August 4, 2016

Fitting a Pointe Shoe with Levi Hime



Since we’re a new store, we’ve received questions about our fittings. For those considering pointe shoes through our shop, I wanted to introduce myself and my fittings.

I’m a daddy of a pointe dancer, and adoptive daddy of many more through our studio. This is my daughter’s fourth year en pointe. Every year my wife would jokingly take our son to the gourmet food store nearby in Fort Collins because I would be engrossed in her fittings with Randy at Prima. Learning the process was fascinating as her father, and I had no clue it was an education in the making … and yes, I am the one who has hand sewn every pair of elastics and ribbons for my little girl. No shame. 🙂

Since deciding to launch our store, I have trained with the fitters at Prima Body Wear, especially Randy, who assured me that he is a gentleman pointe fitter who had never danced en pointe. Likewise, the celebrated pointe fitter of Assemble Dancewear in Colorado Springs is a forestry major gentleman and father (from Laramie, by the way!) who I can safely say wasn’t a pointe dancer either. While these gentlemen have some years on me, I’m happy to know a geologist father can also fit pointe and not be alone. As all fitters I’ve learned from what others have told me, fitting is an oral art learned from the person before you and solidified on the job. However, I’m supplementing my oral tradition education with wonderful resources I’m finding via other fitters and the brands we carry, and am plugged in with fellow fitters and instructors all over the US.

When you come to see me for a fitting, it’s going to take some time. It’s a trial and error process and we’ll schedule you a while. Come fed and ready to enjoy the process!

We will evaluate many things, and I’ll ask you some questions:

We’ll evaluate your feet for size, bilateral discrepancy, toe length, spread, ankles, foot arch, pronation and supination, toenails, etc. We’ll note things like second toe length and discuss toenail health and care.

I’ll need to know your foot health history and family history (injuries, bunions, ingrown toenails, etc). For instance, my runner wife requires a wide toe box as her feet spread under pressure. Our daughter also has feet that spread en pointe.

If you’re a young dancer starting out, we’ll need to have the approval of your pointe instructor. This is a challenging but rewarding skill and should be entered into when you’re ready physically and emotionally!

We’ll evaluate each pair of shoes on the floor and en pointe. You’ll use a barre and platform to go en pointe in our shop, and we’ll require a barre at a fitting outside our studio.

We’ll discuss the parts of a pointe shoe and what goes into them. If you already have toe spacers, ouch pouches, sleeves, etc, you must bring them. We do have new for sale. We do not recommend or sell bulky gel pads, but if you’re used to them, you must bring them with you. If you are an experienced pointe dancer, please bring your shoes for us to look at.

You’ll need to help me understand how your shoes feel. I’ll ask you specific questions, and I’ll need you to help describe the feeling to me. Be very honest! Remember too that pointe shoes aren’t your favorite old technique shoes. We’ll discuss normal feelings and abnormal feelings en pointe.  A good pointe shoe fit will minimize any discomfort while en pointe.  A Capezio shoe designer said, “the pointe shoe should mold to the foot like a cast. Your shoes should feel tight, but your toes shouldn’t curl under and you shouldn’t feel pinching in your metatarsals.”

We’ll look at the variables in shoes such as construction materials, shoe width, overall length, vamp length, box shape, overall shoe shape, shank hardness and how they apply to your fit.  We are very proud of our pointe shoe collections.  We have multiple lines of shoes from the following manufacturers: Russian Pointe, Grishko, Bloch, Capezio, Suffolk, and Gaynor Minden.

While fitting I look for many things, including the alignment from your foot through your ankle knee and hip, how your feet turn, and how you get “on your box.” We’ll look at how the shoe fits from your toes to your heel, and on all sides of your feet. One foot may differ from the other, and we’ll evaluate that too.

We are currently training some of our amazing employees who are dance majors at the University of Wyoming.  As our employees become ready they will begin fitting pointe shoes as well.

We’ll also discuss pointe shoe care and life expectancy. I can help with explaining all of this!

Life en pointe can be very exciting! We want to help you make a happy and healthy start into your adventure. We have wanted the same for our daughter, and treat pointe shoe fittings with the care it requires.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have, and bring your dad! Being a dance dad is a joy they should experience.

Phone: 307.742.6767


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