It’s always questioning people’s minds when they see a ballerina magically twirling on her feet. It’s all about the pointe shoes.
“First time I put them on, I felt really elegant and tall, I felt like a flying bird” said Jessica Templeton, an 11 year old ballerina dancing at the Tring Park School for the Performing Arts.
Jessica caught buying new pair of point at covent street (photo taken By Roshan Elshormolessy)The pointe shoe is not made from wood like many people think, “It has a number of layers made of canvas and fabric that makes the shoe looks harder, there is no wood in the shoe. If there is wood it will be heavy” said Chloe Ivey Ray, a former ballerina, working in a ballet shoe shop in London’s Covent Street.
Surprisingly, pointe shoes were created 200 years after the invention of ballet.
The story began in 1795 when Charles- Louis, a French dancer and choreographer invented a flying machine to lift dancers upwards. It was highly admired by the spectators and, after that, dancers started inventing the primitive shapes of pointe shoes to be used in the ballet performances.
“Yes, it’s painful but once I am on stage, hearing the music and feeling the vibes of the audience, I forgot about the pain” said Bedra a professional dancer at the Central School of Ballet.
In the modern industry of Pointe shoes, many methods are invented to reduce the foot pain felt by the ballerina. One of these methods is the silicone toe pad, it’s a kind of gel cover to prevent the foot bones from crossing over. It also keeps the toes of the ballerina cushioned.
There is a scene in “Swan Lake” where you can see the black swan in her black tutu doing 32 turns on her pointe, this part was described by Bedra as the most challenging one for any ballerina
Pointe shoes have different types. “We have different shapes, to suit the various foot structures.” said Mrs. Ray.
Inside a pointe shop you can find a section of pointe shoes for squared toes, others for skinny feet, the dancer should get the one that fits her toes in order to be comfortable inside her pointe shoes.
But as Mrs Ray said, it’s difficult for non-dancers to put on the pointe shoes and dance in them, in case you’re thinking of that right now! It takes a long-time training, preferably from childhood for the bones to be stronger, it takes a lot of strength building to go on pointes. Dancers begin with the soft shoes, “Demi shoes”, then they move to the pointe shoes after almost three years of training.
In case you are curious to see a Ballerina dancing in her pointe shoes and experience the magical world, you don’t have to miss any of the “Nutcracker” productions that will be performed in different theatres in London over Christmas