|Posted by [email protected] on September 3, 2011 at 7:10 AM|
You may have heard of soft blocks, exam shoes, delcos, or demi pointes, these are all the same thing. These shoes are in between a flat ballet shoe and a pointe shoe, they are designed to build up strength and balance and they help you to understand how a pointe shoe is going to feel, I will explain:
Typically a pointe shoe will have 6 layers built up in the toe block, this is obviously alot harder than a flat ballet shoe, but a demi pointe shoe has only 4 layers, so again harder than a ballet shoe, but softer than a pointe shoe. Because it is harder than a ballet shoe it works the feet much more. But as it is softer than a pointe shoe you do not actually go en pointe.
A pointe shoe has a very thick sole compared to a flat ballet shoe, this is because it has a shank on the inside of the shoe for support en pointe. Similarly a demi pointe shoe has a thicker insole than a flat ballet shoe, but not as thick as a pointe shoe. Due to the leather sole alot more strength is needed in the foot to point. Also beacause the leather sole is raised on the outside of the shoe it can feel wobbly the first time you wear them, and more balance is needed to control the shoe. This therefore improves balance in the foot, strengthens the muscles around the ankles, and the muscles that support the arch of the foot.
Demi pointe shoes should be fitted as neatly as a pointe shoe, the foot therefore has to get used to working in a much more compact/confined space. It is hard to begin with and the muscles will ache. It is exactly this extra work required of the feet, ankles and calf muscles that will make and keep them strong.
Usually demi pointe work will be started in Grade 5 in preparation to start pointe work in Grade 6. If you intend to start pointe work earlier than this then you should also start demi pointe work 1 year before pointe work. It is important to continue to wear demi pointe shoes once you have started pointe work. Wearing demi pointe shoes will make you feet strong and keep them strong.
Categories: Pointe Shoes & Info