Pointe Shoes

Ballet in the making

What are pointe shoes?

Pointe shoes are slippers that are used in ballet. They help the ballerina stand and dance en pointe. Pointe shoes are regularly earned when the ballerina is strong enough to withstand all of the pressure on her toes. These slippers make the dancer look weightless whilst standing en pointe.

1600's- Women dancers are introduced

In the mid-1600's King Louis XIV of France created the Académie Royale de Danse, or Royal Academy of Dance. At that time only men were allowed to preform, using wigs to impersonate a woman's role. But 20 years later the academy allowed female dancers to preform. When they did, the woman got ballet slippers with heels, enabling them to leap and bend like the men could.

1726- Flat heels

A century later, dancers began taking off the heel of the slippers. This allowed them to leap, bend and turn like women could not have with heels on their slippers. Performance in ballet and other dances became much safer for women.

1795- Wired art and the first time a ballerina stands en pointe

In 1795 wires that help ballerinas stand en pointe are invented. This lets the ballerina stand en pointe for a few seconds. Then repeats this process for a graceful performance.

1800's- The box slipper

The box slipper, or the first step to the modern pointe shoe. Italian ballerinas were first given this opportunity when an Italian ballet shoe maker put padding in the tip of the shoe. Soon other ballerinas soon found out and started using these slippers.

1800's- Mary Taglioni's no wire act

After about ten years, pointe shoes had evolved greatly. The box in the tip of the shoes have been modified and constructed to be very sturdy for the ballerina and when she stands en pointe. Ballerinas still used wires to stand en pointe. That is until Mary Taglioni took the wires off a preformed a wireless act. This quickly spread around to other ballerinas which lead to wires being forgotten and left behind.

2000- Pointe shoes in the modern world

Pointe shoes have not really changed for the past two centuries. Newer and younger dancers have come in and wowed audiences of great sizes while pushing their feet and the shoes.


1st picture:

Grishko"Pointe Shoes-Grishko" www.grishko.com

New York city 2007 Web Dec.16 2015