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 Post subject: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 112
Location: USA (Midwest)
Hi, brand new here and I have a question. My 11-year-old daughter is at the pre-pointe stage of her training. As part of her pre-pointe classes this year (with the goal being starting actual pointe work next fall), she had been told they would start doing exercises in de-shanked shoes.

No problem with that. My concern is that today, at a Nutcracker rehearsal, she was told by the director that she'd have to wear a de-shanked shoe for one particular number. This director, who is also the school's director, has always struck me as being very cautious about anything pointe-related, so I do trust her decision. I'm just wondering if anyone can tell me, so I can tell my daughter, how wearing such a shoe affects one on stage? Is it like wearing a top-heavy slipper? And will she have to adjust her movement in some way to manage the shoes?

thanks for any and all help!


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 4:33 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3602
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Hi Jane,

Yes it will take a bit of getting used to dancing in a deshanked shoe. I remember when I first wore them when I was studying for my Elementary exam and it does affect your balance. Your feet feel heavier and I just didn't feel as stable as I usually did. This however is just something to get used to. I am assuming that your daughter will wear these shoes to rehearse in, so with age on her side I am sure that after a couple of rehearsals she will feel comfortable with the new style shoe. I am sure the director/teacher will give some tips too.

There is no anatomical risk in wearing a deshanked shoe as long as your child is not trying pointe in them. She will presumable be dancing steps that she is familiar with, deshanked shoes just make the feet look very nice, and it is a good introduction into how it feels to wear proper pointe shoes.

I hope she has fun with The Nutcracker.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Barto PA, USA
Pointe shoes have a whole different feel from performing than ballet slippers. I am guessing that she wants her to get used to dancing flat and demi-pointe in the de-shanked pointe shoes so she will get used to that feel. It certainly is not dangerous, as long as the flooring is not slippery, as satin can be on wood or other flooring. May I assume they are dancing on a Marley floor?

<small>[ 31 October 2004, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: JLL ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 112
Location: USA (Midwest)
Thank you, Joanne and JLL. Those are very useful and assuring insights. And, yes, happily the flooring is Marley for both rehearsing and performing: this school is very good about hauling their Marley everywhere. It's just a very demanding number (Garland bearer in the Waltz of the Flowers, done Royal Ballet style) so I'm just concerned about her managing the fast-paced choreography and new shoes. It'll be a very good mental and physical challenge, but we do have a lot of faith in this director's teaching skills.


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2004 3:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Seattle, WA. USA
For those of my students who were in the year prior to Pointe ("pre-Pointe"), I used to have them wear "pre-Pointe" shoes which used to be available but were, alas, discontinued by the manufacturer a couple of years ago. Now, we combine this group with the regular beginner pointers and they do the pointe barre in regular slippers (but not en pointe) until they're ready for "real" pointe shoes.

Sounds like your daughter is very fortunate to be in a very good, solid and responsible ballet school.

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ballet@u.washington.edu


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:54 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 112
Location: USA (Midwest)
thank you, Dean! Your words of encouragement come at a very apropos time. The administrative and organizational skills of these teachers do not come close to matching the quality of their teaching, but we keep hanging in there because there is no other school in the area that is as careful and prudent about the training. Though I'm the one who usually suffers most when schedules get messed with, I do feel sympathetically toward these artists who must also function as businesspeople -- it doesn't seem to be a natural mix of skills!


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 Post subject: Re: Dancing in a "de-shanked" shoe
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3602
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Believe me Jane it is not easy matching being a teacher/director with running a business.

I wish all parents were as understanding as you. There are so many jobs that as a dance teacher you have to do that have nothing to do with dance and unfortunately some parents don't make it easy for you which is why schedules quite often have to be changed at the last minute.

Hang in there with the teachers. I would much rather have a teacher who is a great teacher than a great business person.

<small>[ 03 November 2004, 03:02 AM: Message edited by: Joanne ]</small>


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