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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2002 4:08 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I think that your advice about gearing up for a summer intensive is excellent - not only for pointe work but for the body in general. <P>Sudden increase in the work level can lead to injuries of many kinds, I believe.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 9:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Hi There -<P>Just jumping in on the debate. I am new en pointe, and have Gaynor Mindens, which I purchased in the beginning of November. I don't know what type - this wasn't specified.<P>I LOVE them. And as far as I can tell, my feet ARE doing the work... I have been doing many many roll-ups, also frappes, and am now able to articulate my foot in them fairly well.<P>I'm able to hold my balance en pointe for a LITTLE bit when I releve or eleve up from 1st or 5th (haven't tried the other positions yet), can pique onto them, do pique and chaine turns, pas de bourrees and bourrees while staying over the box. <P>I'm not yet strong enough to roll up onto them while in passe - but I'm making progress with the barre... Some of it is definitely arch strength, some of it is making more out of using the muscles throughout my whole body to pull "up"... <P>My feet are FLAT FLAT FLAT - or were. They may have a small arch now because I've done a lot of work with them. (The fitter said my feet looked like I'd already been dancing en pointe (??))<P>The only customizing I did was to slightly bend them with my hands - no blow-dryer....<P>These shoes just seemed meant for me... Which I find interesting, because most of this post talks about them being valuable to people with highly arched feet...<P>I tried on Grishkos, and they felt AWFUL. They just didn't fit my foot well at all.<P>What do you think? If the shoes are working for me, how can I tell? Can you tell from what I've said whether I'm working the shoe or not? Seems like I am ....<P>


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 9:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 170
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Yikes -<P>How can I tell if my shoes are going to "die?"<P>I've worn small holes on the tips - about the size the hole a thumbtack would make - <P>If I darned them incorrectly could I wreck them? I've never darned anything in my life!<P>I can't afford to get new pointe shoes yet!<P>The shank feels very strong, still....


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 10:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
The best person to check to see if your shoes are wearing out - is your teacher. She can see how they are working for you.<P>If you would like to learn how to darn your shoes you can look at this thread...I described it in a post, scroll down a bit:<P><A HREF=../../../ubb/Forum2/HTML/000218.html><B>Things to Do With Bits and Pieces</B></A><P>If your shoes are working for you and they are comfortable and giving you support, but still allowing your feet to work and get stronger - that's great. If it works for you, that's all that counts.<P>Sounds to me like you are doing very well for such a short time on pointe.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 12:09 pm 
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Posts: 170
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Thanks Basheva!<P>I printed out the darning instructions, so now I feel better.<P>I underestimated the size of that hole - it's now as big as the head of a tack Image(....<P>I'm very happy with my shoes and how I'm progressing - it's good to hear that I'm doing well from an independent source! <P>There are no other adults en pointe in my class - just 12 yr. olds - so I don't feel like I can really compare myself to them...<P>They are all using other brands of shoes - and were mystified at how I could get my feet to point and flex in frappes... & do some of the combinations I can do. Only thing I could think of was that it's a combination of the brand of shoe and the fact that I'm an adult & simply stronger.<P>I know it sounds strange, but I was wondering if I was "cheating" somehow - doing something wrong which is why it seemed easier.... So I was concerned to read that someone said GM's aren't good for beginners because the shoe "works you" - you don't "work" the shoe...<P>However, I was thinking about this: if I can articulate the shoe, and keep my balance en pointe with my feet in proper position, doesn't that mean that I'm "working" the shoe and not the other way around?<P>I really don't see how anyone can even stand up en pointe without being able to control the shoe with their foot. I'm confused.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2002 1:07 pm 
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Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Being able to articulate the foot and standing up properly are good tests for the shoe - and its suitability for you. <P>If someone has a very strong shank and stands on pointe it is entirely possible for the shoe to be doing the work of the foot. Of course, they can't dance, they can just stand.<P> It's a fine line sometimes, because the dancer needs the support and yet the dancer also needs to be 'in control' of the shoe.<P>Much like anything else there is a mid-ground that we try to reach between flexibility and strength. Sort of like a car. Some people want a larger car so that there will be more protection around one in case of an accident, but then a smaller car is more manueverable and doesn't take as much energy to run. Somewhere in there we find what we are looking for. What suits each individual.<P>I think your assessment of comparing yourself to the 12 yr olds is probably correct. You are not only stronger as an adult, but also you probably work more thoughtfully. There are some advantages to being an adult!


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2002 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 66
Location: Barto PA, USA
Those toenail problems I think would happen in any shoe if you are already predisposed to such a problem, do not stand properly in the shoe, the shoe is not fitted properly or you do not prepare the nails and feet properly before putting on the shoe.<P>I personally don't feel there should be debate. Why? There are many disciplines in dance. Is one better than the other?<P>There are many ballet methods, is one better than the other?<P>It is almost like being prejudiced, making comments about something without really knowing about it. <P>I say, to each his own and forget the darned debates!!<P>:-)<P>Janet

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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2002 10:34 pm 
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Posts: 241
I agree in principle with you, JLL, that the toenail problems could happen in any shoe if the dancer isn't doing certain things properly but in my kid's case, unfortunately it only happens in GM's. Not once ever in another pointe shoe and believe me, she's tried most of them. <P>I would've loved GM's. She wears out a pair of pointe shoes a week using the conventional kinds.<P>We have the same debate going on in Irish dance with the Hullachan pros. The funny thing about them is that they're considered revolutionary because they're modeled after ballet shoes! A former Gamba pointe shoe maker whose mother was a well-known highland dancer/teacher in her time, has turned his knowledge to the field of highland and Irish dance. I adore his shoes but lots of people complain and say they don't trust them. <P>Change is hard to take, I guess.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2002 6:19 am 
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Location: San Diego, California, USA
Well, we can change the word 'debate' - to 'discussion.'<P>That's probably a better word anyway. <P>And, to my mind, discussion is always good - and certainly welcome.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2002 8:56 pm 
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Location: Wisconsin
I have to admit, this is the first time I've been able to read a mature discussion on the topic - most people either love 'em or hate 'em and are quite willing to vocalise their opinions with not a care about other's opinions.


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2003 2:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
An article about a comapny that makes Gaynor Mindens:

A Pointe in the right direction
By MICHAEL MCCORD for The Telegraph (New England)

Little did shoe manufacturer Richard Bass know when he agreed to start producing a prototype ballet shoe more than a decade ago that he made a choice that would save his company.

Courtesy of intense global competition, Bass’s company, the family-owned Cardinal Shoe Corp. in Lawrence, Mass., is the last of a virtually extinct industry in a city once known as the shoe-making capital of the world.

At one time in the mid-20th century, more than 120 shoe manufacturers churned out hundreds of thousands of shoes every day.

Founded in 1962, Cardinal Shoe specialized in the female dress shoe market, most notably formal dress shoes for weddings. In the late 1960s, it produced more than 6,000 pairs daily and employed hundreds of workers.

click for more


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 Post subject: Re: Gaynor Minden Debate
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2003 1:50 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 205
Location: New York
I just bought some Gaynor Minden Microfoam tape from Discount Dance Supply. Surprised to find out it's simply a roll of 3M Microfoam tape you can buy from any medical supply place for about half the price! Just thought I'd pass that info along...

I always had the bruised toenal problem from Gaynor Mindens as well before I was fitted at the New York location. For years, I wore a wide box (both GM and other brands; Grishko Vagonova, Capezio Contempora, etc...) I never had the bruised toenail problem until I wore wide Gaynor Mindens. I actually grew a lot of extra thickness on my toenail as well--it was almost as though my body grew an "extra" nail over the one one which was being bruised in order to compensate--kinda gross.

I just started pointe work again after a five-year "break" from ballet. I've had threee months of very consistant training from an excellent teacher in New York. I went to the GM boutique and got fitted in a much narrower shoe than I'd ever worn before. After getting over the initial shock (the tapered box looked very foreign to me indeed), I realized how perfect these shoes are for my feet. I have a tiny bone structure and it turns out that my foot is quite compressible. Once I rise onto pointe, my foot will slide in a wide shoe and put an enormous emount of pressure on the big toe (I also have an egyptian foot with a fairly flat arch--awesome insteps though). I tried the wide shoe with some extra padding stuff just to feel the difference and I still slid into the box.

The problems associated with a "mis-fit" seem to be exagerrated with GMs in my case. But so far I'm happy with my new, narrower, pair. No extra padding or anything. I'm sorry I bought a hard shank though. They were out of the extraflex and I let myself be confinced by the salesgirl that because I was just starting out again, the hard shank with its added support would be helpful. These shanks are REALLY too hard for me.


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 Post subject: my foot in Gaynors?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2005 4:34 pm
Posts: 11
do you think this foot type would do good in gaynors?

Extremely high arch, medium toe length, normal heel, wide foot, tapered/square foot type & i tend to go over to far en pointe (fall forward)

Thanks for reading!

Ashley :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 11:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2002 11:01 pm
Posts: 678
Location: Petaluma, California
Hi Me_h...Gaynor Mindens come in a variety of box shapes, vamp heights, heel widths and heights and shank strengths. I have no experience with them but, from what I can gather from reading and hearing about them, they are not a recommended shoe for beginning pointe work. I believe you fit into this catagory? Apparently, many dancers and teachers feel that the shoe does not promote proper building of strength of the arch and metatarsus. This shoe with it's synthetic plastic shank ( "high quality elastomerics") does not encourage control in rolling through the foot which is SO essential for pointe work. The shoes "do it for you" which certainly doesn't sound good to me. Especially for you with your very supple feet that tend to "go over", I think Gaynor Mindens would be a poor choice. You want to be building strength in your feet, not relying too heavily on a shoe. Perhaps later, when you are quite a bit farther along in your pointe study, you might try a pair just to compare and see what works for you. Some dancers seem to like them. But most comments I read appear to be more negative than positive...


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:13 pm 
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Posts: 5
I'm going to bring this old thread back up because I can never get enough of Gaynor Minden debates. ;)

I have them. They refuse to die. Probably because I never wear them. I've had them as my "back up shoes" for the past, oh, 7 years (same pair) and wear them perhaps a couple of weeks every year when my regular shoes are too beaten up and I'm breaking in new ones, or have a performance and my feet don't feel too great.

I would never wear them for practice. The way the shank is constructed, as someone else has said on this thread already, either you're en pointe or you're not. There is no rolling through. Once you releve far up enough, the shoe will yank you onto its box and basically do the hardest part for you. There's pretty much *no* way a dancer can have that unsightly (but also very telling..) "half en pointe" look that they can in regular shoes, you know, when they're barely on the outmost edge of the box, which shows they don't have the strength yet to get *over* the shoe. There's no way anyone can suffer from than in Gaynors because once you revele you're on the box. That's why it made me lose a LOT of strength when I first wore them and counted on wearing them forever.

I don't have the best arches and they made my feet look great!! I figured, what could be better? But one day, I forgot my Gaynors and was forced to wear my old regular pointes (Grishko Ulanova I's) and it was then that I realized: I don't have the strength to get over these shoes anymore! They were perfectly broken in but not broke down, I hadn't taken less classes or done anything different...but a couple of months in ONLY Gaynors and I couldn't work with my Grishkos anymore. I asked my teacher who confirmed that he had believed all along that Gaynors might do this due to the way their shank works the shoe for you, and that now he was convinced. Another girl had a similar problem. After that, Gaynors were banned from the studio. I couldn't work in Grishkos anymore and moved onto Veronese hard shanks, which I still wear to this day. I love them, so I guess it's one good thing that came out of the whole ordeal.

I think Gaynors can be a great back up shoe, the way I use mine. If your shoes are broken down and you have a week before you can get a new pair, hop into the Gaynors as back ups. If you have a performance and your feet are bloodied and tired, hop into the Gaynors, because they ARE more comfortable. But pointe work is supposed to make you stronger, and I really think Gaynors do the opposite.


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