At a very young age I learned about pointe shoes, immediately I knew I wanted to wear them when I grew up. Seeing older dancers graceful float across the stage on their toes had me mesmerized!
Having proper shoes for dance is one of the most essential parts of learning dance correctly... others would include a well-educated instructors to teach, music, flooring, and ballet barres. Proper fitting dance shoes are as essential to dance as a basket is to basketball or a helmet is for baseball. You can practice over and over but with out the right shoes so much can change or be learned incorrectly.
One common question parents have is that their child is still growing, can't they upsize so they will last longer? What harm can be done?
Well there are many things that can happen as a result of poorly fit shoes. For instance, to large of tap shoes can cause blistering from the shoe rubbing back and fourth throughout class. Dancers will actually begin overcompensating by modifying the step to stop the rubbing or some younger dancers will stop dancing altogether because it hurts. Improper fitting ballet slippers means that the student may not be learning to point their toes correctly or learn incorrect standing due to sagging of the shoe or not standing proper on the sole of the shoe.
Walmart and Target sell ballet shoes- what's wrong with those?
We all love Walmart and Target because these stores are convenient. They are often my one stop shop for food, makeup, clothes, and movies. But they should never be a stop for ballet or tap shoes. Walmart's and Target's goals are to provide a products at the lowest possible cost regardless of quality, especially items in children's sizes. These convenient stores carry inadequate dance shoes, none of them are actual leather or fit properly. Many of these cheap alternatives don't even have soles in ballet shoes or arch support in tap shoes.
Proper fitting ballet shoes usually cost between $15-$30 depending on child sizes or adult sizes. Brands that you can always trust as great sources for dance apparel are Capezio (which we stock at Sunflower State Dance), Bloch, BalTogs, Sansha, and other companies that specialize in dance.
Tap shoes tend to cost more money because of the metal which causes the sound. Children under 8 should be expected to have a simpler version of tap shoes which are far less expensive than advanced dancers or even professional dancers which can range between $50 and $300! These more expensive shoes are designed with sound in mind to produce great rhythm and stamps. But for beginning tappers price usually should be between $18-35 depending on size.
Leather or Canvas Ballet Shoes?
Sunflower State Dance goes by similar standards as any other studio with a firm classical ballet background. We highly suggest students under 8 years old wear leather ballet slippers. These help train young dancers feet properly with out giving them to much freedom. Once dancers get older into beginning technique classes we like them to start wearing canvas ballet slippers. Canvas ballet slippers mold more to the arch of the dancer. At this point dancers feet have developed more and focus should be on foot articulation and strengthening.
Dancers in canvas shoes are beginning to strengthen feet to eventually go en pointe after age 11 or 12 and with proper testing and training. Pointe shoes should never be worn without permission of a ballet instructor and should never be purchased without proper training and instruction (at least two intermediate to advanced ballet technique classes per week).
What Shoes Does Sunflower State Dance Carry And Recommend?
Students level 5 and below should wear pink leather ballet slippers, we recommend and carry Capezio Daisy Leather Ballet Shoes. Students should wear tan tap shoes, we carry Revolution.
Students above level 5 should wear canvas ballet shoes, we carry Fuzi and Capezio. Students at this level should have black lace up tap shoes, we carry and recommend Capezio Fluid Tap.
For more information see the following website http://www.danceadvantage.net/best-ballet-shoes/