Last Friday I took my new pointe shoes to their first ballet class - and I'm happy to say we danced really well together! Looks like I have found my match, because I ended up choosing the exact same model as last time: Bloch Balance European (size 6 XX). My old pair (Odette and Odile) is still in dancing form, but I decided to break in the new shoes - before I would be clobbering around with a pair of Dead Swans on my feet!
|Getting ready to take many breaks.|
This time I even managed to sew elastics and ribbons in less than two days - my personal record, I might add. Not that it takes that long to sew a total of 8 endings, it's just that I get bored doing it! Good thing I don't have to sew a pair a day.. I suppose I could be less meticulous with my sewing, but my dad taught me not to do things half-assed. Sorry, demi-derriered. I still remember when I sewed my first pair (16 months being such a long time ago). I googled and youtubed for instructions, then sewed and re-sewed about three times. The first elastics were much too narrow, and after I found Bloch's covert elastics - I removed the old and sewed the wider covert in their place. Twice, because sewing them on the inside did not work. So I got a lot of practice with my first pointe shoes already!
|Sewing covert elastics at back of heel. Fun.|
I have also adapted my breaking-in practice. My first shoes were Bloch Serenades with heat-activated TMT-paste. It was a lot of fun using a hair dryer and refrigerator for molding the box and shank! Unfortunately, Serenade's shank was too stiff for my foot. You really need banana arches for those shoes! My teacher helped me out by cutting a wedge into the outer leather sole, but my arches were still straining to get over the box. Then I switched over to Balance Europeans, and what relief! Pointe work became less about work and more about fun (and work)!
|Meet Odette & Odile II, along with new Sansha Pro1 flatties.|
With this new pair, Odette & Odile II, I've used the same break-in technique as before, but I softened the shank higher up. It's almost like dancing with a 3/4 shank, except that I haven't cut anything. Well, except for the right shoe's sole. My right foot has less of an instep, so it needs extra help. Whatever works, right? Check out the video below, if you haven't already. I've used Lisa Howell's technique since my first pair of pointe shoes.
Friday I pulled on my ouch-pouches and my gel socks for the big toes, and tied those new shiny ribbons. Cinderella moment! The shanks fit perfectly under the heels and all I had to do was some extra work on the demi-pointe line of the box. There wasn't even any pain or discomfort, other than a slightly squished right pinky toe! Sure, new shoes always feel a bit odd on your feet - but we're already on our way to become best pointe pals. :)