Learning Ballet steps

Getting a Good Start

Ballet began as an art form under the reign of Louis XIV. Today, Ballet is the basis for many different forms of dance from lyrical to modern dance. It is also the starting point for all dancers. Ballet teaches form and technique, builds strength and develops poise and grace.

The ballet shoe is the dancer’s best tool, providing support and comfort. It also allows the dancer to feel the floor making the fit of the ballet shoe extremely important. To get a correct fit, follow these guidelines:

In fitting ballet shoes, always consider the preference of both the dancer and the teacher. Remember that it is common to have different sized feet, so be sure to perform each step on each foot.

In fitting ballet shoes, always consider the preference of both the dancer and the teacher. Remember that it is common to have different sized feet, so be sure to perform each step on each foot.

1. Make sure the dancer is wearing the tights they use for dance while trying the shoes on.

2. Place the shoe over the toes and gently slide it over the heel.

3. Ask the dancer to stand flat in the shoe. Make sure the toes do not curl. If they do, you must go to the next size/width.

4. Criss-cross the drawstring and pull gently so the shoe conforms to the foot. It must fit like a second skin and must not allow for growing room.

5. Ask the dancer to pointe their foot. The heel should stay on the foot and there should not be any gaping in the width of the shoe.

6. If one shoe fits better than the other does and there is no left or right shoe, try switching the shoes.

7. Experiment with another size/width to be sure the shoe fits properly.

It is important that there is little or no room at the toes. If the toes do not reach the front of the shoe, the dancer cannot articulate the foot to pointe and they cannot feel the floor. Improperly fitted shoes also make it more difficult for the dancer to learn technique. A ballet shoe that is too large may cause the dancer to curl their toes in an effort to keep the shoe on while dancing.

Sewing on Elastic

The elastic should be positioned high in the instep. This ensures a good fit at the heel.

1. Fold down the heel of the shoe until it is flat against the socklining.

2. Place a pencil mark where the fold creases closest to the binding.

3. Stitch only one side of the elastic onto the binding right below the drawstring. Be careful not to sew the elastic over the drawstring.

4. Put the shoe on the dancer and gently pull the elastic strap over the instep where it is the most comfortable.

5. Place a pencil mark where the elastic meets the binding.

6. Stitch the elastic below the drawstring being careful not to sew the elastic over it.

7. Repeat steps one through six for the other shoe.

The Parts of a Ballet Shoe

 


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