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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Demi-Pointe Shoes


dancepig

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I am a 53 yr old female - who started pointe work at the perfect age of 50. However, I do have some "issues", the biggest of which is a morton's neuroma on my right foot. I am also in a studio with the world's worse floors - hardware over concrete. My right foot is really complaining. So...because my Wednesday night class consists of 30 minutes of ballet class in "flat" (soft) shoes and then 45 minutes of class in pointe shoes, I decided to try a demi pointe shoe. I was hoping the stiffer box of the demi pointe shoe might protect my foot from the horrible floor more than the soft shoes. I made a huge effort and was finally able to procure a pair of demi pointe shoes - in Grishko Elite. The good part of this is wow - they are great for the first part of the class. They really make my feet work and where I thought I had good balance before (in my soft shoes), I found I had to learn to balance all over again in these shoes. The upstart of that is my pointe shoes don't cause me any balance problems on the flat any longer. The bad part of the shoe is the box - they are very square and I need a more tapered shoe - and this leads to the ugly, because even when I'm pointing my foot - the foot still looks like a duck's bill. My question to all of you is; do you know where I can get a Grishko 2007 demi pointe shoe? I've tried going back to my local dancewear vendor, but she is clueless about this. I see on the Grishko site that this shoe does exist, but all they tell me is to check my local vendor :) I see on the Backbay Dancewear site they carry the demi in the Sansha - but the vamp looks too long, and they carry the Bloch demi pointe, but the vamp looks too long and the box looks to be too square. Any ideas? I am also considering taking the shank out of an old pair of RP Entradas which are now dead, but I have no clue as to how to go about this. Again, any thoughts or ideas? Thank you!

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Yes, I was seriously considering doing this (would be one way to get more use out of old shoes), but I have no idea as to how to take the shank out. Thanks.

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I've done this to Russian Pointes by taking out the nails, lifting up the insole and then pulling out the shank. It's quite esay really.

 

Marjolein

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You've probably already gone down this path, but... It looks like Grishko calls their demi-pointe shoes EXAM. Also, it looks like they manufacture them based on standard Grisko models. So, you want the EXAM with the 2007 base:

 

http://www.dancechoice.com/default.asp?mart=69

 

Now, the problem is finding an American retailer who will get that shoe for you. Sorry, I couldn't find anything obvious in a 3-minute Internet search, but maybe more diligence would find it. De-shanking your shoe as others have suggested is a cheap way to get what you want. Once the shoe is dead, you just start ripping away, there's little you can do to damage it.

 

Your bigger problem is the concrete floor. Although the structure of the pointe shoe along with the ribbons might help you a little bit, in general a floor like that is asking for injuries. Especially if you're over 50. My very strong recommendation is to NEVER EVER jump on that floor. Not even little jumps. You can practice tendu and plie and pirouette and all those fun things, but no jumps. If you want to jump, you should find another studio with a proper floor.

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The Sansha Demi-pointe shoe has a very light box. It takes 5 minutes to break the shoe in and it will conform and move with the foot very nicely. If you are considering a Grishko 2007 which has a long vamp and a low profile the Sansha shoe should not present a problem. In Canada I can only get the shoe in two widths a medium and a wide. The medium is actually on the narrow side so if you have a wider foot it might rule this shoe out.

 

Lastly ask the store for the white insole liner if they have it. Some of the production batches where made with an orange one and the dye transfers to your tights and your feet. If they only have the orange, then IMO it is still worth giving them a try if they feel good.

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Thank you all for your replies. Here is my plan; first - take the shank out of an old pair of Entradas - I knew there was a reason to hang onto all these old pointe shoes! Next, I found out I can order the Grishko 2007 demi-pointe (exam) shoes from Backbay Dancewear in Burlington, Mass via telephone. I will also consider the Sanshas. I figured the 2007's would work because I use the 2007 pointe shoe, and it works, but sounds like the Sanshas might also work, and they might be easier to procure. And, finally, a different studio is not an option at this time :wub: I live in Vermont and the next closest studio is 45 minutes each way. In the summer, this is a possibility - they have a very nice Sunday morning class - but in the winter the drive can be treacherous. I have learned to take any jump very carefully and very technically correct! The two other students in this class are about my age and ability - so we just do what we can, to the best of ability - this includes jumping very carefully!! Thanks again all.

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Dancepig,

Good luck with the shoe shopping:)

 

I would like to re-iterate what citibob said about the concrete flooring, however.

 

No matter how technically correct the jumping is, there's the physical fact that landing on an a surface with no "give" will cause some of that energy to extend into your bones and joints. I've seen many, many professional dancers who sit out of jumping in their "extra" open classes even with very good technique on very good floors, simply because the impact of landing has the potential to cause some damage.

 

I recently performed on a similar surface for a weekend. The AD specifically cast the show and hired extra dancers to minimize the amount of jumping on the surface each individual was required to do. And we were encouraged to "mark" jumping in the blocking/run-throughs prior to performing. Even so, I definitely felt some stiffness and pain in my shins, and will seriously re-consider ever performing on such a surface.

 

It's your personal choice. There's PLENTY of ways of being creative and substituting steps for the jumps. Stress fractures can be terrible to deal with.

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I agree with Lampwick, I've jumped on concrete floors and it's not something I'd want to do more than once or twice in a performance.

 

And, finally, a different studio is not an option at this time I live in Vermont and the next closest studio is 45 minutes each way.

 

I hate to say this, but... quality ballet training is not available to everyone in every place in our fine country. Hopefully some day, but not yet. My best advice to someone who wishes to study ballet but does not have it available (in a reasonable, safe manner) is to do something else. Sorry. It's easy to become obsessed with ballet (we all are). But there are plenty of other ways to use your body and stay fit and enjoy yourself. And it's better to go do something else BEFORE you wreak your shins (read: constant pain, physical therapy, plenty of doctor visits, plus many months of no dancing).

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Or decide to do a pique arabesque or turn instead. Figure out something which roughly covers the same space. No reason to sit out of a combination. I've had days when my back or knees feel "not right" , so I'll substitute a step. Been dancing for 20+ years with a "wonky", hyperextended body + minimal turnout, yet I'm still in class almost every day trying to improve and having fun. Hope to do so forever:)

 

You can be safe and still derive benefit and joy from class. Take care:)

 

Training all the time on those floors is just no good, though. I don't like the thought of it. This winter's been bad in New England (my parents live in NH and I grew up there). But maybe once the snow's cleared, it'd be worth the 45 minute drive.

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  • 2 months later...
and they carry the Bloch demi pointe, but the vamp looks too long and the box looks to be too square.

 

 

Hi Dancepig:

I have seen both the Grishko Elite demi and the Bloch demi. The Grishko would have worked for me if they made them longer.

The Bloch is no where near as square as the Grishko if I recall correctl. They are also the same vamp length as the V1 in the same size in Russian Pointe; short. I don't recall wether the Elite vamp I tried was longer or shorter than the other two.

My huge pairs of both wound up on e-bay, the bloch for being too tapered, and the RP for being too high in the vamp.

They might work for you. Regular sizes ought to be returnable too, but I would ask first.

Duck bill feet??? I resemble that remark.

 

Laschwen

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