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Ballet Talk for Dancers

My dancewear shop visit and an elastic question


Merry

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Just for fun I thought you might like to hear about my visit with my DD to the local dancewear shop this morning.

 

The main part of the shop is a room about 10x15ft including a counter and lots of stock, so really there is only room for about four customers before things get crowded. We arrived to see a queue of about five or six people outside the shop and maybe 12 people inside, so we waited on the end of the queue in the rain for about 20 minutes or so.

 

Once inside the people in front of us were mainly getting ballet slippers and tap shoes and easier stuff that didn't need trying on so were served fairly quickly. The it was our turn; as he obviously remembered us from previous visits, the shopowner let us into the stockroom and left us completely to our own devices!! If we hadn't been in a hurry, because of the wait, I would have been rummaging in all the boxes! The room was only small like the shop, but the boxed extended to the ceiling, amybe 15 or 20ft high!

 

Dau got some Katz ballet slippers (they are a UK brand, but a lot like Freed imho) and were able to get ballet socks the right colour (tasteful pale salmon pink) instead of just what we are usually offered (usually gaudy 'orangy' coral) , by going to the bottom of the stock box to stuff that had probably been there at least ten years. I wanted some split sole canvas slippers and that box contained either Sansha Pro or Grishko Performance. I had read a lot about both on this site and thought the Sansha would be better suited to my feet, but it turned out the other way and I came out with the Grishko Performance which I am very excited about, having worn Freed shoes 'forever'. I also love the colour of them as they are not too bright.

 

Anyway, these shoes lead me to my question. Each crossover elastic is stitched at one end. I was going to stitch the free ends to the edge of the drawstring casing on the opposite side, as I've always done with single elastics, and was just musing at how much spare elastic there seemed to be compared with the 'just enough' on DD's pair I sewed first. Then it occurred to me that I had read somewhere here about sewing the two free ends together and taking the crossed elastic under the foot or under the shoe when putting them on.

 

So, what's normal practise please, and are there advantages and/or disadvantages to any method?

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You can trim the ends of those Grishko elastics, I always do. There's no benefit to tying it under. I hate it because it creates a big lump right in your arch when you are standing, but some people think it enhances the look of their arches. Nothing more. I just sew mine- many schools wouldn't let you tie them underneath anyway since it looks a bit unkempt.

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I wouldn't have tied them, I was wondering about stitching the ends together, so it would be flat.

 

I just wanted to be certain of what the options were before I did the usual sewing and cut off the ends (the point of no return!!)

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I don't think there's any advantage apart from less sewing. Most people I see with them looped under the foot have tied them, probably to avoid sewing.

 

I sew my elastics further down in the shoe, though. And I go over the elastics that are already pre-sewn, having had them come off after a few wearings. There's still some left over but less of it is left over and it doesn't come off sewn further down like that.

 

I would think that with the constant movement of the shoe, if you sew them and put the under your foot/shoe, they'll come apart faster due to the constant friction. The tied variety probably comes loose quickly as well, but is easily re-tied.

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Thanks Serendipity,

 

I think I will go with what I know and stitch them to the casing. I'm going to be stitching them now, but if anyone wants to post that they prefer the under the foot system I won't get stressed, so post away!

 

I was going to say I've never had the manufacturers stitching come undone, but that would be a ridiculous statement, as I've only ever had one pair with any elastic attached! I will have a look and see how secure it seems.

 

Thanks for your posts.

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I've worn Sansha Pro 1 Canvas Ballet Slippers since I was... um... since 1994 (we'll avoid age). The elastics are/were always pre-attached at the back, and I hand sewed them to the casing - when I was a student. Then I became professional, and got a shoe allotment. That is when I started sewing the elastic to itself, and then twisted the large loop (making a criss-cross) and put the elastic under my foot. Well... that only lasted for about half a season. I loved the feeling of clean, non-smelly, shoes and started tying a knot instead of sewing them. I will admit it looks horrid, but I have a high arch, so I was able to strategically place the knot on the underside of my foot in a place that I didn't step on it... and you couldn't see it too much (BTW, for performances - I'd be a good boy and sew them properly).

 

It didn't really do anything for the look of my foot... well... on brand new shoes, it did seem to hold the shoe closer to my arch, but after a couple wearings, that didn't matter. I will say on long days the elastic will/would start to dig into my foot, so I'd un-cross the elastic and just leave the large loop flapping in the wind (looks ghastly, but feels good).

 

In my opinion, the loop under the foot is no different than just a regular criss-cross. One version is more clean looking, the other version is a quick (read as "lazy") fix.

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read as "lazy"

 

lol!

 

The only bit of the Grishko shoes I don't care for is the elastic drawstring. It's a lot thicker and more resilient than the cord I'm used to and tucking it away neatly is proving a problem. Any ideas to help with that?

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Have you been reading my mind, xSugarplum?!!

 

I wore the shoes for a while yesterday and was thinking the same thing. Felt a bit nervous in case I wished I hadn't done it afterwards, but maybe I'll do that. Originally I had thought they needed drawing up a bit, but they then dug into the back of my heel. After I'd sewn the elastics the drawstring didn't need tightening.

 

Thanks for your advice.

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If you really regret it, you can put it back in with a needle. It takes a long time and is probably more trouble than it's worth, but it's "doable" if pulling it out really turns out to be a catastrophe.

 

I have to say that I've pulled the elastics out of my Sanshas and the resulting bagginess was not welcomed, but I think Grishko's V-vamp might make them fit a bit better even without drawstring than the u-vamp shaped Sanshas would.

 

Speaking of which, I wonder if Grishko doesn't just make a slipper sans drawstring? They have drawstring-less pointe shoes, after all..

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I removed the drawstring and they fit perfectly, so thanks for your earlier post xSugarplum. I've not worn them in class yet, but have worn them around the house a fair bit, hoping not to have any surprises when I get to the studio!

 

I've not seen any Grishko without a drawstring online on UK sites. It's only since I got the shoes I've realised the brand is not commonly available in the UK except for pointe shoes, so I was lucky at my little local dancestore. They only had the one style in the one colour and material and only in a few different sizes, so I was extra lucky. I've never had canvas shoes before and they feel so light! I have to say there is a greater awareness of the pleating of the canvas where it runs under the sole, but I'm hoping that won't bother me too much.

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Hi Merry

 

I am a bit late on this thread, but read about the joining the two ends of the elastic together in a book just the other day, apparently the theory (at least accoridng to the book) is that it helps the shoe to hug to the foot more.

 

As for the elastic in the drawstring, I always seem to need to pull mine up, I then do a nice firm knot (which after a few classes I will secure with a drop of glue to make super sure it isnt coming out and then I cut them down a bit so that when held (not pulled) they are a little shorter than the vamp of the shoe, if you dont tie a bow then the two little cords seem to lie quite flat against the foot.

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This is the first time ever I've not needed to pull up the drawstring!

 

The underside of the shoe hugs my foot well already, because there's a short piece of elastic running lengthways inside the shoe between the two sections of the sole, so that part of the canvas draws up when you point. My feet need all the help they can get! lol

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I have to say....I had to borrow someone's slippers last night, and they did the whole "sew the ends together and wrap it around the underneath of the foot" thing. I think I am sold and may do this with my next pair of slippers. I actually really liked it! the elastic was a lot tighter around my foot which I liked. It wasn't knotted though, I think that would have bugged me.

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lol!

 

One day I will be the proud owner of more than one pair of slippers at a time and then maybe I can try different options!

 

My feet actually look pretty good in these Grishko shoes - now I need to work on the stuff above the ankles to go with them!!

 

 

Thanks for everyone's input.......

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