Forum: Ballet / Pointe - General

how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By ballerina1234
On Sun Jun 19, 2016 02:49 AM

Hello, I have been wearing Grishko 2007 XXXXX with a hard shank & ouch pouch for many years now and they feel wonderful when on pointe. No pain and I can balance on one foot: they are that perfect. However I find them really hard to break in at the demi pointe and as a result my feet look like bricks when off the pointe, e.g. when jumping. By the time the demi pointe starts to be supple also the shank has become much less supportive and the box is too soft.

Are there any tricks to soften the shank at the demi point without loosing support when standing on the pointe? Is this even possible, given that what the shank would have to bend in one direction, but not in the other? The goal would be to get closer to that "light" and natural look which professionals have when wearing pointe shoes through their demi pointe :). Of course it would be ideal if I had strong feet that could wear soft shanks without rolling over... but my feet just are not that strong and my arches are very high.

Thanks!

7 Replies to how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe

re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By hummingbird
On Sun Jun 19, 2016 06:47 AM
That's not really a shoe problem, it just means you have to strengthen your feet so they can articulate in your shoes. Metatarsal doming exercises are one way to do this, so is walking on a pebbly beach (yes it really can be that simple) but also using old, dead pointe shoes in class instead of softs for your class work, you'll be surprised at how much harder your feet have to work to look like they're doing anything in soft blocks. To prepare a pair of soft blocks take out the sock, you want to try and keep this in one piece if you can, using a pair of pliers take out the back and make sure there are no nails left. You might have to pul out some lumps of glue as well to make them comfortable, then glue back in the sock if it stayed in one piece.

Here is an example of the doming exercises I was talking about

www.youtube.com . . .
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By ballerina1234
On Sun Jun 19, 2016 11:32 AM
Thank you so much for the helpful reply. Just to make sure I understand this properly: given that very hard shanks don't really allow a soft demi pointe, are they therefore basically useless (unless one is prepared to live with feet looking like bricks)? So essentially, someone with bed feet like me should still get shoes with softer shanks (so they allow a proper demi pointe). This means having to work a lot on the basics of pointe work until the feet can actually hold themselves up without using the shank for support?
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By Gracie220
On Mon Jun 20, 2016 08:58 AM
Hi! Have you ever tried the M shank? I"m a 2007 wearer, too (7.5X). I've never tried the H shank, but M is still really supportive. I'm a taller, average-sized adult; I don't have a tiny ballerina build, but 2007s are very supportive and last me a long time. I've even worn the SS (super soft) shank without any issues. They look amazing even when you first put them on and flow with your feet like really supportive slippers. The M shanks require a little more breaking in, but they're definitely more supportive.

I've also found that demi-pointe is a little painful at first in 2007s because the box tends to be harder than brands like Bloch or Freed. It kind of digs into my forefoot a little (not nearly as bad as Vaganovas, though!). But it's not too bad once I've broken them in with some good exercises and sweat. I've also used a little water, but it discolors the fabric a little - which isn't really an issue just for class. That's with the M shank though. I can't imagine trying to break in hard shanks from Grishko!

The exercises hummingbird suggested are also great! The stronger your feet are, the less support you'll need in your shoes, and the more your shoes will look like part of your feet.

Good luck! :)
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By ballerina1234
On Wed Jun 22, 2016 03:56 PM
Thank you! I have tried the M shanks and tend to "go over" a lot, probably because my feet are too bendy + not strong. I will try strengthening them. By asking around I now also realised that the vamp of the 2007 Grishkos is actually long - too long for my short toes, and so it digs into the foot when I try to go on demi pointe. I had been wondering why that part always gets so sore. I will try cutting the vamp of an old pair a bit with scissors to see if this helps.
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By Gracie220
On Wed Jun 22, 2016 04:42 PM
Nova 2007s are another kind you could keep in mind. Unfortunately, they're slightly less tapered than regular 2007s, but the vamp is a little shorter and more u-shaped.
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By hummingbird
On Thu Jun 23, 2016 07:59 AM
ballerina1234 wrote:

By asking around I now also realised that the vamp of the 2007 Grishkos is actually long - too long for my short toes, and so it digs into the foot when I try to go on demi pointe. I had been wondering why that part always gets so sore. I will try cutting the vamp of an old pair a bit with scissors to see if this helps.


Do you know, I was just thinking about this post yesterday, between my lessons and wondering if it might be more of a problem with the box being too long, have you tried wetting the edge of the box where it digs into your foot? That might be a much easier way to shorten your vamp.
re: how to get a supple look off pointe without loosing support on pointe
By cara7
On Mon Jun 27, 2016 07:35 AM
Hi! Have you tried Russian Pointe Spotlight Collection or Jewels Collection? Their flexible FM & FH shanks are very supportive, but have a special cut-out at demi-pointe so that demi pointe is achieved easily even when they are brand-new:
www.russianpointe.com . . .

Also Wear Moi La Pointe have a very flexible demi-pointe (even the hard shank):
www.lapointe.wearmoi.com . . .

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