Tag Archive | Pointe shoes

Hello, Have You Missed Me?

I’m sorry it has been a while since I have posted about ballet. Between the new school schedule with the kids, my crazy job, ballet and exercise, and maintaining the house, pets and family life – I have little time for anything else. So, I deeply apologize. Allow me to fill you in as to what has been going on with me!

I am sure you would like to know how this dance season is going so far? One word: fan-tabulous! Something just clicked after the June performance was over. I am finally feeling like a real dancer. My arms have improved; less rigid and more fluid. My chaines, pique and soutenus turns are more consistent and stable. I have been able to actually pull through and finish when we do 20 across the floor! I could never do that last year. I’m confident in class and I think it shows. Dare I say – I’m not a ballerina-wanna-be anymore?? I am actually turning into a real dancer…swoon.

However – there are still things that need plenty of work. Those things being my pirouettes, turnout and pliΓ©.

Pirouettes are no surprise. I mean, if I was only required to turn once, I would be A-Ok. Unfortunately, the General requires the class to pull doubles and triples. Some days I can do a double, some days I cannot. Still so inconsistent. I’m thinking it’s all a mental block. Mental blocks ba-low. I just got to keep trucking; they will come around eventually.

I have been so focused on getting my splits and straddle, I have completely neglected stretching my Achilles and turnout muscles. Let this be a lesson to you ladies – stretch these daily too. So, I am determined to achieve that wide diamond pliΓ© and 180 degree turnout. I mean, if I can get my splits, I can accomplish this goal too, am I right?! It truly doesn’t matter what your age is. Anything is possible. 😊

Pointe has been amazing too. I have to gloat a little – the General gave me a compliment a couple of weeks ago. We were working on balancing exercises and I have to say, I was feeling really sturdy in my shoes (the Grishkos are doing great BTW). The General compliments my balancing ability in front of the whole class!! Swoon. She never gives compliments, so when she does – you cherish it.

Pointe is going so well that the General is going to have two pointe dances in the next show. We are using the same dance as last year (with some modifications), plus one new number. I’m pumped because it will be the first time I get to recycle choreography and costumes. Yippee! I’m saving money!!

On an unrelated note – I training for a half marathon. Yup – because I have so much free time!! (Ha!) I have been running a lot so I figured, “What the hell”. I am running with Ms. Disney in the beginning of October. I just ran 11 mile training run today. I know I ready for the race. I am just hoping for good weather. However, I have yet to run a race where the weather is not cloudy, raining and cold. Fingers crossed!

Well – that’s about it. I hope all is well with you. Talk to you soon!! 😘😘

Ps – this adult ballerina just got more adult. Yup – it’s my birthday. Ug. I hate getting older. At least I am aging like a fine wine!! I’m only getting better with age, baby. I have yet to peak. 😊😊

Grishkos Are A-OK

I purchased, and put to the test, my new Grishko 2007 pointe shoes. The verdict – not too shabby. It has been so long since I have tried a normal shoe. Gaynor Minden is clearly a superior shoe, but different in so many respects. The General said I should use a traditional shoe to build foot strength, so I did like a good little student. But, I wasn’t entirely sure that they were going to work out at first.

First of all, I was worried about toe pain. I always had toe pain in my Capezios. I figured I would have toe pain in every traditional shoe. Not the case, apparently. Grishkos were as painless as my Gaynors. Yeah! I thinks it’s because Grishkos are as “comfortably tight” as my Gaynors. I do not fall into my box with either of these shoes. I have discovered proper fitting is the key to having painless pointe. (Der, I know, but until you know what ‘proper fitting’ means, you are going to struggle a bit).

The difference – stiffness. The box is pretty stiff. Like little bricks, really. Luckily, it only took me about 15 minutes of working the shoe to get comfortable. But I still get the “slap” sound in floor that Gaynors do not get. I have to work harder to make them soundless. That’s a good thing. I should always to be working harder; working harder to be a better dancer. πŸ™‚

The other difference is the support in the shank. I have been wearing a “worn in” shank for some time; it’s nice having some help. It is especially helpful with my turns. Turns are more daunting when your shanks are worn it. My Grishkos help tremendously when I have to turn across the floor. What an unexpected surprise!!

I don’t know how long these shoes will last, but I feel that it would be in my best interest to have a pair of Grishkos for class and Gaynors for performances and outside class practices. I feel that these are the brands that will help me improve my dancing in the end. I am resolved in the fact that I will be buying new pointe shoes every month. No biggie. That’s what happens when you practice pointe on a regular basis. And quite frankly? Not a bad problem to have.

Grishkos are A-OK in my book. For those who are looking, you should definitely give it a whirl. πŸ™‚

Got My Gaynors! What! What!

Well, well, well, if it isn’t my good friend, Ms. Gaynor Minden! That’s right people! The replacement pair arrived and was placed into my hot little hands this afternoon by the FedEx guy. I immediately ran into my kitchen and ripped open the box to marvel at my new shoes, and sure enough, they looked like the right size! I placed them on my feet, and you guessed it, they fit like a glove! Well, they fit better than the last pair that arrived. They are still a little loose, but nothing like they were before. I was confident that my padding, plus elastic and ribbon, were going to be all I need to get the shoes to fit properly. I sewed them this evening and these sweet beauts are good to go for Thursday.

Once sewed, I decided to test drive the shoes in my kitchen. The shank is a feather strength, so I was worried my instincts were going to be wrong and the shoes were not be sturdy enough for my feet. I soon found that I was not going to have a problem with the shank. Score. There was, however, a little more pressure then usual in my toes. No pain; just pressure. I think it may be because the shoes are a little bigger than my last pair. Significant movement inside the shoe isn’t good. However, I am not too concerned about it. If there is any movement inside the shoe, it is slight. I’m sure I can easily remedy it with a little extra padding. I will have a better idea on how the shoes will effect my feet during this Thursdays class. If they feel good then, I will be sporting my new pointe shoes at the recital. What! What! LB got new pair of kicks!!! Jelly much?!?! That’s what I thought!!!!

Ha! A little gloat never harmed anyone.

Btw – thanks for all of the kind words of support and encouragement the other day everyone. Its nice to know that I have so many people out there who are cheering me on. Makes me feel good. πŸ™‚ I did have an excellent practice on Monday. As soon as I landed my double pirouette (I yelped with excitement when it happened), I started to relax and have fun. I was trying to perform the song, not just mechanically perform the choreography. So instead of beating myself up for failing to execute every turn perfectly, I am just going to do my best in performing the song and convey the emotion it portrays on stage. That’s a whole lot easier and more fun. Boo-ya!!!

I can’t wait to tell you all about my recital. Fingers crossed for a good show!!

Update on the Gaynor

A little update to my Gaynors. How crazy that last night I posted about getting my shoes and then just receive them today?? Weird how the world works sometimes.

I was so stoked to get these puppies. I ripped them out of the box, unsheathed them from their azure colored bag and then there they were. I knew right then… They were going to be too (freaking) big. I put them on and they were too (freaking) big. What the snarf-blat is going on here?!?! I waited 4 weeks for these shoes to arrive and to just discover they are defective?!?!

I cross referenced the sizing with my current pair – everything was the same except for the shank stiffens. So why were the shoes too long?!?! So stupid. I called the customer service line and they said FedEx was going to pick them up and determine the problem. Discount Dance said they would send out an order to make a new pair, but in all likelihood they will not arrive on time for the show……. Waahhhhhhhhhhh! (Insert crying, blubbering baby here)

On a positive note, the shanks of the shoes felt great. I think they will fulfill the need I have, i.e. give me the flexibility I desire and will last longer than a regular pointe shoe. I just love the feeling of a really broken in shoe. These are perfect.

I will report back when I get a pair that actually doesn’t flop off my foot!

Boooooooooo hissssssssss.

(Insert picture of angry snake here)

Gaynors To My Arms

After 4 weeks of waiting, my Gaynor Mindens that I purchased are finally being shipped from Discount Dance Supply’s California warehouse. Why did it take so long? Well, apparently the shoes had to be specially made because I ordered the “feather” shank, which means it is very supple, like a broken in pointe shoe. This type of shank is rarely ordered. You will never find them in locally owned stores and, apparently, you not find them at a discount website. I called customer service and I was informed that they had to have the shoes specially made from Gaynor Minden itself! Fancy. I’m so fancy. I was not aware of my fanciness, until now. Ha!

Anywho, I am waiting for the arrivals of these bad boys with baited breath. I hope they are not too soft for my feet, but hell. That is why I purchased them. I want to use my arch more. I think I am strong enough to control it at this point. We will just have to wait and see.

To be continued….

Adventures in The Pursuit of Pointe

I went on an adventure on Friday. Even though I purchased a new pair of Gaynor Mindens on the Internet (I am still yet to receive) I still travelled to a store nearby Cleveland to make sure my decision was correct. What I found? Yes, it was the right decision. I tried on Grishkos 2007 and Proflex. The Proflex shoes were amazing. The problem? I knew I would break them in a month. Proflex has a softer shank that allows the arch to bend. Unfortunately, if you have a strong foot like mine this also means this “comfy” feeling will be short lived. I knew that if I spent the additional $85 for these shoes I would regret it almost immediately. I need Gaynors, period. I get the soft shank I desire, plus the durability I require. Huh, I should do a commercial!!

Don’t worry, I didn’t leave empty handed. I walked away with a new leotard, pair of tights (which had a snag when I put them on! Gerr) and two keychains. They are pink ballet slippers. One for me and one for my BFF, Ms. Disney . They are so cute and I could not walk away just with one. However, I probably should have gotten her a pair of running shoes instead. She is turning into quite the runner lately! I myself was an avid runner not too long ago and I am officially burned out! It became a chore and I no longer enjoyed my training. As for Ms. Disney, she is coming to realize why I ran for so long. It is quite the fulfilling past time. Good for Ms. Disney. Good for her!

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Here they are! Grishkos are a great shoe! So comfy and provides ample support.

Ummmmm.. Got Another Pair of Gaynors

Yeah – I did it. I bought another pair of Gaynors today. Why? Well, because I realized that I miss the feeling of a broken-in shank of a normal pointe shoe. Since Gaynors do not break down like other brands, the shank keep the same strength as it had when you first purchased it. I have found they do break down a little, but not nearly as much as other brands. So, if you bought a “hard” shank, it should always be hard. If you bought a “slightly worn” shank, it would remain “slightly worn”, and so on and so forth. I started with the “extra flex” strength. That is what most dancers purchase (unless you are a professional). That was way too hard for me. I hated it. Rolling through them was a real bitch. Then, I purchased a “supple” shank, which is supposed to mimic a “broken in” shank. Yeah, still a little stiff for me. I can roll through them well enough, but I still felt there was something missing from the shoe.

On a hunch, I tried on my old, broken-in Capezios. Ah-yes – Capezios. My first love. How I have missed you. I was playing around in them last night. Man, I forgot how it felt to be in a pair of extremely broken in pair of pointe shoes. So different than Gaynors. Not more comfortable necessarily, but my arches….they looked exquisite! I forgot would easy I can work the shoe; manipulate them to form to my feet and dance. I can feel the floor better too. However, my big toe gets some pain. I can sense a missing toe nail in my immediate future if I continue to dance in these shoes.

I had no intention of getting another pair of Capezios. Heck no! I’m a big girl now! I was thinking about getting a pair of Grishkos. I tried on a pair the last time I was at the store and I was impressed at how comfortable they were. Should I try the Grishkos? They will wear down, like I prefer. But the Gaynors have superior comfort quality. You can dance for hours and not have any pain. That’s important too. What to do, what to do.

I did what any sane woman would do – I talked to my BFF, Ms. Disney. I knew she would talk some sense into me, and lucky, she did. In so many words she reasoned: don’t stray from what works. Gaynors are the most comfortable and you haven’t gotten any injuries. If you try something new, like Grishkos, you may get a toe injury. If that happens you will be totally pissed especially since the recital is coming up in June. If you are dissatisfied with the Gaynor’s roll-through, get a softer shank. Besides, you are going to burn through a normal pair of pointe shoes in less than 2 months. That’s expensive and unnecessary.

Ms. Disney. She certainly knows her pointe shoe shit!

So, I took her advise and I got the Gaynors in a feather flex shank. It is supposed to have the “wearing out” feel. I will soon find out exactly what that means. If its not soft enough, there is one more softer shank I can try out. However, I doubt that it will be necessary. That shank (pianissimo) is intended for “professionals” and petite dancers who are strong enough and need more control over the shoe. Umm yeah – not me!

Fingers (and toes) crossed.

πŸ™‚