The pointe shoes in this picture from Tiffany & Co. are certainly beautiful, although we aren’t sure what they would be like to wear! Take it from anyone who has worn these things, they are painful enough without the chance of a tough, sharp stone cutting into your foot!
Most professional dancers who use pointe shoes have been dancing in them since they were quite young, usually by the age of 12. It takes this long to develop the strength, coordination, stamina and grace that is needed to really make them work. Pointe shoes are worn at first just a for a few minutes at the end of class and gradually serious ballet students work up to doing all of their classes in pointe shoes.
It takes time to find the kind of pointe shoes that fit your foot best, to find the kind of toe padding and foot care that will enable you to prolong your ability to stay in them. Professional dancers in ballet companies use pointe shoes for a lot of the work they perform on stage and they go through them fast!
Originally, pointe shoes were conceived to give the illusion that the dancer was floating across the stage as the long Romantic tutus of the time would cover the shoes and give the dancer an other worldly quality. Nowadays, pointe shoes are often used in a much more physical way, paired with bare legs, shorts and with the dancers coming on and off pointe more often. Contemporary ballet can incorporate floor work in pointe shoes, there are even all male ballet companies that perform en pointe.
We at First Dance Vancouver know what it is like to sweat in pointe shoes, and whatever quality it is that you are looking for at your next event, we can bring that!