Pointe Shoes - Tips and Tricks

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9781852731151: Pointe Shoes - Tips and Tricks
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Graceful technique and perfect execution for a dancer are possible only with perfectly fitting pointe shoes. For the first time in print, ballerina Angela Reinhardt, formerly a principal dancer of the Komischer Opera Ballet of Berlin, has put together over 100 tips and tricks for personal pointe shoe tuning, for both beginners and professionals. Over 280 colour illustrations show how to modify shoes step by step, using scissors, needle and thread, hot water and elastic, to adapt pointe shoes perfectly for all types of foot and all types of floor surface. As well as tips on choosing, modification, and upkeep, the book contains information on the history and manufacture of pointe shoes and valuable suggestions for foot fitness.

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Angela Reinhardt, in her book Pointe Shoes Tips & Tricks, tells us how, after seeing a performance of Invitation to the Dance with her father at the age of nine at the magnificent Deutsche Staatsoper unter den Linden, the ballet changed her life. She tells us it created a passion for ballet - how she became a ballerina - and the thrill of having her first pointe shoes.
She gives a short history of the development of the pointe shoe is made (and this is what all dancers want to know) the tips and tricks of how carefully to dismantle parts of the pointe shoe: to tune, adapt, fit and mould it to the foot. I found it fascinating because during my entire career I had so many problems with my pointe shoes - always looking fort he perfect pair. I had several tricks myself but learned many more after reading this book. What to do if the shoe is too big or small, if the heel slips off, or if it is too high, if the block is not square enough - to name just a few! Well, you have the answer here. Also, there are excellent exercises, again well illustrated, for strengthening the foot, and exercises for relaxation, all beneficial and important. ...
This book is excellent and has obviously been inspired by the necessary quest to find one's own personal pointe shoe. Some people may be lucky but many, as the author says; "can often take years to find their 'own' pointe shoe". A race against time, when you think how short is a dancer's career. But here you have a valuable guide. I congratulate Angela Reinhardt on writing such a book - and recommend it highly. I think it is a real gem and should be in every ballet school's library.

Doreen Wells
(former Prima Ballerina of the Royal Ballet's Touring Company) -- Dancing Times / March 2008

From the Author:

WELCOME

Ever since I was a ballet student, I have always been fascinated by the idea of being able to dance on pointe, in hovering perfection. In order to be able to dance "perfectly".
I spent a lot of time looking for the "perfect" shoe. I was constantly experimenting with different ways of tying, sewing and changing my shoes. I tried out different makes and styles of shoes. I wanted them to be less painful, wanted my feet to look more beautiful, to show off my instep to better advantage, to improve stability, to reduce the noise of the blocks - an endless list of wishes. I asked my teachers, I got together with other students to operate on my shoes. We literally dismembered the shoes until all the component parts lay before us in our attempts to find out at last the secret of the "perfect" pointe shoe.

During my dancing career I adopted the tricks and methods of other ballerinas, and tried out many modifications together with the shoe­makers. I was still hoping that one day I might perhaps find the "perfect" shoe for me. I was never entirely satisfied; there was always something to cut, to sew or to improve.

This book is meant to provide you with the craftsmanship which can help you adjust your shoes in the best possible ways to cope with varying conditions. I would also like to share with you some of my experience of precautions to safeguard your health, and offer some guidance for helping yourself. You're almost certain to find a couple of helpful suggestions.

Yours, Angela Reinhardt

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