So, you are getting ready for Pointe work! It's such an exciting time for any young dancer to have their teacher talk to them about how they are going to prepare for Pointe shoes but has your teacher ever mentioned Demi-Pointe shoes?
Do you even know what Demi-Pointe shoes are? Do you know why they are used? Well, I hope to help you understand why I think, from my experience and qualifications, Demi-Pointe shoes are invaluable.
The first thing to consider before any decision is made regarding wearing Demi-Pointe shoes is if the student is prepared for the commitment and responsibility of being a Pointe Student, After that we have to ask if the student knows how to stretch their feet correctly and most importantly, without scrunching. Wearing Demi-Pointe shoes is a fantastic preparation shoes for Pointe work, so any issues with the feet needs to be sorted out before being fitted to wear Demi-Pointe shoes. Pointe work, and the wearing of either demi/full pointe shoes have the potential to cause unnecessary pain and possible injury if the student isn't correctly trained and prepared for wearing them so before any Demi-Pointe shoes are purchased, if you come for an appointment to Studio Dancewear, you will be assessed in order to ensure you are ready.
Demi-Pointe shoes are different to Pointe Shoes in that they don’t have the supportive shank required when going En Pointe and a student should NEVER go En Pointe whilst wearing Demi-Pointe shoes. They do provide a resistance to the feet when stretching the foot and as such increase the strength in preparation for Pointe Shoes, they also get the foot prepared to work in an enclosed space as neither Demi/Pointe shoes can ever be fitted with growing room. Wearing Demi-pointe shoes will also increase the strength of the dancers ankles as they are now working on a shoe with an uneven base, unlike flat Leather/Canvas ballet shoes. The wearing of Demi/Pointe Shoes is not something that should be taken as a given, it is not a perk of ballet classes but a bonus.
Not every teacher uses Demi-Pointe Shoes, but from my own experience as both a ballet teacher and a Pointe Shoe fitter, I couldn't recommend wearing Demi-Pointe Shoes more. They are, in effect, an inbuilt gym for the foot. Going from a flat ballet shoes, either full sole or split sole, will not give the same preparation for wearing Pointe shoes as you get when wearing Demi-Pointe shoes. Wearing a Demi-Pointe shoe and working in these shoes will increase the strength of the ankle and the foot will also get used to the idea of working in a confined space, it is fitted in the same way as a Pointe Shoe, there is no room for growing! If you need any more guidance in the wearing of Demi-Pointe shoes, please don't hesitate to contact Jane at Studio Dancewear. Working to Keep Dancers and their Feet Safe