FITTING JAZZ SHOES
The elasticated sides help the shoe to hug the instep and allows the shoe to slip on easily as well as making it easier to point and flex. Often more comfortable for the dancer, as there are no laces to dig into the foot during floor work or come loose. Split soles have a non-slip toe pad that lies under the ball of the foot.
Jazz shoes must have a snug fit – temptation to buy with too much ‘room to grow’ will make the shoes dangerous as the extra length or width can cause children to trip or injure their feet. The child will not get the proper ‘feel’ of using the floor as they dance. If there is too much material gaping at the sides and back of the shoe, it is too large.
Try on shoes wearing the same socks or legwear they will wear during their dance class.
WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR FIRST POINTE SHOE FITTING
Medical fraternities advise that a young student should not commence pointe work before the age of eleven or twelve as the cartilage and bones of the feet are still soft. The student would normally have been studying ballet for about three to four years prior to going ‘en pointe’. Serious damage could occur if pointe work is commenced at too early an age before the correct development of all the muscles, however it is the teacher who would advise on this.
Once your ballet teacher says you are ready to go onto pointe, you will need to make an appointment for a Pointe Shoe Fitting which will take between 30 – 40 mins Your teacher may also have a preference for toe protection to be worn inside your pointe shoes, and there will be variety of suitable products on hand during your fitting.
Wear comfortable clothing as you will be asked to plié and rise during your fitting. It is also important for your fitter to see your bare feet at the start of your fitting, so either wear convertible tights or use the ballet socks provided in store.
It is important for the student to be able to communicate with their pointe fitter as this conversation and any feedback between them is essential in achieving the best fit possible. It is beneficial for all concerned should the teacher be able to attend this special fitting of the student’s first pair of pointe shoes otherwise your teacher will need to approve them. Once she has done this you can then proceed to sewing on the ribbons and/or elastics and other accessories such as suede toe caps if required.
HOW TO FIT SOFT BALLET SHOES
It is very important to fit ballet shoes correctly. This will help you develop a proper technique and help prevent injury to the foot.
A proper fitting ballet shoe is not the same as fitting normal street shoes. There should be no growing space and the shoe should fit like a glove with the toes flat inside the shoes. ie. the toes will always be at the end of the ballet shoe with any extra room being at the back of the shoe and down the sides of the foot. Too much extra room will not show a proper arch and it is important for your dance teacher to see the shape of your foot while performing. If the shoe is too large, the dancer will have difficulty when articulating to pointe.
The vamp should cover the toes so that the foot is secure in the ballet shoe. The toes should also fit well as they will slip behind the pleats if they do not. Where the dancer has a wider foot, we have wide fitting ballet shoes available.
It is also equally important that the shoe is not too tight and whist standing in your new ballet shoes, your toes much not be scrunched up at the end of the shoe and there must be no pain but must be snug. Both leather and canvas ballet shoes will stretch slightly and mold to the shape of your foot.
HOW TO MEASURE YOUR FEET
If you are unable to have a ballet shoe fitting done at Dancewear Essentials here is some advice on how to measure your feet.
- Place a piece of blank paper on a hard floor.
- Stand on the paper.
- Holding a pencil vertically, place a mark at the end of your heel.
- Place another mark at the top of your longest toe.
- Repeat for the other foot.
- To find your size, measure the heel-to-toe mark in cms.
It is recommended that you purchase your shoes from Dancewear Essentials – your local Energetiks and Bloch authorised Stockist. Shoe size charts should be used as an aid and should not replace a personal fitting. Dance shoes should be a firm fit with very little growing room. Please contact us for further information regarding sizing.
SEWING RIBBONS ONTO BALLET SHOES
Ribbon bundles are sold in one long 3 metre length so the ribbon needs to be cut in half and then in half again so there are four pieces, one for each side of the shoe.
Take one piece of ribbon and at one end fold one centimetre over once and then fold it over two centimetres again.
To attach the ribbons at the correct angle, fold the back of the shoe forward and down, then mark each side of the shoe on the cotton lining in the angle made.
Place the folded end of the ribbon at the marked position and sew as shown in the drawing onto the side of the shoe through the cotton lining but not through the satin. The ribbons may be angled forward if required to hold the shoe on more securely.