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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Gaynor Mindens and Hops On Pointe


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I've seen this many times so I'm really curious about that. People generally say that the hops on pointe with GMs are either impossible or very difficult. I've always been OK with the changements on pointe and now I'm recently having the courage to do hops on one foot (I want to be ready for Paquita variations in which there are hops on pointe with the working leg goes rond de jambe en l'air at the cou de pied level + arabesque devant, passé, arabesque derrirere passings with hops). I'm not "terrible" at them (at the barre at least =P in the center I'm a bit wobbly and I tend to have a terrorized facial expression), but I feel like it is actually easier in nature and that I have to put extra effort and since I don't have a back-up Grishko (or whatever brand) pair , I'm not really sure if it's me or the shoes.


Of course we can't say that this step is impossible with GMs since there are many pros dancing in GMs (Alina Somova, Gillian Murphy etc.) but I need to read others' opinions on this. Are my shoes making this step harder, or am I just comforting myself with this idea? And if the shoes are making this harder, why?

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I'm getting steadily stronger in hops on pointe and I use exclusively Gaynors for class now. Could just be a combination of strength and confidence on your part?

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I'm a hopper, and I can hop in almost anything -- including the GMs. However, I will say that I found the GMs the most difficult, but I'm not sure why (it was long ago when I used them). I found them more difficult than the Axioms with the pitched platform (which obviously would make hops more difficult, in my mind).


What do you mean by arabesque devant? It sounds like to me that you are talking about the hops from Bluebird? Which, if I remember correctly, go from attitude devant through passe to arabesque. Giselle also has the rond de jambe en l'air hops...

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Guest Dexie's Mom

Hi All: My experience is the same as ami1436's. I LOVE to hop on pointe and am quite strong, but my Gaynor's just seem so ..... I don't know, wiggly ..... that I fear my ankle will twist out from underneath me. I have no problem with changements sur les pointes in my Gaynor's, just as Skyish mentioned in her post above.


Strange. I've gone back to the Grishko Ulanova's but now, it seems, they are a bit hard to get around here.


Just as Rosanne Rosannadana would say, "It's always something!" :)

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I really, really don't think the GMs can or should be influencing your ability to do hops on pointe. I only had one pair, once, when I was back to dance after a while off. They were poorly fitted and I'd lost my sense about that at the time. I gained it back quickly enough I only wore them a few times, but I'm pretty sure,, from my experience during that short period that they didn't hinder my ability to hop on pointe at all.

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I've been thinking about this more -- again, I haven't used GMs for more than 10.... when I did use them it was after another minor injury that kept me off of pointe for about 2 months -- so there could have been a lot of other stuff going on!


Insidesoloist, or Clara -- When I hop, I feel that I use my metatarsals slightly differently, if that makes sense. I wonder if that could be the issue with GMs, since the platform and shank are connected, and it makes it hard (in my opinion -- I'm not looking to start a GM debate) to articulate *either way* through the metatarsals?


Or, I could just be talking tosh!


(A side note, as far as pros are concerned -- I think it's a different story! And some of them use different brands of shoes at different times.)

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Don't forget that there are different shank strengths for Gaynors. I use both extraflex and supple. Extraflex gives me more support but makes me work to articulate. Supples are my love - but sometimes I need more support due to the ankle issues.


It could be that you had a shank strength that you could use for support but not necessarily for much in the way of articulation - or vice-versa.


As I said, I've been getting steadily stronger - hops on pointe aren't nearly as hard for me as they were a few months ago, and I've been wearing Gaynors exclusively. Of course, this is just my experience.

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I don't think it was a shank issue, Serendipity. At that time my 'regular shoes' were hard shanks, and I had no problem in them -- nor articulating in them.

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Guest Dexie's Mom

Hi Ami:


I think you've hit on what I have been feeling, with your observations about how you can or cannot use your metatarsals in the Gaynor's. I am not able to "grab" onto the shank of my Gaynor's in the same way I can in my other shoes and I think it is because of the shoe construction.


I think it's a very good thing that we have so many different kinds of shoes to choose from now, but I do miss the original style Sansha pointe shoe. I wore Sansha's for a long time before the manufacturer changed them. They were perfect - not expensive, lasted a long time, looked great on my feet, etc. I was so devastated - I called the Sansha people and was able to get four more pairs of the shoes before they were completely gone! :wink:

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I'm a bit confused now... Now I guess everyone decided that the shoes have nothing to do with this step? But just to be clear;


@ insidesoloist, GMs are not "hindering my ability" either, I'm still able to hop on pointe =) I just feel that this step could have been easier with another brand with some reason and I just wanted to learn if I was correct to feel like that =P Maybe it's because I heard that the GMs are making it harder, so I'm subconsciously afraid of doing them with these shoes :yes:


To others, I've never done any advanced step on any other brand than GMs so I can't compare my past and future experiences =) I sometimes think that I should use a more flexible shank strength than Supples, but I'm afraid that Feather shanks will be too weak, not because my muscles/ankles are weak but because I'm not actually lightweight (BMI 18.7) or very strong, and explanation on GM's official site says that the feather and pianissimo shanks are for lightweight or very strong professional dancers who do not want any resistance from their shoes :wink:

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I've done them in regular and GMs and it didn't matter to me which I use, apart from when the others started breaking down.

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