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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Confession. I'm at the shoes again


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They may shrink. I took various precautions for that, they shrank yes, but only a few millimeters so it doesn't matter much.


Okay....give me details. I NEED my fave pair to shrink slightly. The box is the right size but the rest of the shoe is slightly big now that I've lost weight. When I went to a Box 3, it was too tight and I can't even balance on the smaller box.


So....please email me if you can, or post details on what you had to do to get them machine washed and slightyl shrunken, pretty please?????

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Top Posters In This Topic

  • Laschwen


  • dancepig


  • Serendipity


  • skyish


That is a great philosophy of life.

It works for me - except I'm running out of room in my house :sweating:

As for shrinking the shoes, I'm not familar with that, but Serendipity - have you tried using box liners?

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Serendipity -


I actually do not want to encourage anyone to do that. I machine washed my shoes because they were not usable the way they were, so instead of throwing them in the closet and buying a new pair, I bit the bullet. However if you still want to try at your own risk of losing your fave pair, here it is.


First of all turn your machine down to slightly below 30 degrees. Well I used detergent and fabric softener; and probably, the color fades a little when you do that (well because I rubbed the shoes with various things before putting them in the machine, I can't be sure how pale they get after that process; but my pair is exactly Grishko pink now). Anyway choose a 20 min.s program maximum. After this process, if you still have the plastic sticks that the shoes came with, take them, if not find another kind of stick that would fit in the shoes. Stuff the box with a huge paper ball, and put another paper ball to the heel and put the stick in between them. By the way be careful; ink of the newspaper may leave stains. I would use plain paper instead. Make sure that the stick and the paper b4lls are big enough to stretch the fabric. Blow dry them for a while (2mins each) and leave them alone for a day or 2. Once in a while change the paper b4lls otherwise they'd never get completely dry, would they :sweating:

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Thanks for the info on washing the shoes. I'm home now and will experiment on my favorite pair. If it works, fine, if it doesn't work, I have other pairs to use. The problem is that they are all about the same size, so I'd have to wear thicker socks to make them fit properly, if they don't shrink!


Thanks again so much!! :-)

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I was concerned about the time, and since they were making them for me would I still be able to return them if they didn't work, and I was assured that I absolutely could return them, so rather than custom the whole thing I ordered the only box they make for the 12.5 (4 box), Narrow, regular vamp (which they assured me is for shorter toes) and regular heel (which they assured me was lower than most). I also ordered Extra flex. In the end, the fit was excellent but the shanks were a little too supple. I kept them, because the softer shank really makes me pull up and work, but I turned around and ordered a hard shank to try.



Edited to add: Also, I noted when looking through the GM catalog that shows the shoe sizes of the professional dancers next to their pictures, that my feet are bigger than each of the four Trocs that were pictured. So I suppose our earlier thinking that GM needed to make bigger sizes because of those dancing men and their bigger feet, wasn't the case at all.



I missed this on the previous pass through here.... It sounds like you made the smart choice there. If they do one thing different that the stated offerings in the catalog, the shoes become non returnable. They can usually find a pair of the 12.5's Narrows on the shelf with high vamps and heels because the majority of their customers buying that size want them that way. The regular heels and vamps do translate to "low" and "short" if you compare them to other brands of shoes.

Good news though. It is not confirmed yet, but they are considering doing the sleek heels for me. Can you believe it? Maybe they will eventually put them on the "menu" if it works out.

"If you uild, it they will come"

They said they would prefer trying to do it off a medium width, but I can't do that and I sent back an e-mail saying so. That may spoil the plan, but what can a girl do? The medium width Box 4 left me room to put one of those little Listerine breath spray containers under the vamps. I was looking for any object to demonstrate in photos that those would not work for me, and that is what I found. It is the equivalent of about 2 thumbs.

I saw the dancers and their sizes in the catalog, but I failed to study who was in the costumes. Their sizes never gave me the slightest hint that I was looking at Trocs. I was really just reading the stats..... I do love the Trocs poster too.


If we both end up in the hard shank, regular vamp and heel, they may start keeping 12.5 in those specs on the shelves. They would be stunned to have 2 customers like that who "sort of" knew each other.

One of the salespeople told me they only had about 5 regular customers in the 12.5 narrow, and they were the high vamp and heel people. I only asked for a high vamp because I thought it would close up the throat of the shoe a little more and make sure my 5th metatarsal joint was fully covered. After seeing the short vamp in the 13 Medium I was kind of iffy because the throat was too open, probably because of being a medium, and that joint was half in and half out. My 5th metatarsal bone flares out and makes a bunionette shape. Just getting a narrow might or might not keep it covered.


There may be an end in sight and I don't mind at all if it takes 3-5 weeks or 6 -8 weeks if they are right.

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Skyish, question about the degrees - are they in Fahrenheit or Celsius? Just want to know before I do the deed.


I don't have a fully programmable washing machine. Any ideas on what "cycle" to choose, rather than the degrees? For time, I have "light", "medium" and "heavy" soil choices - not time choices.


Thanks again for your help! :-)



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Well as far as I know, "light" programs are always the shortest ones and they always use the least degree as they are used for washing satin, silk and other kinds of delicate fabrics. But this program is not applying "spin dry" phase as hard as the others. So your shoes may be more wet than you want them to be when that program ends. But I would choose the light program anyway. By the way, 30 is in celsius, for fahrenheit it would be 86.

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By the way, 30 is in celsius, for fahrenheit it would be 86.

I was wondering - because 30 degrees fahrenheit would be ice cubes! :P

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Oh. Duh! Didn't think of that. Just wasn't sure if one had to have very cold or quite hot. Thanks! I'll try it *gulp!* tomorrow.


I assume you detached the ribbons before throwing them in?

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I detached the ribbons, because I use Bunheads Flexers so I didn't want their elastics to fray, or to get hard with the effect of the detergent. But I guess they would be just fine anyway. If I were you I wouldn't detach them, but resew them after they get dry just in case :ermm:

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  • 3 weeks later...

My new shoes should be here in 2 to 3 weeks. Yeah!

I am not getting a sleek cut after all, but the nice lady I have been corresponding with made an effort at least. I will just use the insole thing that they recommend for my "fine aristocratic bones", and assume the regular heel will be a lot better than the high heel I tried on already.

When I get back to dance camp someday and have swollen feet, the insoles can come out. If I swell more than that, I still have the old Sansha Etudes.


Meanwhile, it is back to technique classes until I have the nerve to ask my new teacher (or any of them) about pointe class. It could be a while.

One girl has been wearing her pointes pretty regularly for classes, but she is experienced and would not likely care to participate in a separate pointe class. There is one other girl who wears her pointes occasionally in class and might join in a beginner pointe class but she also has previous experience. It could be tricky. At least I am not feeling "ready" at the moment, so I won't be frustrated at the current lack of opportunity.


My fingers are crossed that my new shoes arrive with nothing strange going on with them and that they fit as expected.

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Good luck in your new shoes! You've given yourself options with using the insole thing, and that can be a good thing (swollen feet and all). You might want to check with your new teacher several weeks before you're ready to start the pointe work. I found teachers are getting more responsive to adults starting or going back to pointe work, and I've found more and more adults interested in starting or going back to pointe work. It's all good. :shhh:

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I tentatively put on my new Bloch Heritages yesterday and did some simple exercises. I've been off pointe for a long time due to ankle issues, and had decided to get one width smaller than the ones I used for summer intensive, to see if that would help.


Well, verdict so far is that it appears to be okay. My calves are killing after about 10 mins of just simple releves and stretches in the pointe shoes (the new ones) but that's okay. They're SUPPOSED to hurt if they're worked. But the ankle actually felt BETTER after the exercise than it had before, and today still feels better. It feels more supple, if you get my drift.


I'm praying this time is the charm!



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You might want to check with your new teacher several weeks before you're ready to start the pointe work.


I may hold out a while. The teacher who inspected the last pair of Gaynors for me..(the ones with the high heels) and voted no, isn't teaching my class any more.

Her replacement is more of a Modern teacher for specialty, and though seems competent teaching class so far, may not feel competent teaching beginner adult pointe. She does allow experienced beginners to wear their shoes for class, and encourages them to "go for it", she does not teach any technique. My other current teacher at that school has only seen me twice so far. Nuff said there.


I will have to see how things go and be patient.

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