The Pointe Page

WE ARE THE POINTE SHOE EXPERTS

At Saratoga Dance we are experts in all areas of dance, but our knowledge of ballet and specifically pointe shoes sets us apart from most dance stores in the country. Having all danced ourselves and worn pointe shoes for many years, we have first-hand experience of how a shoe should feel on the foot and function on the floor. Our 20 year history of professionally fitting pointe shoes has given us a deep understanding of how a shoe is constructed and what physical behaviors trigger it to break down.

We use the most innovative accessories in our fittings to maximize comfort without compromising the ability to feel the floor. And with our expertise in modifications, we can customize any shoe to achieve the perfect fit and enhance the look of a dancer’s foot.

As former and current dancers and teachers, we know how important the right shoe is for a dancer. Safety is a big concern for us as well, which is why we will never fit a shoe with “room to grow.” Any questions you may have, we are prepared to address from the sewing of ribbons and elastics to basic injury prevention. We want you to walk away feeling educated as well as secure that you have the best shoe for your foot at your current level of dance.

WHEN TO START POINTE TRAINING

Going “en pointe” is a milestone that every young ballet dancer dreams of. This fascination with the beautiful pink satin pointe shoe and visions of rising up to the toes brings yearning and excitement. But the reality is that dancing on pointe is very difficult and can be extremely dangerous if the student is not technically or physically ready to endure the rigors of pointe work. Bone maturation (ossification) of the growth plates of the foot are not fully developed until the teenage years and it is imperative that the student be evaluated for pointe readiness before being given permission to undertake pointe classes.Injuries to the feet, knees and spine can occur if the student is put on pointe prematurely and can cause lifelong problems.
It is recommended that a student train a minimum of four years in soft slippers to develop a proper demi-pointe (rising to half-toe) and take three to four classes per week for at least one year prior to going on pointe. This schedule is necessary to develop the proper technical abilities needed to dance on pointe. Although most children begin pointe work between the ages of 10 and 12, chronological age should not be the only determining factor for pointe readiness. The teacher is the most familiar with the ability of the dancer and should evaluate these very essential aspects before recommending that a student go on pointe:

  • Stage of physical development
  • Foot and ankle strength
  • Foot and ankle flexibility
  • Correct placement – alignment of upper body, hip, knee, ankle and foot
  • Core Strength – quality of abdominal, trunk and pelvic control
  • Intensity of training – how many classes a student takes per week

For more info about fittings in our store, click here.