Capezio’s classic Pro canvas ballet shoe is a sturdy shoe that’s built to last. The heavy-weight canvas with traditional split-sole construction does not mold to the foot exceptionally well, nor is the thick fabric as soft as other shoes offer, but the durability may outweigh those issues for some dancers. The shoe gives a rounded appearance at the toe and U-shaped throat for a modern American style look but the lines are marred by a sequence of V-shaped stitches in the center.
I personally prefer a shoe with more bells and whistles and a lot less bulk. My feet want luxurious details and thoughtful features if they are going to put in hours of dancing! And I prefer a shoe that’s more flattering in appearance and conformance to the arch. But this shoe is fine if you just want something simple that’s built to withstand hours of class time on roughly taped or even wood surfaces.
The Juliet ballet shoe by Capezio is a step in a slightly more advanced direction, but offers nothing exceptional. The material is much thinner and lighter than the Pro but could use more softness and stretch and the pink color should be deeper.
The split-sole construction is evolved a little with a diamond-shaped arch gusset. The shape is more streamlined than the Pro and therefore more flattering, but could do a lot more to maximize the lines of the foot and arch.
I’d love to see softer, stretchier fabrics on these shoes and light padding for impact protection on the heels. I’ll be moving on soon to ballet shoes offering more modern touches, including the Capezio Cobra, Capezio Sculpture II, Grishko Performance, Bloch Proflex, and the MDM Intrinsic. The search for the perfect shoe continues!
Way back when, I told you about the original “tendinitis ribbon”, a pointe shoe ribbon manufactured by Bloch, Prima Soft and Bunheads that featured an elastic insert to be aligned with the achilles tendon for protection. Well an even better version is now available from Body Wrappers / Angelo Luzio and also from Prima Soft. I recently tried the Body Wrappers version, and I am sooo in love with this product!
Available in their Pointe Shoe Ribbon Kit and their Stretch Pointe Shoe Ribbon Spool, these trimmings are made entirely of a stretchable synthetic material that gives a slightly shiny appearance while providing an excellent balance of support and flexibility. Prima Soft’s version, Extension, is available in either Original (Normal Support) or in Extra Support for high arches and overly flexible feet or ankles.
In addition to providing ergonomic support, these stretchable ribbons look lovely with canvas ballet shoes. If you are required to wear ribbons with your soft shoes, you’ll find that the stretchable material looks less contrasting with your tights and shoes than actual satin. They look so good in fact, that I’m using them for my advanced class ballet shoe performance this year.
It is all too rare for an experienced professional dancer to provide career guidance to students. The average professional dancer’s hectic schedule, necessity to focus on oneself, or lack of interest in reaching out to aspiring professionals in order to stave off competition all may play a part in that. Even from those who share their knowledge through teaching, there is typically a lack of basic insight on the professional ballet experience that is provided to their students.
Fortunately for us, Miami City Ballet principal dancer Jennifer Kronenberg is not your average professional dancer. Gifted not only in dancing but also writing, Ms. Kronenberg has openly shared her perspective on professional ballet, the story of her rise to ballet fame, and insights on how to prepare in her recent book, So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer?- not to be confused with the revered Thalia Mara’s book from 1959 of the same title, sans punctuation.
A small, pocket-sized read, So, You Want to Be a Ballet Dancer? is divided into 20 easily digestible chapters that focus progressively on essential knowledge relevant immediately prior to and at the start of a ballet career. Early training is also covered briefly along with longer-term concerns such as retirement savings and dancers’ frequent periods of unemployment. QR codes and urls cap off many topics with videos of Ms. Kronenberg’s colleagues addressing the issues in more detail or from another perspective. Ms. Kronenberg has no illusions on the limitations of her personal perspective and consults colleagues and other professionals as contributors when necessary, for instance in the chapter on men in ballet.
This is one of the most useful books about professional ballet in publication at the moment, littered as the market is with books focused more on the basics of instruction and getting started with beginner training or beginner pointework. I held off on posting about this book while it was in e-reader form only, but it has recently been published in hard copy. Go buy it today! I found one at BN yesterday and it’s up on Amazon as well. (Now, for a book focused on men’s ballet! Maybe something that expands on this.) Enjoy!
Five days have passed since I was accepted into The Royal Ballet School at Covent Garden, but the excitement is still fizzing. Gaining a place at our Upper School has been my ambition since starting at White Lodge five years ago and this achievement is a huge reward for those years of hard work. Throughout the day, I find myself smiling whenever I think about the year to come and all the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead.
From My Son Can Dance, the Summer Intensive Handbook is one mom’s effort to help guide parents and students through the process of preparing for a choosing their SI. Nina Amir, mother of Julian Amir Lacey (pictured left) knows all to well how much information is out there for you to sift through. Take advantage of her experience through this publication, available through Kindle, as a PDF, or for any other ereader.
Offered for a limited time at a discount using the code at the bottom of the linked page, this very affordable handbook is a handy reference for summer intensive research and advice. Check it out!