Dance in a Nutshell: 6 Fun Facts about Pointe Shoes

Every ballerina has her trusty pair of pointe shoes that allow them to perform the most graceful ballet dance moves. This type of ballet shoe was specifically constructed to make ballerinas seem effortlessly light as a feather and spritely with every technique or dance routine they perform.

Although ballet leaves the dancers’ feet with red and blue bruises after every intense practice, pointe shoes are highly versatile and flexible that they enable ballerinas to point their toes to its full extent without much hassle.

Aside from its structurally impressive quality, there is also much to discover about the highly regarded pointe shoes.

Here are some cool details that you must know about these wonderful and breathtaking pair of dance shoes:

It is handmade

The fact that all pointe shoes are handmade means that it was carefully crafted and specifically designed to accommodate ballet dancers. The labour of handcrafting these shoes involves combining and layering several burlaps. Doing so helps make the shoe bendier and easier to twist.

It is also custom-made

One of the reasons why pointe shoes are made by hand is because the shoes need to be customized to suit each dancer. Dancers have different sizes of feet.

Their feet also vary in terms of flexibility. By taking accurate measurements of each ballerina’s feet, it ensures a perfectly fitting shoe that will enhance their dancing.

Dance in a Nutshell: 6 Fun Facts about Pointe Shoes
Dance in a Nutshell: 6 Fun Facts about Pointe Shoes

It is painful to wear.

Initially, it will take some time before new dancers get used to wearing and dancing en pointe. It might even start to feel more uncomfortable as they go on to practice and try more complicated routines.

However, the best way to counter and manage the pain is to practice and maintain good posture and alignment and develop a strong core. It will lead to better balancing and control that eventually helps make the pain more bearable.

It doesn’t last as long as your regular shoes

At most, brand new pointe shoes typically last for as long as three weeks to three months. Training for upcoming performances along with practicing the usual ballet routines all entail rigorous exercises and movements that put much pressure on the dancers’ feet. Thus, don’t be surprised to see a badly beaten and worn-out pair of pointe after just a couple of months of dancing ballet.

It has a variation called demi-pointe

Demi-pointed shoes are designed for beginners. It helps them practice and master the point technique in ballet. This particular type of ballet shoe is also used for choreographic modern dance steps. The structure of the demi-pointed shoes helps establish balance and resistance for beginners to develop stronger ankles.

Pointe shoes for men are rare

Believe it or not, there is a limited number of pointe shoes for men available in the market. Men are not usually required to learn how to dance en pointe, and that explains why there are hardly any manufacturers producing pointe shoes for men.

It is also quite challenging to construct and design pointe shoes that fit the size and length of a man’s feet. On the contrary, several male ballet dancers opt to master dancing en pointe even without the shoes. For them, it is a fulfilling achievement, and it also enables them to learn more complex dancing techniques.

Did you enjoy the six fun facts in this blog? What other amazing facts would you like to learn about pointe shoes and ballet?

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