A lot depends on the student's need. As a general rule, until a student has achieved strength and flexibility through the foot, I advise leather shoes. Canvas, I counsel for those who have already got a fairly decent pointed foot.

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Ok so that makes sense. I gather that the leather requires more work to pointe and such? I've had teachers tell me I have good feet and others who tell me my tendus aren't too hot. So yeah, I'm getting two different stories. How frustrating. Its hard to know who's really telling the truth and who's trying not to hurt my feelings.


Personally, I kind of feel that my tendus aren't the best. Well, sometimes I feel I have a decent pointe but not always (if that makes any sense).


What would be a telling sign of decent strength and flexibility in the foot?

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If you can take a piece of string and hold one end to the side of your knee and run the other down the inside of your foreleg and to the tip of your big toe and see a straight line, then that's enough to indicate a straight axis of thrust. That's what you need. Then canvas shoes are justified.

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For me, its all about the warm up. It takes me a long time to warm up. Leather shoes seem to help my feet warm up faster. It's also a bit of a mental thing - the leather feels like it supports my foot better even though conciously I know the canvas and leather probably both support the foot the same.

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