• Miss Carmel Horsfield

Fitting new ballet shoes correctly

Many parents will be visiting the dance wear shops soon in preparation for the start of the dance year. Whether its for a first time dancer or a student with years of experience getting the right fit for your ballet shoes is very important.

First check with your school which type of ballet shoe is preferred as there are quite a few types. My own preference for ballet shoes is leather split soled shoes with elastic for up to Grade 2 exam level. Canvass shoes are very popular but they do wear out very quickly and may not be suitable for examinations and performance.

Its definitely best to visit a store that has a wide range of sizes as width fitting can be just as important as size. Don't guess your child's size take them in to be fitted ... its a fun outing and can add to the excitement of starting back to class.

Sorry parents, when it comes to ballet shoes we need to keep "growing room" to a minimum. A well fitted ballet shoe should fit like a sock and not have room in the toe. When the foot is pointed the shoe should not be baggy on the toes as this will prevent the young dancer from developing a good technique. We can allow a little finger space at the back of the heel for younger students not yet doing exams but make sure you can still see the point clearly.

Some younger children are not accustomed to well fitting shoes and will say they are tight when they are not too small.... check the draw strings are not too tight as this can often be the cause and not the size of the shoe.

Ballet shoes should be as flexible as possible so the better quality shoes will have a soft supple feeling and the poorer quality ones will feel quite stiff.

Lastly check the fit with your teacher if you are unsure - before you sew any ribbons or elastics on!

details for sewing on and tying up ribbons can be found on my website under downloads

Happy shopping!

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