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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Feedback anecdotal/fact on adolescent foot growth?


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My 13 year old dd's small feet haven't grown in about 11 months, although she has grown at least 2". Mind you I am not complaining as her toe shoes are lasting a really long time.


She now has three in rotation and they all fit wonderfully even though 2 pair are from May and another pair are from last January.


I was just curious as to what other's are experiencing.

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My 14.5 yo DS had feet that never appeared to grow at that age. His shoes would wear out (I mean running shoes) before he grew out of them. Then suddenly one day he is 6 feet tall with big feet. I don't know what happened but it seems to have happened one afternoon :). Growth isn't always a smooth curve that's for sure!

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Teenage girl ballet dancers often find their feet seem to shrink so they even go down a size. As the arch builds up, the overall length shortens. It happened to me, then to my dd, and I have seen it with several other pupils too.

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My DDs feet have not grown in about three years - they just turned 15 a month or so ago. While they haven't grown, they have changed. Pointe shoes that work for awhile just don't seem to be "right" anymore. We certainly haven't had to go for fittings every time any more because the growth has stopped but every once in awhile their shoes just aren't working right for them so it's back to the fitters.

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My 15 year old dd's feet haven't grown in about 3 years or so either. My same age sons are still growing though! She only grew out of her first few pairs, now she just wears them out (not as quickly as before, thank goodness!)

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Hmmm! Didn't consider that at the tender age of 12 (last foot growth) she just might have reached her zenith.


I am also not exactly sure why she seems to be able to wear three different makers with no issues, and even why with her lack of foot growth her pointe shoes are lasting so long. It seems that within her class/level some girls are going through at most a pair week and others are on the opposite end of the spectrum working with one pair for several months.


Any insight there, or is it a question for the pointe shoe forum?

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Just to add to the chorus, I wore the same size shoe from sixth grade until after childbearing.


You can never be too sure though. We thought dd was done and then sometime later, she had an issue with her pointe shoes sliding off her heel. It turned out she needed to go up a half size in her pointe shoes, but she had not changed in street shoes.

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My DD's feet stopped growing around 12, and recently went down half a size in pointe shoes. I assume it was probably because her arch has improved.

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I thought DD (almost 14 now) was done growing. She hadn't grown in height or in shoe size in about a year, and then she had two more growth spurts over about a 7 month period. Her feet also grew about half a size in the space of a month, right around being 13.5. So one never knows... :)

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Sometimes the foot growth happens prior to the rest of the growth. :) I often see tweens with feet that look a good it long for their bodies, but then they grow into them!

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Thank you Ms. Leigh et al for the reassurances:)


hillary1, I am a little worried about her X-ray exposure she's had about 4 in the last three years, and thus not sure that it is really a question I need to have answered. Or do I???


What is it that you actually learned about the status of your dd's growth plates? Do you think the benefits of knowing out weigh the sligh risks of an additional X-ray?



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firedragon0800, I wouldn't worry about x-raying her feet unless there is some real physical issue. DD did not have x-rays of her feet until she was in college and had an injury that required them and surgery.


DD's feet grew when they grew and stopped when they stopped. Her pointe shoe sizes did change, going down as she reached full-strength. Pointe work can change some configurations of the foot to some degree.

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I also find that sometimes young dancers have a tendency to have shoes that are not as fitted and they may wear more padding; then as the dancer becomes more experience she is more comfortable in a "tighter" shoe and will use less padding. Hence the pointe shoe size doesn't change as much as the street shoe.

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