What Are Ballet Slippers Made Of?

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Ballet slippers can be made from leather, canvas or satin and are available in a variety of styles. Choose the proper pair of ballet shoes with help from a ballet artistic director in this free video on ballet dancing.

Part of the Video Series: Beginning Ballet
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Video Transcript

This is Lynda DeChane from the South Florida Ballet Theater, home of the Apprentice Ballet School in Hollywood, Florida. Let's talk about what a ballet slipper is made of. A ballet slipper is made of many different types of items these days. But the original ballet slipper was always made out of a nice leather with a tie string, an elastic to hold the shoe securely on your foot and a nice leather floor to keep you from slipping on the floor. Now these ballet slippers may come with a split sole for a nice point but also come in a canvas which a lot of dancer's prefer. They're a lot softer and they seem to like them as well. Ballet slippers then progress from the ballet slipper to the pointe shoe when the dancer is ready to prepare her self in pre-pointe. Pre-pointe will take a student two years or two years of classical training in pre-ballet slipper or they would have to be at least twelve years old to start their pre point and have a least two years of experience. The pointe shoe is made out of layers and layers of like a papier-mache fabric, layer on top of layer. They're made by hand and they're made by certain makers. So if you look at the back of a pointe shoe you might see the maker's mark. You'd also be able to order your shoe because you know who your maker was and if you love one particular maker, he's there for you. We also, are made with satin covers so that they're beautiful, shiny and pretty. We attach them with an elastic at the sides to hold on to your foot. The pointe shoe would have an elastic a little further back but they would also have in this area, it would have a beautiful satin ribbon and these ribbons would be attached to the dancer's foot. Now the ballet slipper is made so that the dancer can perform across the floor with ease without slipping and to injure herself. It also allows her to point her toes very easily and apply to the foot.


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