What should we expect at the first pointe shoe fitting?
Make sure that your daughter has prepared for her fitting. She should be wearing comfortable clothes that allow the fitter to see her feet and ankles, her feet should be clean and dry and her nails should be correctly trimmed, and she shouldn’t have a fitting directly after a class or other exercise when her feet might be swollen. (Read more about preparing for pointe fitting.)
Professional fittings are offered by many specialized dance stores; you might ask your daughter’s teacher or other teachers and dancers for recommendations. If you’re unsure of what a store offers, consider observing fittings there before making an appointment.
The fitter will probably start by looking at your daughter’s bare feet in order to choose a pointe model to match her foot shape. Your daughter may be asked to plié and rise to demi-pointe to demonstrate her technique and the strength and development of her feet. Then, the fitter will choose a model and size to try. In some cases, this “first-try” shoe will fit the dancer. More frequently, it is just a starting point, and several other pairs will be tried during the fitting.
In each pair of shoes she tries, your daughter will be asked to place her feet in various positions, on pointe and on flat, to show how the shoes fit and work with her feet. She will also be asked questions about how the shoes feel, and her answers are very important.
It takes patience to find just the right pair of pointe shoes, but it is worth the effort because of the dangers and discomforts associated with an imperfect fit.