What Does A Pointe Shoe Fitter Actually Do?
A properly trained pointe shoe fitter is more important than you think! We are the first ones to identify a potential injury or an injury in the making. We can take the pain out of pointe, and we will fit you into a shoe that will work with you instead of against you.
Also, because we are one-on-one with the dancer and eye level with their feet, we can catch things that your teacher might miss (because the teacher is teaching a class of 20 other dancers and they aren’t crawling around on the floor checking everyone’s feet.)
Fitters at The Cinnamon Tree are trained in Josephine Lee’s Progressive Pointe Method.
We fit for the health of the foot. We also have partnerships with dance specific physical therapists in the area to refer dancers who may need some extra support or who are coming off an injury.
Dancing on the tips of your toes is NOT NORMAL and dancers on pointe have to make sure they have the proper strength and flexibility in their feet and ankles to avoid injury.
At the beginning of each fitting, we assess the dancers strength and flexibility in their feet and ankles, and their alignment not only in their feet/ankles, but all the way up to their hips. We do this to make sure we put the dancer in a shoe that will benefit them and will be safe for them to dance in.
Based on this assessment, we can identify if the dancer will be able to get over their box, if they are hypermobile and need extra support, if they will twist in pointe shoes, and more before they even put on a shoe.
Red Flags To Look Out For In A First Pointe Shoe Fitting:
- The fitter does not assess the dancers strength, flexibility, or alignment.
- The fitter only tries one pair of shoes on the dancer, refuses to try anything else, and tells the dancer that is the shoe for them.
- The dancer feels actual pain and the fitter says it’s normal. Discomfort is normal, especially for a first pair; PAIN IS NOT.
- The fitter tries every shoe on the dancer. Especially with a first fitting, based on the dancer’s strength, flexibility, and foot shape, the fitter should be able to narrow down which shoes will work. If they are trying every shoe in the store, the fitter doesn’t know what they’re looking for when choosing shoes to try.
When a dancer is getting their first pair, they don’t know what pointe shoes should feel like, so it is the fitters job to put them in a shoe that fits properly, doesn’t give them PAIN (discomfort is normal), gives them enough support to be stable, but not so much they can’t work through the shoe.
If you would like to be fit by a pointe shoe fitting expert at The Cinnamon Tree, book your appointment HERE!