All About Soft Ballet Shoes
In the 2nd of our "All About" series, we will be looking at the humble soft ballet shoe. The range of ballet shoes now on the market is staggering and the Planet Dance team understand that choosing the right one for you, can be a bewildering task, especially for those new to ballet. We hope that through this guide we can help make that choice a little easier as well as providing you with a raft of interesting information on this essential item.
In the first section we will be looking at the optimum fit of a soft ballet shoe, followed by techniques for sewing on your elastic. Both these sections are courtesy of one of our dance footwear designers Capezio.
We will then take you through the Planet Dance guide on the different types of ballet shoe, giving you the pros and cons of each, to help you choose the shoe that's right for you. And finally, we provide you with that all important ballet shoe matrix, featuring all the ballet shoes within the Planet Dance Collection. This will pinpoint those shoes that fit your criteria, making the selection process a quick and easy one.
Well then, let's begin. Are you sitting comfortably?
Fitting Soft Ballet Shoes (Courtesy of Capezio)
Ballet began as an art form under the reign of Louis XIV. Today, Ballet is the basis for many different forms of dance from lyrical to modern dance. It is also the starting point for all dancers. Ballet teaches form and technique, builds strength and develops poise and grace.
The ballet shoe is the dancer's best tool, providing support and comfort. The following guidelines will help you achieve the optimum fit.
Make sure your are wearing the tights you use for dance while trying the shoes on.
Sewing Elastic on Ballet Shoes (Courtesy of Capezio)
The elastic should be positioned high in the instep. This ensures a good fit at the heel.
Factors to Consider when choosing a Soft Ballet Shoe - The PlanetDance guide.
As well as the sizing which we have covered already, there are 2 other factors to consider when choosing a soft ballet shoe; Sole Type and Material.
There are 2 types to choose from; a full sole or split sole.
A full sole is made from just one piece of material, usually suede, that runs all the way along the foot. The spolit sole however is in two pieces, covering the heel and ball of the foot only. The split sole does not cover the arch of the foot so it is generally considered a better choice for enhancing the foot position when pointed. As there is no resistance in the arch, it is particularly useful if you have a flattish foot, as you are able to achieve an acceptable pointe that could be lost with a full sole.
In support of the full sole, wearing ballet shoes can take a bit of getting used to, as they are so light, you can feel the floor so much more than in normal shoes. For this reason, many childrens and students new to ballet prefer to start with a full sole, as it gives a little more solidity to the shoe. It is also a personal choice, and some dancers prefer the feel of a full sole.
There are 3 types to choose from; canvas, leather or satin, and it is very much down to personal choice.
Canvas generally offers great value for money, so it is often considered a good option as a starter ballet shoe. It addition however, many dancers prefer canvas and as such there are also a range of professional canvas shoes on the market for the more experienced dancer.
Satin is generally considered the asthetic choice for female dancers. It is similar to canvas, in that it does not give much with time.
Leather, although perhaps not as pretty as satin, is more durable and moulds to the shape of the foot over time.
The choice is yours!
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