Most dancers can’t go a day without stretching, but they often completely ignore the aches and pains in their feet. Give your tootsies some TLC with YogaPro’s YogaToes, which increase circulation, straighten bent toes and realign joints. Dr. Frank Sinkoe, podiatrist for Atlanta Ballet, says several of his dancers use them. “They relax the four layers of muscle on the bottom of the foot that insert into the toes,” he says. This helps the toes recover from stress, strain and overuse—also known as pointe shoe abuse. Wear them for a few minutes before class to engage the foot muscles, and for about half an hour after class to stretch and relax your toes.

A dancer’s love affair with her pointe shoes, though it may seem silly to an outsider, is very real. Every dancer’s reputation depends on her shoes never letting her down. They must help her balance and allow her to roll up with ease and down with control. In the decade since Pointe debuted, manufacturers have addressed many pointe shoe challenges. Now dancers can spend a little more time focusing on their technique instead of worrying about their shoes.

Challenge: So much time spent breaking in shoes

Solutions: Bloch has updated the paste they use in their Axis and B-Morph shoes with a formula called TMT technology. It accelerates the break-in process, allowing the dancer to mold the shoes to the contours of her foot. This spring, Capezio introduced Simone, which uses a new paste formula that forms to the foot quickly without sacrificing longevity.

Challenge: Short life span

Solutions: In 1993, Gaynor Minden began to explore how space-age technology could produce a longer-lasting shoe. In the past 10 years, the company has reformulated its elastomeric shanks and boxes to accommodate a greater range of foot types with more options like shank strength, vamp length and heel width.

 

The recently patented Flyte pointe shoe by Inspire has a shank made of polymer compounds of varying strengths, giving it both rigidity and flexibility. The use of polymers means that the shank will last up to five times longer than a traditional shoe. It is made of three separate components: box, shank and a removable outer shoe that can be replaced without the need for an entirely new pair.
Bloch’s Axis and B-Morph shoes have a curved composite insole, made of materials that make it virtually unbreakable.

Challenge: Finding the right fit
Solutions: The Heel Ovals Kit from Prima Soft includes hypoallergenic pads that can be used as heel grips or to prevent narrow heels from twisting in the shoe. Their Make It Fit Kit helps dancers who have one foot that is bigger than the other. Gaynor Minden has introduced wafer-thin removable urethane liners that expand and contract to prevent the dancer from sliding in the box. They also designed a Sleekfit option for feet that are broad at the metatarsal and narrow in the heel.

Challenge:  Noisy shoes
Solutions: The new Jewels Collection by Russian Pointe uses less fabric, making the shoes lighter and quieter. Grishko’s new model, Miracle, has an insert that absorbs sound. The “Whisper-Toe” of Sansha’s Gloria 601 uses a piece of PORON, a high-quality shock-absorbing material that makes the shoe almost inaudible.

Challenge: Sweaty, blistered toes
Solutions: Grishko’s Miracle model has medicinal silver nanoparticles in the insole and box that act as natural antiseptics and protect the skin from injuries like blisters. Capezio’s Aria shoe has a So Suede lining that absorbs moisture, reducing foot odor and retarding mildew and fungus growth.

Challenge: Constantly changing needs

Solutions: Working closely with professional dancers, Freed of London tracks changes in
choreography and shoe requirements. Their latest introduction, the Classic Pro, is handmade with the traditional “turn shoe” method (making the shoe from the inside out), but it also
incorporates the latest techniques to create a truly modern shoe. The platform is banged out by hand, there is flexibility at the demi-pointe and a graduated insole.

Challenge: The difficulty of dancing on pointe!
Solutions: Prima Soft’s new En l’air is designed for dancers with tight ankles and feet. It has flexibility points that enable the dancer to roll through the shoe but also receive proper support.

Expectations for the Future
As choreographic and technical demands increase, pointe shoes must evolve to meet dancers’ needs. Considering the advances in the past 10 years, what will the next decade hold? A shoe that makes dancing effortless? One can only hope.

Janice Barringer is the author of The Pointe Book and On Pointe.

Buy Guide

For these and other styles, and to find out where to purchase classwear in your area, contact the following manufacturers:

Bloch: 800-94-BLOCH, www.blochworld.com

Body Wrappers:
800-323-0786, www.bodywrappers.com

Capezio/Ballet Makers, Inc.: 800-533-1887, www.capeziodance.com

Chacott Co., Ltd.: 800-835-1701

Danskin: 888-DANSKIN, www.danskin.com

Eurotard: 770-475-3045, www.eurotard.com

Freed of London, Ltd.: 866-MY-FREED, www.freedoflondon.com

Gaynor Minden: 800-637-9240, www.dancer.com

Grishko:
800-474-7454, www.grishko.com

Harmonie:
800-435-4518, www.harmoniedance.com (purchase Harmonie clothing online at www.capeziodance.com)

Leo’s Dancewear: 800-736-LEOS, www.leosdancewear.com

Malakhov by Chacott: 800-835-1701

Mirella
: 800-457-0304, www.mirella-dance.com

Mondor, Ltd.:
800-363-1460, www.mondor.com

Natalie Dance Wear: 888-223-1878, www.nataliedancewear.com

Prima Soft:
800-431-6005, www.prima-soft.com

Sansha:
910-371-0101 x110, www.sansha.com

Weissman’s Designs for Dance
: 800-477-5410, www.designsfordance.com

Só Dança:
800-269-5033, www.sodanca.com

 

For such a seemingly simple shoe, the ballet slipper is available in a stunning variety of styles, colors and fabrics. Finding your favorite slippers requires choosing between full and split soles, and between canvas and leather. Look to different makers and models to find variations in softness, durability, vamp height and shape and amount of coverage of the foot. This list of manufacturers will help you get started. Unless stated otherwise, each company carries leather and canvas models in split sole and full sole.

Bloch
800-94-BLOCH
www.blochworld.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

Capezio/Ballet Makers, Inc.

800-533-1887
www.capeziodance.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: Satin Daisy in children’s and women’s sizes, with brushed poly/cotton lining; leather Cobra for men, women and children, in light pink.

Freed of London
866-MY-FREED
www.freedoflondon.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: Aspire in children’s and women’s sizes, a Royal Academy of Dance–approved full-sole slipper in peach leather and pink satin (canvas and other leather colors by special order).

Fuzi International
888-368-6255
www.fuzi.net
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes in canvas and leather, split sole; variety of colors

Gamba
800-858-5855
Details: Men’s and women’s sizes in canvas or leather split sole and leather full sole; black and salmon

Grishko
800-474-7454
www.grishko.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes in canvas or leather split sole; variety of colors

Karl-Heinz Martin

36-84-887-201
www.martin-ballettschuhe.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: The new Karl-Heinz Martin M001 is an asymmetrical slipper (left and right feet) made in stretch canvas fabric for conformity to the foot; available in black and white.

Leo’s Dancewear
800-736-LEOS
www.leosdancewear.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: All styles feature drawstring sewn in place at back of slipper.

Liberts
800-624-6480
www.liberts.com
Details: Women’s and children’s sizes in leather split or full sole; variety of colors

Main Street Dancewear

800-888-8496
www.mainstreetdancewear.com
Details: Women’s and children’s sizes in leather split or full sole; variety of colors

Merlet
800-660-6818
www.merletusa.com
Details: Men’s and women’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

Mondor, Ltd.

800-363-1952
www.mondor.com

Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes in leather split or full sole; pink and black

Prima Soft
800-431-6005
www.prima-soft.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors in split soles and hourglass-shaped full soles

Principal By Chan Hon Goh, Inc.
604-688-6836
www.principalshoes.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes in canvas full or split sole; variety of colors

New in the last year: Flesh color in split-sole slipper.

Repetto

800-858-5855
www.repetto.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

Russian Pointe

866-R-POINTE
www.russianpointe.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes in canvas full or split sole; variety of colors

New in the last year: Virtuoso, a canvas split-sole slipper for adults with no outer heel, but extra padding on the inside.

Sansha
212-246-6212
www.sansha.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: The Pro leather model is now available in black.

Só Dança

800-269-5033
www.sodanca.com
Details: Men’s, women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

Trimfoot Co., Inc.
800-325-6116
www.trimfootco.com
Details: Women’s and children’s sizes; variety of styles and colors

New in the last year: Stretch Ballet for women, a split-sole slipper featuring an all-Lycra upper; smaller children’s sizes have been added to the Satin Ballet slipper.

Jennifer Brewer is a dancer, teacher and freelance writer based in Saco, Maine.

What’s In A Pointe Shoe?
Pointe shoes are made in a complex process requiring multiple steps and great expertise. Although each manufacturer uses some unique methods and designs, most pointe shoes share a basic structure and set of components. The uppers, or the body of the shoe, are sewn from several pieces of satin, often with a cotton lining. In a traditional pointe shoe, the toe box is created on the uppers from multiple layers of paste and burlap. “The layers depend on where we want the most support or flexibility,” explains Marlena Juniman, vice president at Prima Soft. Some manufacturers also use paper or plastic layers.

A typical sole has three components: the outer sole, the insole and the shank. Traditional shanks are made of cardboard (such as red board or green board), fiberboard or leather. Greater or lesser strength is achieved by: choice of material, layering, skiving (making thinner toward the heel) or cutting out or shaping areas where more flexibility is needed. The shank is sandwiched between the outer sole and the insole, using glue and nails.

Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, in contrast, have toe boxes and shanks molded in one piece from thermoplastic elastomeric, a category of resilient synthetics. “In order to offer five different strengths, we use five different elastomerics,” says founder and president Eliza Minden. Each material keeps its strength, not breaking down like traditional shanks. For areas requiring greater flexibility, the elastomeric piece is made thinner.

For a traditional pointe shoe, the box is molded on a last, a shoemaker’s form. The particular last used determines the shape and size of the shoe, so every manufacturer needs many lasts. Although the box and shank are molded beforehand, Gaynor Minden shoes are also constructed on a last, where the satin uppers and foam linings are attached to the elastomeric.

Most traditional shoes have pleating behind the toe platform at the tip of the box. The pleats are created when the single forward satin section is folded in around the box and tucked under the outer sole. Some traditional shoes use foam beneath the pleats, and some manufacturers are creating pleatless models.

Once the shoe has its basic shape, it’s time for refinement. Precise shaping is required to create a smooth, symmetrical box, even pleats and a balanced platform, which allows the shoe to stand up on its own. “Each shoe is balanced by the cobbler to get a perfect platform, so that the dancer doesn’t have to compensate,” says Irene Wilson, president of Grishko USA. Finally, traditional pointe shoes must be heated and aired to cure (harden) the paste boxes.

AURORA DANCEWEAR & COSTUME
12-16 Rufus Business Centre
22 Ravensbury Terrace
Earlsfield, London SW18 4RL United Kingdom
Phone: 44-20-8287-0932
Fax: 44-20-8287-1114
www.auroradancewear.co.uk
E-mail: Thelma@auroradancewear.co.uk

Details: Two models in two widths with a rounded box, plus a shankless model for pre-pointe training. Canvas by special order. Special glue is designed to be long-lasting and mold to the foot. Training model has leather tip and medium shank for flexible
roll-through. Heels are cut high for security. Handmade in China.

BLOCH
1170 Trademark Dr, Ste 112
Reno, NV 89511
Phone: 800-94-BLOCH
Fax: 775-824-2551
www.blochworld.com

Details: Twenty-one models, plus different shank strengths on five models (Strong variation), and full- or 3?4-shank options on one model. Also Demi-Pointe, a shankless model for pre-pointe training. Up to five widths, half-sizes, most models made of all-natural materials. Shank strength dependent on model. Many models feature low-noise paste, and many are made with a pad inside the box at the platform. The MKII series has a padded heel counter, a separate piece of fabric at the heel. ThermoMorph Technology (TMT) models use a heat-activated paste to mold shoes to feet.

New: Protégée is an introductory shoe designed to help support a beginner’s foot and ankle. The shank is graded in strength to facilitate roll-through. Wide platform, tapered box with moderate V-vamp and high sides. TMT Serenade and TMT Sonata have the features of the originals but use TMT paste. Both feature traditional shanks, wide platforms and narrow heels. Sonata has a shorter vamp and a pad in the box; Serenade has a longer U-vamp.

CAPEZIO
One Campus Rd
Totowa, NJ 07512
Phone: 800-982-3397
Fax: 800-522-1222
www.capeziodance.com
E-mail: info@balletmakers.com

Details: Nine models in up to five widths and half-sizes, plus Extra Strength (ES) variations for three models. Range of three shank strengths dependent on model; all shanks are skived (graduated). Three additional strengths and one additional width by special order. Special Make-Up (SMU) shoes may be customized according to specifications including 1?4 sizing; nails and glue; vamp, side and heel heights; and color. SMUs have four-week turnaround time. Shankless model for pre-pointe training also available by special order. Made in the U.S. with natural and synthetic materials including environmentally friendly paste.

CAPULET, LTD.
175 Drury Ln
Covent Garden WC2B 5QF
United Kingdom
Phone: 44-845-060-3190
Fax: 44-700-594-2803
www.capuletworld.com
E-mail: sales@capuletworld.com
U.S. distribution by Sansha

Details: Five models, all available in three shank strengths, three shank lengths (1?2, 3?4, full) and three widths. Three traditional
models with “graded vamp”—vamp length proportional to each size. Boxes are graduated in strength to facilitate demi-pointe.

CHACOTT
44-01 21st St, Ste 302
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 866-MY-FREED
Fax: 718-729-8086
www.freedusa.com
E-mail: info@freedusa.com

Details: Three models in three widths and half-sizes; shank strength dependent on model. All natural materials, with card or leather composition shanks. Lightweight with light box for ease of break-in. First Step is designed for beginners with a medium leather composition shank, sound-absorbing material and attached ribbons. Veronese models can be special ordered in black, white and red.

New: Veronese III is made on the same last as Veronese II, with reinforced side wings. The outer sole is split, with a larger sole portion at the toes and a smaller portion at the heel. Tapered box; V-vamp; full, skived (graduated) medium or hard shank.

COPPELIA – DTC GROUP
Via Orzinuovi, 76
25125 Brescia
Italy
Phone: 39-30-3533-823
Fax: 39-30-3547-323
www.coppelia.com
E-mail: info@coppelia.com

Details: Two models, one with full-, 3?4- and extra-strength shank options, plus a shankless model for pre-pointe training. Two widths. Original model is designed especially for beginners. R-14 is an upgraded design for advanced and professional dancers, with a narrow shape and stronger shank for support and durability.

DANSHUZ BY STYLE QUEEN
539 W Walnut Ave
Orange, CA 92868
Phone: 800-886-7914
Fax: 800-952-9862
www.danshuz.com

Details: One model in two widths, with suede toe and attached ribbons, for student dancers.

FREED OF LONDON, LTD.
44-01 21st St, Ste 302
Long Island City, NY 11101
Phone: 866-MY-FREED
Fax: 718-729-8086
www.freedusa.com
E-mail: info@freedusa.com

Details: Five models in four widths and half-sizes, plus the Demi-Pointe Soft Block shankless model for pre-pointe training. Card shank in two strength choices for Studio line. Choice of short or deep vamp for Classics line. Classics vary according to individual maker; each shoe has a maker’s mark and dancers may request a specific maker. Handmade in the U.K. with natural materials.

FUZI
4704 Pacific Ave SE, Ste A
Lacey, WA 98503
Phone: 888-368-6255
360-786-0226
Fax: 360-915-8703
www.fuzi.net
E-mail: info@fuzi.net

Details: Six models in five widths, plus a shankless model for pre-pointe training. Shank strength dependent on model. Satin models have no side seams for a smoother line. Split sole has split outer sole with hard shank. Canvas model has rough, nonslip sole, V-vamp and 3?4 shank. A special glue layer in box is intended for longevity.

New: Canvas Tip is a satin shoe with canvas at the platform to reduce slipperiness. The platform has no visible pleats. Leather sole and hard brown board shank for support with flexibility for demi-pointe; medium vamp height.

GAMBA
274 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 800-858-5855
Fax: 212-686-4096
E-mail: repettousa@novalys.com

Details: Three models in three widths, plus the 1?4-shank Delco pre-pointe. Leather soles with carbon fiber shanks, in choice of two strengths. Lightweight (8.1 ounces), with shanks designed for increased “memory” and resistance. Handmade in France.
 
GAYNOR MINDEN, INC.
140 W 16th St
New York, NY 10011
Phone: 800-637-9240
Fax: 212-929-4907
www.dancer.com
E-mail: fitters@dancer.com

Details: Two pleatless models (standard and Sleekfit) in up to three widths. Each model is available in five shank and box strengths and a choice of box shapes; standard model with choice of vamp and heel heights. Suede tips or white satin by special order on either model. Elastomeric (synthetic) shank and box are designed for longevity and will not break down and soften like traditional shanks. Box designed to hold its shape and promote correct alignment. Special linings to absorb impact and increase comfort. Patented fitting kit to customize inside of box.

New: Sole color is now tan instead of previous gray.

GRISHKO
241 King Manor Dr, Ste D
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone: 800-474-7454
Fax: 610-239-6441
www.grishko.com
E-mail: info@grishko.com

Details: Ten models in up to five widths and up to three shank strength choices, plus super-hard by special order. Also Elite Pre-Pointe, a shankless model for pre-pointe training. The Pro series features noise-reduction materials. ProFlex also features new-construction shanks designed to be flexible and conform to the foot. Elite has a very square box for short, square toes. Shoes are signed, and dancers may request a particular maker for special orders. Special Make-Up shoes may be customized to most specifications, with a six- to eight-week turnaround time. Made in Russia with natural materials.

New: Fouette Proflex features sound-absorbing Pro technology and additional elasticity in the box, plus a Flex shank in choice of two strengths. Medium V-vamp and medium platform size. Designed for beginners through professionals.

HARMONIE
One Campus Rd
Totowa, NJ 07512
Phone: 800-435-4518
Fax: 800-522-1222
www.harmoniedance.com
E-mail: info@harmoniedance.com

Details: One model, Melody, in three widths with a broader, more generous, fitting to allow room for padding. Graduated, moderate-strength 3?4 shank; feathered wings; half-sizes. Designed to be quiet, responsive and strong. Petal pink color coordinates with Harmonie’s petal pink tights.

KARL-HEINZ MARTIN
Klassische Ballettschuhe
Postafiók 521
H-8601 Siófok
Hungary
Phone: 36-84-887-200
Fax: 36-84-887-201
www.martin-ballettschuhe.com
E-mail: info@martin-ballettschuhe.com
U.S. distribution by Sansha

Details: Four models including the original Eva, a professional shoe handmade in Hungary with natural materials. Designed for easy break-in, with choice of 1?2, 2?3 and 3?4 shanks and a rounded vamp with choice of three vamp lengths.

New: Karla has the features and specifications of Eva, with a roomier box and slightly wider platform. Evita and Carolina are similar in shape to Eva and Karla, respectively, with different shanks to allow for stronger support. Full shanks in flexible, medium and medium-hard; made in China. All models may be special ordered with additional specifications such as vamp heights, V-vamp, shank strengths and different heel heights.

LEO’S DANCEWEAR

1900 N Narragansett Ave
Chicago, IL 60639
Phone: 800-736-LEOS
Fax: 800-736-5330
www.leosdancewear.com
E-mail: info@leosdancewear.com

Details: Three models in four widths, including one model with option of full or 3?4 medium-strength shank. Split Sole has patented split outer sole and full-length red-board shank. Pas de Deux Pointe 1 has “rainbow arch” for conformity to the foot. The Inspiration model comes with a free pair of Leo’s gel toe pads.

LIBERTS
4920 Northpark Loop
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Phone: 800-624-6480
Fax: 719-592-1526
www.liberts.com
E-mail: feedback@liberts.com

Details: Two models in up to three widths, with suede platform patches for student dancers. Wholesale only, to studios and teachers.

MERLET
565 Roma Ct
Naples, FL 34110
Phone/fax: 800-660-6818
www.merletusa.com
E-mail: info@merletusa.com

Details: Seven models in up to four widths and three shank strengths. Red-board or polycarbonate shanks. Boxes made of natural fibers; some models include plastic resin for strength. Designed to be long-lasting and supple with minimal break-in. Kaliste has stretch canvas heel in both canvas and satin versions. Prelude has soft shank and box for beginners. Made in France.

MIGUELITO’S DANCING SHOES & SUPPLIES, INC.
7315 San Pedro Ave, #3
San Antonio, TX 78216
Phone: 210-349-2573
Fax: 210-349-9610
www.miguelito.com.mx or www.miguelitousa.com
E-mail: migueldancing@sbcglobal.net

Details: Two models in one width, with one shank strength for each model. Compressed paper shank, designed for lightness and roll-through. Professional model has shorter, softer shank than student model, which has a reinforced leather sole and more durable box. Made in Mexico with natural materials.

MIRELLA
1170 Trademark Dr, Ste 112
Reno, NV 89521
Phone: 800-457-0304
Fax: 206-298-0172
www.mirella-dance.com
E-mail: mirella@mirella-dance.com

Details: Three models in three widths and half sizes, designed to be lightweight. Large platform for stability and control on pointe, flat pleats for stability on flat, curved sole and shank designed to support and conform to the arch. The original model, Advance, is intended for pre-professional dancers, with a full, medium-strength shank.

New: Professional is intended for experienced dancers, with a full, medium-strength shank. The insole is glued only to the 2/3 mark, to facilitate modification of the shank. Academie is intended for developing feet, with a firm, full shank and slightly higher vamp and sides for added support.

PORSELLI
Viale Stelvio, 41
20159 Milan
Italy
Phone: 39-02-6081439
Fax: 39-02-6080646
www.porselli.it
E-mail: info@porselli.it

Details: Sixteen models, with perspiration-resistant boxes. One model features a light box for beginners; others feature narrow and wide fittings. Bis has instep elastic for arch support and a tip lined with soft material. Gold features elastic on the back for added support. Shanks can be reinforced for extra strength. Available in peach, black, white, red and light blue.

PRIMA SOFT

213 Old York Rd
Jenkintown, PA 19046
Phone: 215-886-2255
Fax: 215-886-9226
www.prima-soft.com
E-mail: prima@prima-soft.com

Details: Six models in five widths, with fiberboard or red-board shanks and leather or suede soles. Graduated shanks, in strengths dependent on model. All feature “Perfect Placement” toe boxes, designed to position toes straight down for contact with platform and elimination of knuckling. En L’Air is lighter, with more ease in the central metatarsal area, gradual pleating and new box construction for easier transition from demi-pointe to full pointe. Handmade in Russia and Brazil with natural materials.

PRINCIPAL BY CHAN HON GOH, INC.

2345 Main St
Vancouver, BC V5T 3C9
Canada
Phone: 604-688-6836
Fax: 604-688-1687
www.principalshoes.com
E-mail: info@principalshoes.com

Details: Five models in four widths and half-sizes, with shank strength dependent on model. Card shanks with leather inner piece for shank support, cardboard full shank, foam cushion and suede insole for added support and comfort. Available by special order with variations such as shank strengths and vamp heights, and in black, red and blue. Designed by professional dancers with medical consultation to help protect feet from injury.

REPETTO
274 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 800-858-5855
Fax: 212-686-4096
E-mail: repettousa@novalys.com

Details: Same information as Gamba, plus La Wilis (505), a shoe tailored to fit right and left feet. Handmade
in France.

RUSSIAN POINTE
226 S Wabash Ave, 2nd Fl
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: 866-R-POINTE
Fax: 312-588-4060
www.russianpointe.com
E-mail: info@russianpointe.com

Details: Ten models in five widths, half-sizes, up to three vamps, up to 11 shank choices (of strength and style) and four colors. Card and pressed leather shanks; shanks in “flexible” range have cut-outs at the sides of the ball of the foot to facilitate roll-through. Handmade in Russia with natural materials.

New: Rubin and Sapfir, in the Jewels Collection, are lightweight, with pleatless platforms and pre-arched shanks with specially treated leather designed to mold to the foot. Both come in a choice of V-vamp without drawstring or U-vamp with drawstring; Rubin has a lower crown and wider platform.

SANSHA
888 8th Ave (at 53rd St)
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-246-6212
Fax: 212-246-2138
www.sansha.com
E-mail: sanshanyc@sansha.com

Details: Fourteen models in up to five widths, plus two shankless soft-toe models designed for
pre-pointe training. Four shank strengths and three shank lengths, dependent on model. Fiberboard shank with leather or cellulose sole. Several models available in canvas, or with shank variations (length and strength). One model with leather tips; one lace-up model. Three models with replaceable shanks (for temporary emergency use only). All models with “whisper toe” box padding.

New: Gloria 601 is identical to Ovation 603 and 606, but with a softer, 3?4 shank. Germania 603G is similar to Ovation, with a more tapered box; Germania 609G is similar to Legende, with a more tapered box. Both have 3?4 medium-hard shanks. Debutante D101 is a beginner’s shoe with a moderately tapered box and is based on the Soft-toe USA (DP801) pre-pointe model, but with a lightweight shank for beginning pointework.

SCHACTNER
Wilhelm Schactner, Wtw.
Edelhofgasse 6
Vienna 18
Austria
Phone: 43-1-479-5489
Fax: 43-1-479-6011

Details: One model with both box and heel width choices, four vamp lengths and five shank strengths. Suede tip available. Handmade in Austria. Limited U.S. availability at select retailers.

SÓ DANÇA
320 S Military Trail
Deerfield Beach, FL 33445
Phone: 800-269-5033
Fax: 888-355-0525
www.sodanca.com
E-mail: anne@sodanca.com

Details: Nine models in the Cecelia Kerche line. Up to five widths, up to four shank choices and up to five colors plus three additional colors by special order. Three pre-arched models are designed for three foot shapes. Natural paste designed for noise reduction. Clara is a beginner’s model with full, flexible shank designed for ease of roll-through. Handmade
in Brazil.

THE SUFFOLK POINTE SHOE CO., LTD.
Unit 6 Churchill Works
Highfield St
Earl Shilton
Leicester LE9 7HS
United Kingdom
Phone/fax: 44-1455-442-767
www.suffolkpointe.com
E-mail: suffolkpointe@aol.com
U.S. distribution by Sansha

Details: Two stock models plus The Company Shoe, a custom model for special order in a wide spectrum of specifications. All
in half sizes. Solo, designed to mold to the foot for comfort and support, is available in nine widths and three shank choices, plus the Light version designed to help pointe beginners achieve correct placement.

New: Graduate is intended for advanced dancers who require more flexibility from their shoes. Available in eight widths and two shank choices, Graduate is replacing the previous model Apprentice for U.S. distribution.

SYLVIA TRADING COMPANY
2-23-10 koenji-minami
Suginami-Ku, Tokyo
166-0003
Japan
Phone: 81-3-3315-3100
Fax: 81-3-3314-3769
www.sylvia.co.jp
E-mail: info@sylvia.co.jp

Details: Seven models in up to five widths and half-sizes, plus a shankless model designed for pre-pointe training. One shank strength with two others by special order. Lightweight shoes designed to help dancers get up on pointe. Florina has a nearly square box designed for square toes, with a nylon resin shank for durability. Handmade in Japan.

Jennifer Brewer is a dancer, teacher and freelance writer based in Saco, ME.

All tights are not created equal, so Pointe has listed 26 manufacturers to give you an idea of the broad selection available. Tights come in a variety of styles, such as footed, footless or convertible; mesh or non-mesh; and seamed or non-seamed. And colors can range from traditional pink to black, white, tan and nude. We have also listed new styles and innovative technologies. For further information, contact the companies directly.



Allen Bodywear
800-328-7107
www.discountdance.com
Details: men’s sizes only, two styles in black and white
New in the last year: convertible tights with suspenders

Bal Togs
800-992-6629
www.baltogs.com
Details: men’s footed in an assortment of colors

Baum’s Dancewear
800-8-DANCIN
www.baumsdancewear.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors

Bloch
800-94-BLOCH
www.blochworld.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors

Body Wrappers
800-323-0786
www.bodywrappers.com
Details: women’s sizes in a variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: men’s footed tights in black and white featuring non-knit construction and a seamed instep; ankle-height “footie” in a variety of colors, designed to protect feet inside shoes when not wearing tights

Capezio/Ballet Makers, Inc.
877-5-DANCER
www.capeziodance.com
Details: men’s and women’s sizes in a wide variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: women’s microfiber tights in a variety of colors, knit with run-proof microfiber yarn at the convertible opening

Dance Department
800-328-7107
www.discountdance.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety styles and colors

Danskin
888-DANSKIN
www.danskin.com
Details: women’s sizes and plus sizes, in a variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: ultra-soft micofiber arch-support footed tights; ultra-soft microfiber plus-size convertible tights; three new colors to match dance shoes: caramel, café, sun bronzed

Eurotard
800-222-0026
www.eurotard.com
Details: women’s sizes in a variety of styles and colors; men’s footed in black and white; convertible body tights in unisex sizes
New in the last year: men’s sizes in footed, ankle-length and capri-length with wide waistband; several styles of tights and body tights in plus sizes

Freed of London
866-MY-FREED x 232
www.freedoflondon.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors

Gaynor Minden
800-637-9240
www.dancer.com
Details: women’s sizes only; two styles of microfiber; one style of wool/microfiber blend

Grishko
800-474-7454
www.grishko.com
Details: women’s sizes only, two styles of convertible available in pink and black

Harmonie 
877-5-DANCER
www.harmoniedance.com
Details: men’s footless in black, white, burgundy and marine; women’s sizes in one style of pink convertible

Leo’s Dancewear

800-736-LEOS
www.leosdancewear.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors

Main Street Dancewear
804-780-1718
www.mainstreetdancewear.com
Details: women’s sizes only, four styles in a variety of colors

Merlet
800-660-6818
Details: women’s sizes only in one style of microfiber and one style of Lycra, several colors available
New in the last year: beige color available in the Lycra style

Mirella
800-457-0304
www.mirella-dance.com
Details: men’s sizes of seamed footed in black, grey and stage white

M Stevens

323-661-2147
See your local retailer
Details: unisex sizes in two styles: footless cotton/poly/Lycra blend in a wide variety of colors and footed Milliskin nylon/Lycra blend in a wide variety of colors

Mondor, Ltd.
800-363-1952
www.mondor.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: Wellness tights with vitamin E, in footed or convertible and a variety of colors; footed durable performance tights; performance tights with microfiber/Lycra blend to provide leg support in footed or convertible; lightweight performance tights in footed or convertible; knee-highs with microfiber/Lycra blend to provide leg and foot support

Natalie
800-328-7107
www.discountdance.com
Details: women’s sizes in a long-sleeve stirrup body stocking available in nude
New in the last year: adult sizes in a body-smoothing undergarment capri tight available in nude or black

Prima Soft
215-572-5177
www.prima-soft.com
Details: men’s and women’s sizes in a wide variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: men’s sizes in heavy-weight, footed style, available in black and white

Radetsky Dancewear
212-246-6212
Available at Sansha NYC
Details: men’s and women’s sizes in a variety of footless styles; available in many colors; some styles have prints

Repetto
800-858-5855
www.repetto.com
Details: women’s sizes only in a variety of styles and colors

Sansha
910-371-0101
www.sansha.com
Details: men’s and women’s sizes in a wide variety of styles and colors
New in the last year: adult microfiber footless fashion tights available in new colors: purple, forest green, white and turquoise

Só Dança
800-269-5033
www.sodanca.com
Details: men’s sizes in black footless; women’s sizes in footed and convertible styles in a variety of colors

Wear Moi
888-831-0880
www.auroascollection.com
Details: men’s sizes in black footed; women’s sizes in footed, footless and convertible in several colors

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