Recently a group of our Emboîté senior students travelled to London, for their first pointe shoe fitting. We went to the Freed of London shop and each student was assessed by the shop assistants, who are specially trained to fit pointe shoes. After trying on many pairs of shoes, all of the girls happily purchased their first pair of pointe shoes.
One of our students has written about her first experience of finding the perfect pointe shoes to fit her feet:
" When Miss Kelly first informed me and a few of my dance friends that we were ready to have our first pair of pointe shoes, I was so excited. To the point that I counted the days down until the trip to London to purchase them!
At first I was confused why we had to go all the way to London to buy our pointes, as I thought we could just order them online. But Miss Kelly said that we don't choose the pointe shoes, the point shoe chooses us. Therefore in the Freed of London dance shop I must have tried on at least 6 or 7 different pairs of pointe shoes, where I would have to do rises and plies. This was so the people fitting our pointe shoes could make sure we went home with the pointes that work best for us.
There were lots of different types of pointe shoe and they were made by different makers. In the end I came home with the 'Classic' pointe shoe, made by the 'N maker'. It really was fascinating to think that someone had spent lots of their time handcrafting my shoes and they fit especially to me. Overall this was one of the best experiences I have had.
When we came to have our first pointe lesson, everyone wanted to get straight into their pointe shoes. When we finally did, I have to admit it was quite weird as we hadn't properly broken them in yet and they felt a bit like logs! But now after wearing them for a few weeks I am becoming more used to them. To help break them in I have also been wearing them around the house whilst watching TV and stretching.
As for exercises in our first lesson we did some rises by the bar, which was nerve-wracking at first, as I didn't really know what to expect. However, after doing quite a few I soon became more confident.
Miss Kelly is very good at working with each of us to our individual needs, and I can already feel my own improvement after having my pointe shoes for a couple of weeks. I think if anyone wanted to learn pointe but were unsure, they should, as it is definitely an accomplishment to be proud of. ”
Thank you Kirra for a lovely insight into your experience.