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why shoes?


Guest sally-mandy

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Guest sally-mandy

They say there's no dumb questions, so here goes.

 

Why do we need ballet shoes as beginners (or re-beginners--I'm returning to ballet at age 42 having trained for several years as a child and preteen)? I have some Bloch leather split-soles and they are not very comfortable, that little piece of leather on the bottom of the ball of my foot bothers me. What is this shoe doing for me that I'm not aware of?

 

I have a very high arch but my big toe points straight instead of following the line of my instep. I wish my teacher could see it but it's kind of obscured by the shoe.

 

Thanks!

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Ballet slippers provide the same protection to dancers as ordinary shoes do for ordinary mortals. They protect the feet from (friction) damage. Some teachers like to have adult beginners take their first classes barefoot, in order to do a diagnostic on the workings of their feet.

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There are several dancers in my classes who prefer to dance barefoot or with socks on, why not ask your teacher if she minds that you do the same if the slippers are really bothering you?

(Also, you may want to change your shoes, there are uncomfortable ballet slippers, I've had a few pair. Next time you go to a dance store just try a few pair on, preferably different brands and make sure you do a releve in them to see if they work.)

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Sally-mander,

 

If a particular make of technique shoe bothers you, try others. I adore Bloch personally. Sanshas give me the same problem you describe. Ask your dance store personnell if they can spend 30 minutes with you one day choosing the correct shoe for your feet, they fit poine shoes all the time and can be very helpful.

 

Technique shoes help you do movements that you cannot do barefoot or in any regular shoes. The smooth soles and tight constrution help in Chasse's and any turning on high relever.

 

MJ

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I wondered this too in my first year. It was especially bothersome in tendus to the side, and on the side with the slightly longer leg (almost everyone has a longer leg, and normally tilts the pelvis to compensate). As I got stronger it stopped bothering me.

 

I also experienced a great leap in technique 1.5 years in, when I lost my first pair of ballet shoes, which had been the only pair left in my size when I arrived in the ballet shop the day classes started (i.e., after every other bunhead in town), and might as well have been made out of an old army tent with the rivets still in. For the second pair I was able to comparison shop.

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Guest sally-mandy
They say there's no dumb questions, so here goes. 

 

Why do we need ballet shoes as beginners (or re-beginners--I'm returning to ballet at age 42 having trained for several years as a child and preteen)?  I have some Bloch leather split-soles and they are not very comfortable, that little piece of leather on the bottom of the ball of my foot bothers me.  What is this shoe doing for me that I'm not aware of? 

 

I have a very high arch but my big toe points straight instead of following the line of my instep.  I wish my teacher could see it but it's kind of obscured by the shoe. 

 

Thanks!

Thanks, all, for your ideas and knowledge.

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I was lucky enough to attend a studio rehearsal at PNB last week. They were doing a Nacho Duato piece, "Jardi Tancat" - amazing stuff, and done with bare feet. Most of the dancers had tape on several portions of their feet. In the Q&A session, a young person asked "how did they get their owies?" :wub: (Aren't kids cute?!?!)

 

Anyhow, the answer was, they each knew where their skin tended to split when dancing barefoot, and they didn't want to bleed on the nice wood floor.

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I'll occasionally go a week or two with socks for barre. Sort of my own "diagnostics". It's a good reminder to not force turnout. Also helps me feel the intrinsic muslces and the bones I need to balance on.

 

I find modern/contemporary class very useful for the above mentioned reasons

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Barefeet limits the number of turns that you can do... otherwise it can get pretty hot under your soles :)

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Guest sally-mandy

Yes, that makes sense, Dance Scholar. Going fast enough to get hot feet isn't an issue for me, but maybe it will be some day. After reading the suggestions others have made, maybe I just need different shoes.

 

I'm dance-store challenged in my little mountain town. I probably didn't have good shoe sales advice.

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... I'm dance-store challenged in my little mountain town.  I probably didn't have good shoe sales advice.

At least you might find some choices! My "sales advice" in the Big City was "well, if you want men's shoes in a narrow, we have Bloch. Do you want leather or canvas?" :)

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One of my teachers recommends that we do the first few exercises at the barre either barefoot or in thin socks. It helps you to articulate the feet properly and you feel really grounded. It is also far more noticeable when you are not working your technique well, ie. rolling, not standing on the whole foot, scrunching your toes, not using enough floor pressure etc.

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Guest sally-mandy

thanks, R. Mc. that makes sense and I may try it. As I said at first, it's the big toe that's the issue and if I was barefoot even for a short time I could really see how it's coming along.

 

have been doing exercises as others suggested and it's really clear that those muscles aren't used for anything else.

 

You're right, olddude. There's always something to be thankful for! One of the two men in my class has inspired me in several ways. I admire you guys.

Edited by sally-mandy
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  • 2 months later...

I'm used to dancing barefoot from other types of dances. I went to a ballet class the other day and the floor was really slippery with my shoes. Other activities go on in the room at other times, including some forms of martial arts. I'm starting to think that the floor might be polished so it is easier for the barefoot exercises. Perhaps I'll try going barefoot next time.

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Personally I find dancing barefoot unsanitary- even in modern classes.

 

I would not dance completely barefoot- especially as a beginner, because even the soft ballet slippers offer at least some kind of foot protection and the sole of the shoes gives a little resistance to your feet which in return makes them stronger.

Also you have to get used to ballet slippers because they are the universally accepted footwear in classical ballet- if you are trained to dance barefoot, you may get problems if you will perform one day and have to wear slippers on stage.

 

I would recommend at least a thin protection for your feet. If you do not like the uneven feel of the split sole slipper, why dont you try a full sole one? Every brand feels different on your feet- and it makes a difference in feel too if the shoe is leather or canvas.

So maybe try anything full sole that is available in your area until you find comfortable slippers.

 

If nothing helps try those ball of the foot protection slip ons called "dance paws". They allow a barefoot feel yet give protection to your feet. www.dancepaws.com

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