What is a Pointe Shoe?
A Pointe Shoe is hand-made from various materials including leather, fabrics, papers and an array of glues. A Pointe Shoe is created to be a hard binding around the foot that can be made soft through the dancers guided practice by her teacher. In softening the shoe, the foot, ankle, and legs are building the strength and form to properly dance on Toe. It is the only shoe you will buy that is meant to be destroyed to enable advancement.
Each Manufacturer of Pointe Shoes makes different models with different shapes and strengths that are intended to be applied to a foot with the matching shape and ability. One size 7 shoe can have 5 widths and 3 to 5 shank strengths. New Mexico Dancewear carries 7 different Manufacturers and 18 different models in full runs.
What Age to go Up on Pointe?
As you can see from the photo of a foot on Pointe it is imperative that your child is properly prepared to go up on Pointe.
The average age up on Pointe is 10 to 12 years old. Your studio/school/teacher will release your dancer for a 1st pointe fitting when she has met the standards or criteria necessary for her to be successful . This usually means 2 or more years of ballet in slipper, taking 3 classes at level 3 a week, and can demonstrate that she has the form and strength to move forward.
It is not recommended before this age without a check up with a Podiatrist to make sure the bones in the feet are ready. Ballerinas need to protect the delicate bones and tendons in their feet by having each Pointe Shoe they need fit by a trained Fitter.
When Does She Need a New Shoe?
A Pointe Shoe is meant for the dancer to destroy by making the box and the shank very soft-so soft that the shoe no longer supports the dancer. The first shoe should last 4 to 6 months. As she advances she will need to change shoes more often. The general life of a Pointe Shoe is between 18 and 24 hours up on pointe. The dancer will be up on pointe between 15 to 30 minutes per class the 1st year.
How Do You Know if the Shoe is Too Small? Have the dancer put her shoes on without the ribbon or elastic and then eleve up on toe. If you cannot get your finger between the heel of her foot and the back seam of the shoe– it is probably too small. Between the ages of 10 and 14, the dancer will need a fitting with each new shoe or about 2 or 3 times a year. This is because the foot is changing as the dancer grows and progresses. At 14 or so, the foot stops growing and progression is focused on the strengthening and articulation of the foot.
Once your dancer has been released to have her 1st Pointe Fitting, you need to make an appointment. It will take 30 to 45 minutes. Even if you would like to buy online, you will need a local fitting first.
We like it when your teacher is present as they know the ability of your dancer better than we do, however, we know most teachers’ or studio standards and can fit accordingly. We recommend your dancer come prepared in convertible tights to stand in 1st, tendu, grand plie in 2nd, 5th & soussus. We will fit with what is called a pinch of room (the shoe cannot be fit big as it will cause it to be unstable), which should give the dancer 4 to 6 months in the shoe. After the fitting, your dancer should take the shoe to her teacher before the ribbon / elastic are sewn on, in case she prefers a different shoe. Your dancer should not attempt to be on pointe without her teacher present.
We offer fittings for only $15, which include the following:
- The required time to properly fit students.
- Access to all stocked shoes (over 500).
- Written information for the shoe chosen.
- Shoe registered on your card.
Returns and Exchanges are subject to the following:
- We will exchange any unsewn and unworn shoe for another shoe. We prefer to have teacher recommendations for the second shoe. If the shoe is exchanged a second time, we need to have the teacher present at the fitting.
- We recommend having your teacher approve the shoe before you sew on the ribbons and elastic. It will not be eligible for return if it is sewn.
- All returned shoes will have a $15 Fitting Fee deducted from the return amount.
Call today to schedule your pointe shoe fitting. Each appointment takes approximately 30 - 45 minutes. (505) 292-2747.