For the best experience dancing on pointe, ballet dancers need the expertise of a professional pointe shoe fitter. When dancers are going on pointe as pointe beginners, they need detailed evaluation of their feet and technique. But advanced and professional dancers need personal, professional pointe fitting, too. Several factors made repeated fittings necessary. When dancers understand these factors, they are more likely to return to a professional pointe fitter when they buy pointe shoes.
Dancers should reevaluate their pointe model, size and specifications frequently throughout their training and careers. While their feet are still growing, obviously their size will change, but foot size isn’t the only factor that affects fit. The shape of the foot usually continues to change after full growth is achieved, requiring new pointe fittings and sometimes an entirely different pointe shoe model. Development in ballet technique often changes a dancer’s preferences for pointe model or specifications such as vamp height and shank strength.
Even when she is sure of what pointe model, size and other specifications she wants to buy, with many brands a dancer cannot be assured that her new pair of pointe shoes will be just like her old pair without a new professional fitting. Russian Pointe pointe shoes are made with outstanding consistency, but because they are individually handmade, it is still possible to find slight variation from one pair to the next.
As a result of problems with fit and consistency, a dancer buying mail-order pointe shoes may have to return and re-order her shoes frequently, incurring shipping expenses that may eliminate the discount pointe shoes she is hoping to buy.
Teaching and Troubleshooting
An expert pointe fitter can help a dancer refine her fit beyond the dancer’s own understanding or resources. Perhaps she doesn’t know that a different size, or different padding, spacers or other accessories, could improve fit, support and technique, or even prevent injury. Perhaps a struggle with her ballet technique could be resolved by a change of pointe model. Perhaps she doesn’t know why she is experiencing discomfort on pointe, or what options might be available for her to dance more comfortably. Challenges like these are more difficult for the dancer to resolve on her own.
Read more about finding a professional pointe fitting.