It’s been a while

I had my late honeymoon in end of October beginning of November. It was a beautiful, fast paced, and pavement pounding two weeks. Because of the time change I really got hammered. Not just because of sleep schedule, but eating schedule. It made me feel full and congested and irritated. My whole schedule was off and it was affecting my trip. Regardless, my Husband and I had a grand time. My Husband more so than me! Before we even got on the plane bound for home he went “I want to come back now.” I’m like – we haven’t even left!

Because I wasn’t in the best of moods there, and tired from walking and standing 12+ hours through out the day. I didn’t get to a lot of places I wanted to. I think it also didn’t help during that time I started fighting a viral or bacterial infection in one of my lymph nodes under my chin. I noticed the sensitivity on the flight to Japan but disregarded it for the trip. I think it also made me suffer exhaustion. I really wasn’t a happy camper. Which I feel bad about! I’m still dealing with the infection today. It doesn’t make me horribly sick, just a swollen neck at times. Which is good. I had a blood test and everything checks out ok (didn’t nearly faint this time!)

So anyways, I was only able to pop into the Repetto store in Ginza. Ginza is this FANCY shopping district. LV, Hermes, all the fancy name brands hang out in that area. Repetto not only sells pointe shoes but their designer leather shoes and bags. Their latest collection is amazing! Tres chic! I digress- The store is two stories with fashion shoes downstairs and pointe shoes upstairs. Their english was great! I could explain to her in complex terms in english that I needed a low profile shoe, 3/4 shank, and a narrow box. I tried three shoes, and came away with the Julieta. Which is described on their website as a “student” shoe. While some might think that’s a draw back, it’s actually really great. Especially someone like me who has a high arch and long toes. This allows me greater ease to get up on my platform with little effort. If I had a super hard helluva shank that was stiff through and through, I wouldn’t be able to easily roll up or be pulled back. It’s important to know how your foot works and in pointe shoes to get the right pair!

As I walked away after my fitting, I was surprised that the fitter bowed and thanked me! I was embarrassed because I was going to come back upstairs to purchase the shoes, just wanted to look downstairs. She caught me off guard and even brought the shoes downstairs so the girls there could check me out. I was a lot self conscious about my foot tattoo, but she didn’t make a comment or any surprised reaction. She dutifully helped me with my shoes. They also provided me knee high ballet tights to wear and had padding available too, but I brought me own. I did over pointe in one pair and wobbled forward, as one with bendy feet do- that was embarrassing! I was  a little flustered there to say the least! Stressed about how offensive I was being coming in with no socks, having a foot tattoo, and does she think I’m crazy or is she forgiving me because I’m a foreigner? Do I have bad manners and I don’t know it! So many crazy anxious thoughts…

The store was beautifully laid out. Wood flooring, mirrored walls with built in shelving. When you go up the stairs to the second floor the first thing you see on your right is a wall of cubbies filled with pointe shoes! The upper entrance if I remember correctly had red velvet curtains on either side of the door way. Limited warm up gear, dance bags, leotards and such was hung around the room. In the right corner after you get up from the stairs is another wall of cubbies full of pointe shoes, a ladder, a barre situated over an oval red carpet. A bench, and a mirror. It was so easy to try the shoes, and I was so nervous! The first pair I tried were far too large haha! That’s normally the case for me. Anyways, it was a great experience and I walked away happy and giddy. So much so forgot that we were going to look around more. But this was near the end of our trip and we were exhausted. I wish we didn’t have to run around everywhere. Next time we visit we’ll try and make it more relaxed.

 

So tonight I have dance with my mentor! I haven’t consistently danced since I got back from Japan. So I am WEAK and lame, and going to SUCK. So here I go!

I Love Shoes!

Missing having my feet in shoes, everything from heels to dance shoes. I am a big shoe person. I love fashion sneakers, I love ridiculous high heels, I love a good pair of working dance shoes too.

Here are my two top picks of soft ballet shoes if you’re in the market.

The Angelo Luzio/Body Wrappers TotalSTRETCH soft ballet shoe I loved until summer. I think I still love them, but I haven’t worn them since last summer. I loved these shoes so much that I bought a back up pair and now they’re just hanging out. I wore them all school year last year and had no issues. Turns were great, it accentuated my arch nicely. They were comfortable and were a durable shoe. The Bloch Zenith I had bought a few years prior had a tendency to run a hole at my 2nd toe from friction with the floor. Yet the rest of the shoe was in good form. So that was a quick waste. You couldn’t really tape or mend the hole because of the elasticity of the fabric. The Body Wrappers though was great. The fabric wasn’t TOO stretchy, handled going through the wash to clean up a dirty sole, and came pre-sewn!! Sadly my second pair are now only half sewn. I really like my soft shoes sewn for me. We spend enough time sewing up pointe shoes it was nice to have shoes ready to just wear.

My complaints? During my summer intensive my feet swelled and it was sooooo uncomfortable to wear! My toes were scrunched in my shoes. Which was weird, and not the shoes fault. I had to go in search of a new pair of shoes beginning of the intensive. Before that the shoe was a little baggy around the toes. If you have an average medium width foot you should be fine. Since I have a fairly narrow foot that also compresses when warm it would get a little baggy but it never bothered me until I got a new pair of shoes that fit even better.

So last summer I had to buy an emergency pair of soft shoes while at my intensive. Due to the heat and being on my feet for hours caused my feet to swell. It was impossible to wear my pointe shoes, and it became impossible to wear even my soft shoes! I had to concede and a group of lovely dancers and I left for the local dance store in Oregon called the Leotard. Which was actually great! They were super nice and had a great selection of things. The people there helped me find a new pair of soft shoes by So Danca. The cotton was soft and stretchy, but conformed to my narrow foot better than my BodyWrappers. They allowed stretch so when I swelled it fit comfortably. Yet when my feet went to normal during October the shoe continued to conform. They’re comfortable, stretchy, and turns were fine too. A little bunching but nothing I couldn’t get over. They really hugged my arch and accentuated the foot lovely like. The other plus… PRE-SEWN!! Nothing like slipping on a pair of shoes and just WEARING THEM TO CLASS. The best. These shoes are my current go to in my dance bag. The fabric seems softer/weaker than the BodyWrappers but haven’t shown wear yet. So I’ll get to see what happens, but I still really like these shoes. They are a lighter peachy “ballet pink” but they actually go better with my tights than the tanner color of my BodyWrappers.

What’s your current favorite soft shoe in your dance bag?

No Go says my feet

My new GM do not work. Even though the shoe is tight and snug when my foot is cold. As soon as my foot is warmed up I sank horribly. Like all of a sudden my foot had this opportunity to just fold in on itself! I think my foot literally curls and the trick is to find a low profiled shoe that will keep my metatarsals flat. Even though Gaynors are a very low profiled shoe.

I’m going to try a few fitting methods but I’m not sure they’ll work. Otherwise I’ll continue to wear my Grishkos.

I’m also taking a break to Vegas. See my Dad, dance some more at that awesome studio. Go get fitted there see if there are any shoes that work. Relax a little with my Husband.

Sounds like for the market I have in my area and the US for such thin compressible feet the Grishkos will be my only bet.

I still want to try the freeds. They didn’t feel clunky like grishkos. No doubt why the box in freeds would break down easier.

Why feet why?! I hope my future children’s feet aren’t so impossible!

Shoe Update

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I bought new shoes. Finally being realistic, my GMs were not sized correctly. I was having issues feeling my toes after a while and realized it was affecting my dancing. So now I have smaller thinner and narrower GM shoes. They fit like a glove.

I also was able to try a decent pair of Freeds that we’re not ginormous and made my feet look GORGEOUS. It was extremely hard to pull up and not fall forward.

I also bought some new feet accessories to protect my outside bunion. One of the big issues I have with shoes and special metatarsal supporting wings. Hate. Now with my jelly toes, I hopefully won’t get any more blisters on my right pinky toe.

I’m very tempted to get a pair of the freeds, they look so nice but break down so easily. Hopefully the GM will work wonders now that they fit.

My Dog’s toes smell like Fritos.

Gaynor Minden and my two cents

I wanted to announce my change of opinion on Gaynor Mindens. My Grishkos have served me well the last 5 months. They do incredibly pinch my pinky toes sometimes until it’s black and blue. My pinky toes are now heavily armored with calluses from relentless friction causing blisters. I have no issues with this as being able to dance in a supportive pointe shoe is essential, especially during Nutcracker season. They were FAR better than my Bloch Axis.

I recently came to the revelation that my 5 classes a week and nutcracker work have really strengthened my feet. Grishkos most definitely helped too. Being a Russian shoe, they’re very solid, strong, and it’s a work out just to break in the shoe. However, I was able to kill a pair in a month of dancing, and I’m not a professional who may have killed them in a couple hours. Yet the short amount of time the shoes were viable to me was a testament to my foot strength.

I decided to try my Gaynors again. They sat there sadly neglected. So much so a large spider and made a hidey hole of one of my shoes. Yuck. They were swiftly evicted. I hadn’t touched my GMs since summer. I didn’t even wear them at the intensive, they rubbed a ruptured blister worse. I had issues previously wearing my GMs, getting over the box, sinking after my feet warmed up, lack of foot strength in pointing. I think even with the flexible shank the shoe was too strong for me at that time.
I didn’t want to waste the hefty $80+ I dropped into these shoes so I wanted to give them another try.

Last week after resewing them I tested them out. I forgot how “soft” in comparison to traditional shoes these are. So quiet, no clunking about. Demi was not a fight with the shoe.
What surprised me most was how easy my ability to get over the box. It was like wearing my Bloch axis again. I get over the box so easily I wobble off pointe if I’m not careful. I don’t ever remember this being the case when I first go the shoes.
When pointing my foot in dégagé or develope it was a beautiful arched pointe. It did not look like the pre-arched shoe by itself. It actually looked like I was pushing the shank and creating my own pointe.

After the first night though I hated the shoes from discomfort. My feet were sinking by the end of barre. I had to remove my shoes after a few center exercises.

Second night wearing them I stuffed some extra box liners I had. World of difference. A little too tight in certain places but even my Teacher recognized a difference in my dancing with them. I recognized a difference. It was very easy and I had great capability with the shoes. I could actually use them to their potential than be dragged down by discomfort.

I think now, when I buy a new pair maybe sometime before June, I’ll order a size smaller in the box. It may look unattractive by rippling but after the shoes stretch out a little I think the fit will be just right. I still want to buy the additional padding for “thin” feet like mine to see how much a difference that will be.

I still have two pairs of grishkos to get through before I try new shoes again.

Overall, I think Gaynor Mindens are good shoes if fit correctly, and it can still be a struggle to get there. I do feel though that you need to have proper foot strength first before buying a pair. If your feet aren’t strong I feel they may make your feet weaker and they should stop being prescribed to dancers who’s feet are less than perfect for pointe. That’s my two cents.

Nutcracker is Upon Us

We have a large rehearsal tomorrow with both acts going. It’s usually a horrid mess the first run through. I have so much to practice still D: arms for Arabian have got me in a slight pickle.

My new shoes came today!! With a sample of toothpaste. Whu whuuu?!

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My current ones are feeling much better but looking a little beat.

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My current pair far right. Now I need to sew elastics and ribbons and break them in. Oh boy!

But! Tonight is about relaxing. Going out to hang with some friends. Yea!!

Grishko 2007 Pro

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New shoes!! I used them Thursday and despite the obvious needing of breaking in to soften some mean spots, it otherwise is a wonderful shoe. Supports my arch, stays on my heel, is quiet when walking, stable when flat, platform is nice, fit is for the most part quite excellent!

I wore my Blochs at the end of class after wearing my Grishkos and my feet were nearly killed in them. No support for my arch the boxes felt huge compared to the grishkos, so much so that I was knuckling in them!

So now I have to mail back a back up pair of Blochs and order another pair of Grishkos. The life of a dancer.

To note there are some significant changes ahead of me that I cannot reveal yet. It’s not necessarily bad, it is a change though. I’ll be able to inform you better in January when all the holiday shows are over, and my vacations are over as well. And before anyone jumps to conclusions. It’s just my ballet schedule.

I’m trying to update more I’m just so frazzled with choreography.

You’re Dead to Me

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Out with the old, in with the new! My Bloch Axis I got in June on the left, and my new ones I just “broke” in on the right. Waiting for me to sew the elastic and ribbons in. I need them for tomorrow morning but I’m so tired. Ughhhhh… Wake up on time to get these done.

I was do frustrated with the old ones his evening because they wouldn’t support me at all. I was doing so poorly in class and I chalked it up to my shank being dead to me. It wasn’t like killer dead for some people, but for me it was enough to really affect how I danced especially away from the barre.

I’m now concerned about how long these will last, if long enough for nutcracker? Maybe not! I need to have at least two viable pairs of shoes for performance. I may need to look into a stronger shoe. I’m just not up to searching for another shoe right now. Bluhhh. Anyways, I should be sewing or sleeping right now!