Forum: Ballet / Pointe - General

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re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By danaelovesballetmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 84, member since Sat Apr 04, 2009
On Sun Apr 12, 2009 03:44 PM
Ooh thank you! This information is VERY helpful! I do not yet do pointe, but when I do I will definitely remember this! My friend is en pointe and I am so gonna show her this haha. Wow. I did not know a lot of that stuff! I am going to talk to my teacher about it. Thanks again!!!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By sugarfairy_member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1529, member since Sat Feb 09, 2008
On Tue Jun 16, 2009 11:25 AM
I would love to see pictures of 3/4-ing the shank of Bloch shoes. I can't get over the box fully with my Suprimas (though I can with Grishkos and Russian pointes), so I think it might help - but I don't dare it with just a written description!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By debsy7gb3 Comments: 2, member since Sat May 16, 2009
On Fri Jun 19, 2009 09:59 AM
I wouldn't try this w/Gaynors since they are a fiber-glass type material shank.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By Flexibexi Comments: 22, member since Mon Aug 24, 2009
On Mon Aug 24, 2009 01:41 PM
I have really strong, arched feet so would a 3/4 shank be suitable and support me enough? I always buy bloch serenedes but just tried a pair of Gamba 93s and killed them in 30 mins on my right foot (strongest foot). Has anyone got any suggestions?
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By LeLe Comments: 306, member since Sun Jan 28, 2001
On Fri Oct 23, 2009 08:33 AM
FABULOUS post. THank you for that! I have been wearing a 3/4 shank for a while. AND I am VERY glad you showed how to MAKE it 3/4. I learned kind of the hard way though. My friend and i thought we knew what we were doing when trying to 3/4 it. THis was about 3 years ago. I ended up more or less ruining the shoe!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By odile53 Comments: 1913, member since Thu Sep 06, 2007
On Sat Oct 24, 2009 04:42 AM
Here is a way to make that cut end more comfortable. You will need something called a #10 mill file, available at any hardware store. Peel back any lining and expose the cut end of the shank. Then gently file into a curved shape, like the way the end of a wooden tongue depressor looks. Like this: (

The file costs less than ten dollars, and will last you the length of your dance career, provided you don't misplace it!

Gaynors, some Russian Pointes, and a few others have preformed arches. Doing this shouldn't be necessary. If the apex of a preformed arch shoe does not hit your foot at the apex of your arch, it does not fit you correctly and you need to try a different model of shoe.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By vaganovaballet Comments: 155, member since Sat Jul 18, 2009
On Sun Oct 25, 2009 05:15 AM
Do you cut the inside or the outside of your shoe?
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By c58sgreat Comments: 84, member since Mon Dec 07, 2009
On Mon Dec 07, 2009 01:33 AM
This is genius, I've never had my dancers try it but I sure will now...
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By EmilytheDancer Comments: 14, member since Sat Jan 16, 2010
On Sun Jan 31, 2010 09:25 PM
3/4ing shanks is for professional dancers only. Suggesting this to students seems almost...a little ridiculous.

For more info, read this post on Ballet Talk for Dancers:
dancers.invisionzone.com . . .
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By or6 Comments: 3, member since Mon Feb 08, 2010
On Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:47 PM
Isn't it enough just to break the shank in the right place? My teacher showed us that instead of cutting you mark the spot where you would cut and fold the shank (braek it) on that line. This way you get the support for you heel and the shoe doesn't break lower in your arch. Here is a video showing how:

www.youtube.com . . .


Tell me what you think,
Or =)
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Tue Feb 09, 2010 03:52 AM
Thanks for that video. I just got a pair of Freeds and was a bit despairing of them. I'll try this method before cutting. I'm not too happy with cutting the shoe, personally, as I feel I might make such a bad job of it that I would lose the use of the shoes. Plus, I can't work out whether it's cutting inside or outside of the shoe, from the above description.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By gioland Comments: 248, member since Tue Sep 08, 2009
On Tue Feb 09, 2010 09:08 AM
Edited by gioland (216083) on 2010-02-09 09:16:22
Emily, the moderators on that forum only express their point of view. I am not an expert but I read enough on the topic to know that not everybody agrees with them. Other experts say that 3/4ing the shank does not depend on the level of the dancers but on the shape and strength of their feet.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Tue Feb 09, 2010 08:35 PM
I followed the directions on Lisa Howell's video and broke the shanks on my new Freeds. WHAT a DIFFERENCE!! While I don't think the shoes themselves will be suitable, for other reasons, I did take advantage of the experience to do the same to my Bloch Heritage, which I also love. These shoes are fairly new, but I abandoned them due to worrying about falling off pointe (pulling back on pointe, really).

The shank on those wouldn't break but they did bend nicely into position and, again, WOW! WHAT a difference! I'm going to wear them in class tomorrow and see how they work. I did a few practice moves with them tonight and so far, they are VERY stable and VERY usable, not to mention a thousand times lighter than my Gaynors.

I used the Heritage throughout one summer until my feet toned to the point the shoes would fall off them. I wore out one pair and the second became "too large" (I lost a lot of weight - intentionally, thank goodness!) Went to Gaynor and have been trying to get back to the Heritages, as they had worked so well.

If all goes well, I'm going back to the Heritage now that I know I can make them usable fairly quickly. :D
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By forestfaeriemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 151, member since Tue May 26, 2009
On Wed Feb 24, 2010 02:36 PM
This is SOO extremely helpful. I have pretty strong feet and go through shoes faster than I'd like to, so hopefully this will help them last a lot longer than they do. Thank you so much for this post!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By odile53 Comments: 1913, member since Thu Sep 06, 2007
On Sun May 02, 2010 06:23 AM
I'm not sure that anyone else actually covered this, but there is another reason to 3/4 shanks: relative ankle inflexibility. This is for a dancer who has some pointe experience but having trouble getting all the way over the box not because of a poor arch, but because of somewhat stiff ankles. The dancer has to be able to pull up (you don't use this technique for an inexperienced dancer who can't pull out of the box, because she will end up just sitting on the shank.) Having the 3/4 shank will help the less flexible ankle get over without curling toes and battling the shoe all the time.

Usually, a somewhat stiff ankle is considerably stronger than a very flexible one. The ideal scenario is for the stiffer ankled dancer to use the 3/4 shank and work on some ankle stretching exercises.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By elmo13 Comments: 15, member since Fri Apr 24, 2009
On Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:15 PM
I just did this with a pair of Grishko's and it worked wonderfully! I've had these shoes for years and they're in almost new condition but I never wore them because although I have fairly strong feet and pretty good arches they always made it look like I couldn't get all the way over my box. I'm using them in lieu of my Gaynor Mindens because I'm just getting back en pointe after being out of dance for a few years so I need to build up my strength again and I feel like that my Gaynor's don't help in that area. I can not thank you enough for this post, it was very informative and helpful, major kudos to you!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By Banquo Comments: 113, member since Sun Mar 06, 2011
On Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:39 AM
I'm a little confused here. Do Grishko 2007s come with a 3/4 shank already or not? If not, I might try that method on them.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By Jellybeans509 Comments: 6, member since Mon Jun 06, 2011
On Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:43 AM
Please try to find photos or a video explaining the process, like you said! I so want to try this on my old Capezio's, but I'm a little afraid to do it without been 100% sure that I'm doing everything good! :D

Thanks for your post!
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By lovestodance989 Comments: 318, member since Sun Jun 12, 2011
On Mon Jun 13, 2011 07:03 AM
Hmm, I've never even heard of doing this, but maybe I'll give it a try, it sounds cool! And good id=f it makes my shoes last longer:)

Thanks:)
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By JigEnPointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 855, member since Mon Jan 23, 2012
On Mon Jan 23, 2012 01:00 PM
This is a great post, and I definitely want to try it.... if only my old pointe shoes weren't 6000 miles away at my parents' house! ;-P My REAL problem, though, is high wings on shoes. Any way to get rid of THOSE? I prefer dancing with 0% wing. :) (Hence, my shoe choices are limited and the ones I DO use die instantly.)
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By PixyN Comments: 30, member since Tue Jun 05, 2012
On Tue Jun 05, 2012 02:32 PM
Any chance you can utube this as I'm worried I'll ruin the kids shoes but lots have painful shoes
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By liveloveballet Comments: 27, member since Mon Jan 16, 2012
On Sat Jun 16, 2012 01:33 AM
My teacher showed us how to do this the other day. When the newly cut shank cuts into your foot, put a couple layers of duck tape over it, starting at the heel and ending an inch after the shank cuts. Tape the shoe while arching it though, so the tape doesn't rip while you're dancing.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By sassamember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 110, member since Tue Mar 06, 2012
On Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:42 AM
Thank you so much for all the pointers..

After reading I just went for it and tried it on the shoes that were dying anyway..

By now I'm on my third pair of points with 3/4-shanks and I love it! The tend to live longer than before and I have a much better feeling dancing on them...
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By courtneydancer16 Comments: 1, member since Sun Sep 23, 2012
On Mon Sep 24, 2012 01:09 AM
I'm slightly confused by this, now are you actually cutting out the top of your shank or are you just supposed to cut a line in it? if you cut out the entire top won't your heel sag or something when en pointe? i want to do this to my old russians but i want to make sure I'm doing it right. I was never able to get completely on the platform of my russians because the platform was tilted and i have very flat (not completely flat but close) feet which makes it harder so i was thinking this might help me.
re: Reasons to 3/4 those shanks.
By BalletLife11 Comments: 3, member since Fri Apr 12, 2013
On Sun Apr 21, 2013 01:48 PM
You shouldn't go en pointe in deshanked shoes.
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