2 3 Technical Tuesday Pointe Shoe Anatomy | Ballet Webb

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Technical Tuesday Pointe Shoe Anatomy

Technical Tuesday Pointe Shoe Anatomy

I’ve heard from several doctors that humans should not dance on pointe. Well, I did it for decades and my feet are fine – they don’t even look bad – they look normal.

That being said, some feet are better suited than others, and those that aren’t may tend to develop problems like bunions, etc. But generally, I believe that if a dancer is well trained from the beginning, most, if not all, problems can be avoided.

The anatomy of the foot actually does allow for pointe work, with the help of a properly fitted shoe. Correct dance training strengthens the feet, ankles and the legs so the weight of the body is supported and doesn’t “sink” into the shoes.

A pointe shoe is made up of several basic sections:

1.       The Box: The critical part that encases (or “boxes” in) the dancer’s toes, making them work as a single, strong unit. This provides the stability that allows a human being to dance on pointe. The Box is made up of three basic parts:
a.       The Platform: the bottom that allows the dancer to stand flat when on pointe
b.      The Vamp: the front and sides that help support the metatarsals
c.       The Throat: the actual opening of the vamp that can be different shapes (rounded or V)
2.       The Shank: this is the firm material that serves to stiffen the sole of the shoe. This helps support the dancer’s arch.

Today, dancers have many different choices of manufacturer and style when it comes to selecting the pointe shoe that works best for their personal anatomy. All of the above sections of the shoe can be changed and adapted. The guidance of a knowledgeable teacher is important, both in selecting a shoe style, and in training the dancer.  
From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Ballet Secret #25r:
A pointe shoe is made up of several basic sections, allowing the human anatomy the ability to dance on the tips of the toes.”

Link of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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