But your pointe shoes should work with you, not against you. They can play a huge factor in how you dance and how you improve.
Traditionally, pointe shoes have been fitted solely by your foot shape and size. But a correctly fitted pointe shoe at the right time can help you improve your dancing and keep you safe.
Every shoe should be strong enough to support you and supple enough to move with the dancer, but each dancer reacts differently to different shoes. Some dancers break strong shanks faster, some break soft shanks faster. Some turn better in a wide platform and some better in a small one.
Every dancer is different and it’s the fitter’s job to help you understand your own tendencies and work with you throughout your journey.
Here are 5 things pointe shoes can help you with:
- It can strengthen your feet: Certain pointe shoes can move with the dancer better, helping them strengthen both the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles of your feet.
- It can help you recover: We often work with physical therapists or doctors that are helping dancers recover from injuries. Whether you are working on getting back your strength, alignment or range of motion, there are shoes that can help you reach your goals.
- It can teach you better alignment: Your pointe shoes can place you in a different place on your leg depending on the shoe shape and strength. The correct shoe can help you align on the center of the platform.
- It can be more supportive: Each pointe shoe will give you different amount of support. Depending on the variation or style of dancing, you can use different shoes to help you execute better.
- It can help you dance better: Different pointe shoes can help you feel more confident, get more rotations on your turns or balance longer. Depending on what your goals are, a different shoe will help you.
Finding your perfect pointe shoe is a very individual, and what works for one dancer may not work for another. It can be a long trial and error process and often times a moving target. Even professionals who have been dancing for years have problems with their shoes. But if you honor the journey and respect the process, your pointe shoes will help you get there.