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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Shoes for Beginners

Ms. Pris

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Hello everyone, I am an adult dancer returning to ballet after a long absence. I started ballet at age 2, and quit around age 10. Along the way I did jazz, tap, and Middle Eastern dance, so I wasn't entirely cut off from dance, just from ballet.


I had to give dance up about 10 years ago due to a series of foot and ankle injuries. But now I am returning to ballet, for fitness reasons. I am starting slow with exercises and stretching: my main goal is to build strength in my feet and ankles, and then the rest of my body.


Right now the issue is that I need shoes. I've decided to go with a leather, full-sole shoe for the purposes of strengthening my feet. I have a good point but I do have severe collapsing arch problems (I wear wraps on my feet to give extra support to my arches during dance time, but I hope that this work will strengthen my arch also.)


Since I am a beginner doing this for fitness, I am looking for a basic beginner shoe. I am probably going to go with a basic, inexpensive slipper. I am looking at Capezio slippers and I really can't tell, exactly, what's the difference between the Daisy and the Technik. Do you know? There are obvious differences in the silhouette of each shoe, but I don't know what those differences DO or MEAN.


I appreciate any help you can give me!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Ms. Pris!!!


Congratulations on your return to ballet!! Quite honestly, you would be fine with either. Both are full sole though, and you may see many people in your classes with split-soles. I believe the Teknik has a slightly stronger leather outsole than the Daisy. We'll see what others have to offer!

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Welcome back to Ballet and welcome to BT4D Ms. Pris. When I'm buying flat or soft shoes, I try to determine how much the pleats on the bottom are going to bug me. Some shoes have a lot of pleats on the bottom :) Some have less. I also try to figure out if the vamp of the shoe, the part that covers my toes, is too long or too short. I prefer shorter, it gives my feet more room for a higher demi-pointe. And, keep in mind leather shoes do stretch a bit, you don't want them too big to begin with, but you don't want them too short or too narrow, they will constrict your foot. A good rule to go by is if your toes are at the end, but not crimping under, it's a good length. Enjoy your classes!

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dancewear solutions



Online Dancewear


These 2 websites offer many inexpensive options. What kind of floors does the studio have? This has much to do with what shoe would work best. I have worn neither Capezio shoe (grew up wearing Tekniks, but they are a new design now). I think the leather on the Tekniks is probably nicer. It looks like it would take the shape of the feet better.

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Thanks for the responses & the welcome! I am very pleased to be returning to ballet. Injuries and illness have caused a great loss of strength all over my body, but my feet and ankles are of major concern. I actually think that it was all the years of ballet in my childhood that kept me from being injured earlier- strong feet and ankles, after all, are much less likely to be injured.


The studio floors are hardwood.


Thanks again y'all!

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Ballet will definitely help you with your overall strength!!!


Wood floors will work fine with either canvas or leather. Some people say that leather sticks to the marley floors used in some schools.

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I've found that my canvas shoes tend to be a bit slippery on wood, fine on marley. I have even had to use a bit of rosin on old shoes (main dance studio has marley) to use on the wooden floors at my secondary studio as I almost fell backwards several times during pirouettes.

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I agree with Clara76's comment about leather sticking to marley floors. At least that has been my experience, and since my studio has all marley floors I prefer canvas. I think leather lasts longer though. When I dance on a wood stage the canvas can be a bit slippery, at least until my feet get a bit sweaty. :rolleyes: I like split-soles for the way they hug my arch, but I think you'd be fine with either to start.

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To strengthen your feet and ankles, full sole leather is definitely the way to go. Ask your teacher for exercises you can do at home (or at the gym) to help with strength. There are a few old threads on that too, I'll look for them. I had to do a few exercises to recover from some serious foot problems. However, since we can't see you, I will leave recommendations to your teacher.

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