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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2001 6:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
I think that it is <B><u>VERY</u></B> important for everyone to know that <P><B>STEAM AND BOILING WATER ARE VERY DANGEROUS</B><P>I do not recommend either method. Sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2001 5:06 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
There is also an interesting book that if you can find it, you might want to read - it's called "Dancershoes" by Daniel S. Sorine & Stephanie Riva Sorine.<P>It's about 43 very famous dancers and how they pick and prepare their shoes.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2001 11:21 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
That sounds an interesting book Basheva. Darcey Bussell also writes in depth in her autibiography about how she breaks in her pointe shoes too.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2001 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
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Location: Wisconsin
What one of my friends did (this regarding steaming) was take a steaming machine used for the cleaning of velvet portiers and use it for her shoes. She would point the nozzle towards the offending area and press the button - it was a "cool" steam, meaning it did not burn.<P>If you have access to one of these, go for it!


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2001 9:29 am 
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I've danced professionaly for 10 years now, and through much trial and error I have found a way to make pointe work as pain free as possible. I use something called "pre-wrap" to pad my feet in pointe shoes. Pre wrap is what is used under casts and taping to prevent friction, which is exactly what it will do in your pointe shoes. You can get rolls of it at many drugstores, usualy in a garish yellow color, so you have to be careful to keep it tucked into the box of your shoe. If I'm not rehearsing very much, I will just take a roll of prewrap and circle my toes from bunion to a 1/4 inch above my toes with the prewrap about ten times, fold over the top and put it in my shoe. When I have hours of pointe work to do, I use second skin under the prewrap on my bunion bones and on the knuckles and other areas where I am prone to get blisters. Second skin is a miracle, anyone who dances on pointe should go out and buy some immediately. Second skin is made up of one inch squares of gel made of water and silicon, if you lay them directly on the skin and then wrap your foot with second skin they will not move. You can also tape them on with "micro-pore" tape, medical tape or masking tape, all of which work well in pointe shoes to hold on band-aids and second skin in the case of an inevitable occaisional blister. If I do start to develop a blister, I try to immediately stop and take off my shoe to see how I can better pad the area of my foot where I feel pain. It is important to be able to recognize the burning sensation that happens befoe a blister actualy occures, if you can catch a blister before it actualy forms you can stop it either with second skin, replacing shifted padding, or adding vasoline, antibiotic ointment or some other lubrication to the area to prevent fiction. It helps to wear new shoes in class before wearing them in rehearsal or performance, then if the shoe is rubbing somewhere you can take the time to take the shoe off and make adjustments. If you get a dreaded heel blister, the worst kind of blister in my mind, becase they are almost impossible to tape or pad, DO NOT POP IT! Research (my own and scientists') has shown that blisters heal much more quickly unpopped than popped. Heal blister occur where the drawstring rubbs against the heel, and can be caused by tying a drawstring too tight or putting too much rosin in the shoe to keep the shoe up on the heel. I have to use a little rosin in my shoe to keep it up, but I can only apply rosin by lightly dipping the heel of my foot in tights into the rosin box once or twice. If I rub the inside of my shoe in rosin I inevitably get a blister. If you get a heel blister, buy some Blister Pads, made by Spenco, the same blessed company that makes second skin. These pads are meant to be worn over an unpopped blister, and to be kept on 24 hours a day to provide the optimum environment for a blister to heal. I got a bad heal blister during a performance of a principal role. I had to do the principal role again 4 days later and only corps roles up until then. I did not pop the blister, wore my shoes low on my heel for all the corps roles (it felt like it was about to fall off, but thankfuly never did) and was healed in time for my important show. If you've ever had a heel blister you know that 4 days is an incredibly short period of time to have one heal, I've seen girls pouring peroxide on heal blisters and screaming in pain for weeks and weeks without any healing taking place. If your blister has already popped open before you can stop it, there are still many things you can do to control pain and speed up the healing process. Pouring peroxide and alcholol on blisters has been shown to be counter-productive, allthough it might kill some germs it causes trauma to the area and keeps skin from healing. If you have an open blister you want to dry out, B.F.I. Powder which can be found in drugstores is very helpful, it disinfects and dries out the area. However, sometimes you can over dry the area, and it will crack open again with movement. I have found Nelson's Homeopathic cream for cuts and sores to be extremely helpful with blisters. My blisters used to heal up to a certain point, then just rip open again when I started dancing. Now if a blister is healed to the point where it is not raw but still red I use Nelson's instead of Neosporin, which I use on anything raw to prevent infection, and it usualy heals overnight to the point where it will not break open again. A raw blister should be treated frequently with antibiotic ointment and covered with second skin held in place with tape while dancing. When still raw, I keep mine constantly covered in neosporin and covered with a loose bandage when not dancing, then switch to Nelsons and a loose bandage once it has healed about 80% of the way, then just Nelsons until there is no mark left. If you're stuck with something painful on your foot and you have to dance, you can numb the area with benzocaine. I used to have tube of antibiotic cream that contained 20% lidocaine, my friend got it when she had surgery and we used it on our blisters until it ran dry. It was the BEST. But it's hard to get a doctor to write a perscription for that for blisters. Your best bet is over the counter antibiotic creams that say they contain something for pain, or a product called "Boil-ease," very embarassing to buy, but it containes 20% benzocaine which is related to lidocaine. I know dancers that use orajel which also contains benzocaine (for toothaches) to numb blisters, but I have found that using orajel usualy leads to infection, I think because something in the gel doesn't work well with skin. Boil ease seems to be better, but remeber to also use antibiotic cream as often as possible to prevent infection. I use boil ease before putting the shoe on, neosporin every few hours after taking the shoe off. Make sure to call the drugstores to see if they have these products before you go, some are sort of hard, but not impossible to find. Second skin is expensive when bought at drugstores, the best way to get it is to order jars in bulk from a medical supply store. You generaly can not do this as an individual, my company does it for me, and I have known doctors and physical therapists who will order boxes of these jars for dancers. Pre-wrap can be ordered the same way. If you want to conserve pre-wrap, in can be washed in the washing machine, lain flat to dry and reused, it's just a pain to untangle it after it comes out of the washing machine. Maybe handwashing would be better, I've never tried it. Since I'm on the subject, I harden my special order Eva's with Gamba pointe shoe hardner which I just heard they stopped making. Luckily I have a huge supply which should last until I retire. Zap model glue also works to reharden pointe shoes, and I used to use floor wax when I was in school. I use my hands to soften the box of my shoes, and bang the area under my toes on the cement until I hear a change in the tone the shoe makes when it is being hit to quiet them up a little, Eva's are notoriously noisy. But if I was a student I probably would skip the banging to try to get more use out of the shoes. I've broken both doors and pointe shoes trying to soften them in door jambs, I don't recommend it. And a strong guy offered to bang my shoes for me once, and he just about killed them, so I advise against that too, even if the guy is really cute. <P>Hope that helps!


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2001 10:31 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Bunhead - welcome to the board - it's great to have you join us..........<P>Please ladies, let's not get into medications to use over the counter or otherwise. <P>You can consult your teacher and/or medical professional how to care for and medicate any injuries or abraded skin areas.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2001 10:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Pre-wrap sounds like a really good idea, Bunhead! When I used to do point work I would use nylon sockettes to wrap around my toes for the same kind of effect. As a modern dancer, I go through a ton of second skin liquid bandage, it's the best for floor burns on the top of your feet where a band-aid would just rip off.


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 39
I've got small, flat feet and slightly sickled ankles, and I was wondering what kind of shoes would be better for them? I'm not on pointe, I've just started. And I know I've asked this, but does anyone have ankle and/or feet strengthening exercises?


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 Post subject: Re: How Do You Prepare Your Pointe Shoes? and How Do Your Pr
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2001 5:29 pm 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Magdelena - I think that you should ask your ballet teacher for advice on what kind of shoes to get. She can see your feet - and I cannot.<P>There are a number of good things you can do with your feet - most ballet exercises will strengthen them. That is, after all, how we get onto pointe by doing the ballet exercises.<P>You can also work on pleating a towel with your bare toes, and picking things up with your toes. Relevés - slowly and carefully done. And, very important, in my opinion, is to fully use and articulate your foot in tendu - using the floor as an isometric exercise. Have you read the threads we have on tendus? <P>Balanchine thought tendu was the most important exercise - and I surely agree with that.


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