We love ballet shoes here at Twinklesteps. The possibilities feel endless and creativity flows freely once a child puts on a pair of ballet slippers. Even before children are old enough to learn ballet steps, just putting on ballet slippers can make them feel like a dancer and inspire them to do some creative movement. Ballet slippers are close fitting and comfortable and make the wearer feel elegant and light footed – they aren’t like other shoes in that they give the illusion and feel of being barefoot. They also enable the wearer to move from a flat footed position to an elevated position on the balls of their feet. Both ballet slippers and pointe shoes (see below) mean that when the dancer’s toes are pointed the ballet shoes extend the line of the leg to it’s longest possible appearance.
Most ballet slippers are made of a thin leather sole stitched to soft leather uppers and held onto the dancer’s foot with a single piece of elastic over the instep. Although leather is the most common material, ballet slippers can be made of satin or canvas as well. The colour of ballet slippers varies and although you’ll generally see them in pink or white (or black, white or skin tone for men), slippers can be made in any number of colours.
As well as ballet slippers, female ballet dancers also wear pointe shoes once their feet are strong enough and their teacher feels they’re ready. They have a solid toe box, called the block, that enables the dancer to lift up on to the points of their toes. Intrigued about pointe shoes? Find out more in this video:
Pointe shoes are almost always made from satin stitched to a stiff leather sole. The sole is designed to support the dancer’s arch when she lifts herself up onto the point of the shoe. The point itself, also known as the box or the block, is usually made of layers of material and glue that have dried into a hard platform for the dancer’s toes to stand on. See how pointe shoes are made in this video:
We’ve had a lot of fun on Pinterest putting together various ballet shoe boards. Check out our ‘Ballet Shoes for Dance and Play’ board here.