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ellen008

demi pointe shoes.

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ellen008

hi all!

 

Moderators, I'm not sure if this topic belongs here if not then I'm really sorry and please feel free to move it.

 

I'm 20 and have been doing ballet for just over half a year now...I've had previous experience in jazz and contemporary dance for about 7 years but had to quit that when i was around 15-16.

Recently my ballet teacher has suggested that I invest in a pair of demi pointe shoes and stressed that they were not ever to be used for pointe work. I was just wondering what the purpose of demi pointe shoes were? Are they to prepare me for the possibility of pointe work in future?

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

Ellen

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Mel Johnson

Yes, Ellen, that is just their purpose. They will work your feet differently from "soft shoes". When that time-to-pointe will happen, we can't tell you. That is your teacher's call, as she can see you, and we can't.

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Guest Matti18

Hey Ellen :) I use demi-pointes, in the UK they are a requirement in the RAD vocational grades (I do intermediate) just from experience, this is how I find they differ from soft shoes:

 

1. They are not that comfortable, they are designed to fit like pointe shoes so when you first get them they do feel strange. However, unlike pointe shoes you have to be BRUTAL with your demis, basically beat them up :) soften the box and really work the demi-pointe so that you can get a really nice high demi-pointe position.

 

2. Dancing is different when you are wearing demis, any little problems you have normally (for me it was weight placement) you will notice more, as the shoes are structured differently. For example, my shoes (Gamba's I think) have quite a stiff, raised inner-sole, so if your weight is off at all, you will slip sidways. For me, this means that a lot of exercises I can do well in soft shoes I found hard in demis (Temps Lie, Grande Battements in the centre) but through refining technique I have re-learnt them so demis are good for this.

 

3. Responsibility, for sewing your own ribbons and elastics and also for caring for your shoes. This prepares your mind for pointe just as wearing the shoes prepares your feet. Pointework is very different from flat shoe work and is the 'growing up' in dance, you need to be able to concentrate and be responsible or you could hurt yourself (that's what my teacher told me) my pre-pointe classes focus on the 'concentration' and practical aspects of the pointe transition as well as the obvious physical developments.

 

4. Foot strength, you can have a gorgeous point in flat shoes and then you put on your demis and it doesn't look like you're doing anything at all :yucky: but it does make your feet work, and this is all important for the eventual transition to pointe.

 

And lastly, you never know how long you will be on demi-pointe before your teacher says "why not try some pointe shoes next class" for me, it's been almost a year, for my friend it was about 3 weeks (but she is amazing lol) for some people it is 2 years or more, and some people don't ever get asked. Don't think too much about what the next step is, jut enjoy where you are and be the best you can be :) The time will go quicker that way lol it has done for me anyway lol

 

 

WOW long post lol Hope it gives you some info anyway

 

Matti

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ellen008

thanks Mr Johnson and Matti18! Those were very useful replies.

Matti18, wow! what an answer! What did you mean by really beat up the shoes? Like, bang them around a bit to soften them?

Yeah, you're right about the not worrying about the next step. I'm in no hurry to get to pointe at all. I'd hate to rush to pointe and then injure myself.

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Guest Matti18

Yeh, bash them, whack them, treat them like they are someone you really hate lol my teacher said use a hammer (put a towel or something over the shoes so that you don't get horrible black marks) wear them around when you're not dancing, with socks over the top so they conform to your feet a bit better, that kind of thing. Also, some brands are 'softer' than others, the Gambas I have are very hard, grishkos are a bit softer and sanshas are the softest (I think) but it's all personal preference and foot shape :) good luck, also youtube has some videos of the RAD inter class video, you can see how they are different from soft shoes (all the girls are wearing demis)

 

Matti

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Rock

Is there an online store where I can buy demi pointes?

I'm living in Holland and I have not found them in my local Ballet store. Or maybe I should just travel around the country? Look in places like Amsterdam?

Is the fittingform as important as with Pointes? Since I buy my canvas balletslippers usually over the internet since that is much cheaper. But for pointes I always go to my balletstore since the fittingform is so very important and specific...

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Hamorah

I apologise for butting in, Moderators please excuse me, but there is an alternative to buying demi-pointes. You can remove the hard inner sole of regular pointe shoes (that have been discarded as too soft for pointe) and use them. Just make sure all the nails are out too and that you stick a thin sole over what is left to make them more comfy. In my day there was no such thing as ready-made demi-pointe shoes, so that's what we had to do all the time.

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Mel Johnson

Skip has sent me via PM:

 

Rock, I don't know if you're close to Almere or Bunschoten, but maybe you can ask those stores to order some demipointes. Flevodancewear Almere has some more stores, but look at their website for contact information. They're very helpful.

 

Bunschoten (the shop is called Attitude) has proven to be very helpful as well.

 

I believe that dancing penguin/pinguin has Sansha demipointes, but I'm not sure. If you google them, you should be able to find them and can check it.

 

Hope this has helped a bit. For any further questions, I'm willing to help.

 

~Skip

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ellen008

Matti18, what you said about having a gorgeous pointe in ballet slippers then not seeing it in the demi pointes is so true!

I have been practicing with the demi pointe shoes and my pointe just doesn't really look like a pointe at all! :) My teacher said I had a lovely pointe in slippers but there is no evidence of that in these shoes.

And I have balance problems too, what you said about the Grande Battements is something I can totally empathize with!

My demi pointes are bloch and they are really quite hard so I'm thinking I'm going to need to soften them quite a bit!

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panda bear 16

My class is only allowed to wear demi pointe shoes, I find them comftrable but have been wearing the for 3 years. I reccomend taking the shank out of a pair of dead pointe shoes because the box has already conformed to your foot and the ribbons are already on the shoe. I hit the box with a hammer a few times to make them a bit softer but it's not nesscary.

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Guest Matti18

panda bear I have heard a lot about using deshanked pointe shoes as demis, I shall have to wait until I get en pointe and then my shoes die to test it though :) Ellen woo for having your shoes, and good luck learning all the exercises, are you doing a syllabus class? Or just open adult classes?

 

Matti

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ellen008

Yeah, I've also heard a bit from the other girls about deshanked pointe shoes. In the end I bought some demis because all the talk about deshanking the pointe shoes and pulling out nails sounded like a bit of work and quite frankly I was too lazy.

Matti18, my class is an adult class with no grades or official syllabus but my teacher has been teaching ballet all over the world for almost 30 years and says that she teaches us out of the RAD syllabus. I have no reason to doubt that but I will say that the way she teaches is really individualized. Like, there are people who just take the classes as exercise and to improve their flexibility but there is also a group of us who are trying to progress upwards and she'll pay us a wee bit more attention and give us extra exercises to do. As for grading, she says I'd be the equivalent of intermediate...I hope that means something to you...and she also asks the people who want to progress in ballet to come to at least 2-3 classes per week. I make 2 classes most weeks and every now and then 3 classes.

Right now with my demis (which I am totally in love with) my teacher has asked me to wear them as much as I can in every day life to get used to them and to wear them in class at the barre and at centre floor if I feel like I can handle it.

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Guest Matti18

Sounds good Ellen :thumbsup: Your class sounds like a lot of fun, I like individualisation within set work, my teachers do it too, either altering the exercises or the music or both (although this can be a tad tricky) it keeps us interested and stops the glazed eyes at barre which can often happen on a monday evening. Yes I wore my shoes around a lot to break them in, I only wish I had a nice uncarpeted floor to practice on at home.

 

Matti

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ellen008

Yeah Matti, I know what you mean about practicing at home. We have miles of lovely carpet, good for everything except ballet practice! My feet are still finding the feel of the demi pointes a little bit odd but I'm wearing them at lot at work (nice clean linoleum floors) so I'm hoping I'll break them in soon!

I totally love teachers who individualize, it makes the class more enjoyable for everyone!

 

Ellen

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