Shanks for Pointe Beginners

Russian Pointe pointe shoe shanks

What is the best shank for pointe beginners?

For all dancers, shank choice should be determined by the individual dancer’s foot shape, strength and technical development. So, there is no “best” shank for all beginners, any more than there is for all dancers at other levels.

Choosing the best possible shank may, however, be even more important for beginners than for more experienced dancers.

Building strength
Many instructors prefer that beginners start in lighter or softer shanks. Lighter support allows beginners to experience roll-through and develop the necessary strength in their feet, without over-reliance on the pointe shoes to prop them up. Other instructors like to see beginners “working” their shoes more strongly, which requires a stronger shank.

Just enough support
For any dancer, the right shank choice is the one that gives adequate support without restricting movement. The shank should facilitate proper placement on pointe while providing the degree of flexibility in roll-through desired by the dancer and instructor.

Read more about Russian Pointe Spotlight and Jewels shanks.