Stop Slipping in Your Pointe Shoes!
Slipping and falling are two common fears that many dancers have, especially when trying out their first pair of pointe shoes. This is also one of the most exciting times in a ballet dancer's life. The excitement coupled with the adrenaline of being in class with fellow dancers often leads to jitters and nerves. These feelings are completely normal. Falling is part of learning. One should never be ashamed. It shows a dancer is trying which leads to growth and further advancement.
All of this said, there are tricks that dancers over the years have tried and experimented with to avoid too much slipping and sliding when wearing their satin-covered pointe shoes.
The fear of falling is quite understandable. Whether dancing on a wood floor, a sprung floor, or Marley-covered floor, all floors regardless of material come with a bang. Watching a dancer attempt a pirouette, for example, only to collapse heavily will bring a room full of dancers to a gasp. No dancer who has reached this level has not seen this happen. The good news-it means the dancer is trying and learning. And secondly, what feels like an embarrassing moment, often and should bring a classroom to applause. We, as dancers, know that this is not, no matter humiliating it feels, the embarrassing negative, center of attention, we all feel inside. Rather, the opposite!
As a ballet dancer of over 35 years, as well as a teacher for most of them, some of my proudest moments have been watching my dancers fearfully but excitedly attempt their first turn, piqué, even echappé only to have it not meet their mental expectations. As a teacher, I, along with their fellow classmates, encourage the dancer to jump right back on the horse! Falling is all part of the learning process, literally and metaphorically...in dance and in life. If we give up, forward growth stops.
Ballet is a highly technical and rigorous life. Ballet dancers, however, are taught to make the art look so easy, with grace, elegance, and ease. However, as dancers, we know that for every perfect double pirouette, a bruised knee-if not worse-, a twisted ankle, or simply an embarrassing fall is behind the hard work put forth. For me, it was a torn meniscus and surgery, neither of which I fully recovered from completely.
This dance injury, specifically ballet injury, curbed my growth as a dancer as I branched into Modern, African, Character...to name a few. I received Bachelors and Masters degrees in dance but the pain and lack of redevelopment of my quad muscle held me back from reaching what would have been a higher level, physically.
However, this is where my personal sad story ends. Although I will always wonder how far I could have gone had this injury had not stunted my growth, it turned out to be the brainchild of an untapped area in the world of dance.
For so many years, I brainstormed the concept of the pointe shoe. Is training part of the problem/solution? Yes. Flooring? Yes. Should we as dancers, in order to protect ourselves, cover our bodies in padding and helmets? No. Absolutely, no! So what is the...solution? And there it was. A solution. I realized it was our shoes that changed HOW we danced, which is great! There is nothing like watching a ballet dancer en pointe! What if there was something we could apply to our shoes, that wouldn't be noticeable, but would create a pointe shoe, non slipping grip between our satin-covered shoe, and whatever surface we were dancing on. THIS was the answer! The Pointe Shoe 'No Slip' Grip.
After 7 years of research, focus groups, test classes and studies, The Dancers Companyhas finally created a solution to vastly decrease a dancer's occurrence of slipping and sliding while en pointe. The best part of this innovative solution is that the dancer controls the amount they feel is necessary for their dance level and comfort.
What was also discovered in the process was the solution increases the lifespan of most point shoes. This is written with an asterisk, as we all know that some dancers can break the shank of a shoe in one performance. In all honestly, this product is most likely not developed for them-at least for the reason it was created. However, with that being said, any dancer of any level may discover that this is also a power product, used for many purposes. We discovered many of those along the way while creating The Pointe Shoe 'No Slip' Grip. I'll address these and more exciting information in my next blog. To purchase the Pointe Shoe 'No Slip' Grip, visit www.TheDancersCompany.com.