Demi pointes are often viewed as the ballet shoe used for transitioning classical dancers from ballet flats to pointe shoes. They allow the dancer to get used to the shape and style of a pointe shoe before actually going en pointe. Like pointe shoes, it is important that the dancer has developed correct technique and is ready under their teacher’s instruction to dance in demi pointes.
Demi pointes are constructed to look quite similar to a pointe shoe, however the lack of support does not allow the dancer to rise en pointe. Similar to a pointe shoe, demis do have a box at the top of the shoe, however it is an extremely soft version, giving the student the feeling of a pointe shoe without the same capabilities. Whilst the demi pointe does offer more support than a traditional ballet flat, it is important to note that, unlike a pointe shoe, there still is no shank or platform strength. Without this support, it can be quite dangerous and damaging for a child to attempt to rise en pointe.
One of the largest benefits of demi pointes is their full leather out-sole which creates more resistance than the traditional ballet flat, making the dancer’s foot work harder and inevitably stronger. This strengthening of the foot is extremely important in the preparation process for pointe work. However, some teachers also argue that the box of the demi pointes hides the toe and it is therefore difficult to identify whether the dancer is extending their toes correctly with the right muscles. As a result, like any transition in dance, it is important that the dancer’s basic technique is correct and strong. Another benefit to demi pointes (which may come of interest to parents who are up late sewing ribbons and elastics) is that they are a great opportunity for the dancer to learn to sew onto a pointe shoe.
As with any classical training, we also recommend stretching and strengthening your legs, ankles and feet. There are a number of tools available to do so including resistance bands, the Foot Gym and massage rollers.
If you would like to book an appointment for more information or for a personalized fitting with one of our trained professionals, or to purchase stretch and strengthening equipment visit us in store at Dance Desire, visit our website at www.dancedesire.com.au or contact us at (07) 5564 5400.