Day 31 of 84 Days of 84 Ribbons: Trivia Answers
Wearing pointe shoes are most young female dancer’s goal in ballet class: to be old enough to wear pointe shoes and “stand on tippy-toe’ and whirl and twirl around. Then they learn about the pain and extra effort it takes to perform in pointe shoes. Let’s see if you experienced any pain in answering the trivia questions.
1. Pointe shoes are often made to a dancers specifications. TRUE Professional dancers often send in their footprints to have specific shoe makers in a specific company they request make their shoes.
2. Pointe shoes are made with (b) canvas, satin and glue. Even though the box (the pointe end of the shoe) feels hard as plaster and cardboard, the box is made from canvas-covered with layers of glue.
3. How long does a pair of pointe shoes last for a professional dancer? (b. 3 days and c. 1 performance) The variation in length of safe use of pointe shoes depends on the amount of strenuous dancing being done during a performance. The greater the number of releves and turns performed, the greater the wear on the shoes, especially on the base which must flex to support the dancer’s feet and the pointe which rubs against the floor.
4. The manufacture of pointe shoes question: FALSE Pointe shoes are handmade. They are assembled one-by one as the layers of glue are applied, the satin added and the leather based is attached. The only sewing occurs when the drawstring is added along the top edge, allowing the dancer to snug up the shoe and tuck in the string.
5. How much does a pair of pointe shoes cost? (b and c). New dancers may be able to purchase pointe shoes for $75.00. More advanced dancers will pay at least $90.00 a pair. Many pay more for custom-made shoes.
6. How much might a small ballet company spend on pointe shoes in one season (b) $100,000. Of that amount, almost half will often be used for their yearly performances of the Nutcracker. I can’t even imagine what a large ballet company spends.
To learn more about professional dancers and pointe shoes, checkout the YouTube segments of the New York City Ballet as presented by Sara Jessica Parker.