After my old pointe shoes died on me last week, I did an emergency visit to the shop the very next day. I was lucky enough to have a teacher friend in tow, who conveniently happened to be about town the very same day. Always helps to have your own expert back-up. Especially as the one professional fitter is only available on week-days. So when the shop´s sales girl handed me the shoes, my expert witness took hold of them first, and only after careful inspection handed them back over to me. Pretty awesome, don´t you think? I mean who does not love to get the v.i.p. treatment?
Unfortunately the selection of shoes could still not be helped. The models I would like to have tried were all absent. My metatarsals are wide-ish, but my short toes only somewhat tapered - meaning that my foot sinks down in a too-square box like Grishko´s Elite. Combine that with a low-ish arch (more so on the right foot), and choices narrow rapidly. I would love to try out Primasoft Pointes, especially the Prima Russe. They seem to have more choices for short toes anyway. Sadly they are not available here. Anyone out there have experience with these?
We finally settled on Bloch Serenade TMT31, as they at least allowed me to go up without sinking down. And because of the TMT shank and box, they are more easy to mold in shape. Back home, I used the hairdryer for heat, and the fridge for cold (as per instructions), and it really worked. Although the shank is still too hard and the vamp just a little bit too high. My teacher friend told me not to let my pointe teacher break the shanks, and I should let my feet do the work. Also, professionals can afford to break in four pairs a day, whereas I´m lucky if I can afford as much in a year! Unlike Megan Fairchild, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet, who in this video demonstrates the importance of The Perfect Fit. She also wears a different pair for rehearsals, class and performances. It´s scary to think that pointe shoes can die in the middle of a performance! Ouch!
However, after struggling in Madame´s pointe class I did ask her if she happened to have her carpet-cutter handy, and she promptly offered to snap my shoes. But I must have looked too apprehensive to Madame, because she told me to do the footwork anyway. Come to think of it, I´m not sure TMT shanks can be three-quartered like a traditional paste shoe..? I know that first times in new shoes are hard on everyone, and that the burning hot coals under my feet must have been the result of still-too-snug shoes. Still, when I filmed myself (back home, with laptop cam) doing relevés in seconde, it was not a pretty sight!
|I wonder which sauce goes with pointe shoes..|
We will see if I can still improve my relationship with my new Serenades. After all, we have had only one real date so far. It is still too soon for the "let´s just be friends -talk". If we don´t get along after the third time, we can call it quits. And come next pay-check, I will check out another shop I just discovered. They do not employ a professional fitter, but carry the models I would like to try: Bloch Heritage, B-Morph and Balance European. Maybe there will be a match yet that is at least a little closer to heaven!