If you have just signed your child up for ballet classes in Singapore, there are a couple of things that she will need for dance lessons. This includes her leotard, tights and pointe shoes. What we want to talk about is how important a good pair of dance shoes is in taking your child far through her growth as a ballerina and performer. You may want to check with the dance instructor if there is a specific shoe type your child should start with. If not, you can ask for recommendations from other parents. This will help you get a better idea of what to buy and will make it easier to find the best fit for your little dancer.
Types of Ballet Shoes
There are different types of shoes which can be based on the level of ballet training. To help you understand which might be ideal for your child, take a look at these four types of ballet shoes:
- Full Sole: There is a thin leather pad sewn to the back of the ballet shoes, known as the sole. For full-sole shoes, this sole stretches from the toe to the heel, providing extra stability. This is best for young children and beginners who have no experience in ballet who needs to focus on building foot strength.
- Split-Sole: As one gains more experience, that is when split-sole shoes come in. The sole is split into two portions. This type of shoes gives more emphasis to the point of the foot.
- Demi-pointe Shoes: Here, the sole does not have a shank, which is a box at the toe of the shoe. When worn, demi-pointe shoes share a similar feeling to pointe shoes, which prepares the dancer to transition to pointe.
- Pointe Shoes: Compared to demi-pointe shoes, these shoes have a shank to provide support for pointe dancing. These are specifically for advanced dancers with several years of training, having enough strength to dance on pointe.
What Materials Should I Consider?
Next up is the type of material the shoes are made of, which includes canvas, satin and leather. While ballet is a graceful form of dance, it requires a lot of strength and endurance. Thus, the fabric makes a difference to the dancer.
- Canvas: The best part about canvas shoes is, you can machine-wash them so your child can go to class in fresh, clean shoes. While canvas shoes are easy to clean and maintain, they may form holes after some use.
- Satin: Usually adorning the traditional pink colour, this delicate material looks the prettiest and most attractive out of the three options. But as they can wear out quickly, satin ballet shoes should preferably be worn for special occasions and not for practice.
- Leather: Being a hardwearing material, it can improve the dancer’s foot strength. Leather is also more durable than satin and canvas, which explains its higher price.
Take note of the type of floor your child will be dancing on as this determines the amount of grip her shoes should have, so you can check that beforehand to help you narrow down your ballet shoe choices for your child.
Anything Else to Take Note Of?
Most importantly, ensure that your child feels comfortable in her dance shoes. This is essential in order to perform her best during training and subsequently in her recitals. When she tries on her ballet shoes, get her to walk around and dance a little in them. Press gently at the back of the shoe to check if there is some space. If there is, this is good as there will be a bit of room for the foot to move around.
Besides refraining from buying ballet shoes that are too tight, it is also best not to purchase a size too large. While it sounds like a good idea to buys shoes that will last your child for some time as she grows, it may be too big for her at the beginning. This will not be good when she practices in them. The main point is, not only will wearing ill-fitting shoes increase the risk of accidents during ballet lessons, but they will also contribute to foot and ankle problems. Ballet shoes that are comfortable and flexible is important for her concentration in dance lessons.
Designed and conceptualized by our Founder & Artistic Director, Ms. Lena Foo, all our studios are equipped with sprung floors and Harlequin dance mats to provide a safe learning environment. If you are a parent who is planning to sign your child up for a ballet course in Singapore, Dancepointe might just be the academy you are looking for. We have 14 state-of-the-art schools serving the Alexandra, Bishan, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Seng Kang, Sembawang, Buangkok, Seletar, Yio Chu Kang and Tampines residents. If you are living near us, sign your child up and in her beautiful ballet shoes, she will love her lessons here at Dancepointe.