Handcrafted scrapbook pages – How to Choose the Right Pointe Shoe for Ballet Dancing

How to Choose the Right Pointe Shoe for Ballet Dancing
 by: Anita Leembruggen

Pointe shoes, in many ways, can be considered an extension of the dancer. Designed for pleasing aesthetics as well as function, these shoes typically have a short lifespan, but enable the dancer to move with incredible grace and strength.

The most critical feature of any pointe shoe is how well it fits. Proper fit safeguards the dancer’s feet, ankles and legs and makes en pointe work possible. This is especially important for younger dancers, as proper bone development can be impaired by incorrectly fitting shoes. There are a number of brands and styles available, and no single type is built for every dancer. A dancer’s experience, shape of the foot and strength should be considered in finding the best shoe.

Bloch Pointe Shoes

The Bloch pointe shoe is available in different styles including Sylphide, Sonata, Suprima, Serenade, Aspiration, Concerta, Triomphe, and Alpha ¾ Sole. Beginner dancers will be suited to the Sylphide, Sonata, or Suprima. The Sylphide has broader widths than other Bloch pointe shoes and helps beginners with untrained feet roll up onto pointe more easily.

The Suprima will feel comfortable to beginners and advanced students as it provides good flexibility while maintaining good arch support. Note that some Bloch pointe shoes have the narrower box shape and snug heel which is not suited to a “fleshy” foot. Shoes such as the Aspiration and Alpha pointe shoe are designed with the advanced student in mind. These shoes offer better arch flexibility but should not be worn if you do not have strong feet and ankles.

Capezio Pointe Shoes

Capezio Pointe Shoes includes several styles, each intended for specific needs. The original Glissé features a hard shank, broad toe-box and a U-shaped vamp to allow dancers to roll up to pointe comfortably. The Glissé ES offers the same, but with a harder shank. The Glissé Pro and Pro ES are intended for more experienced dancers and feature a lower side and back height, with a medium and hard shank respectively. The shankless Demi Soft is based on the Glissé design, and intended for pre-pointe students.

The Plié style is best suited for dancers needing a vamp that extends beyond the toe. Plié I offers a medium shank, and Plié II features a harder #5 shank. The Tendu style offers a medium shank and boasts a quick break-in time. Tendu II has a broader box and wider platform. Both Aerial and Pavlowa shoes feature a Russian-styled tapered box. The Aerial is best to support high arches, while the Pavlowa offers a harder shank, longer vamp and heel height. The Contempora is an American-style wide-platform shoe with a longer vamp and lower heel.

Freed Pointe Shoes

Freed Pointe shoes are available in the Classic, Studio and Studio Pro styles. The various lines are designed for a specific level of dancer, as well as their physical requirements. The handcrafted Classic is particularly designed for the needs of the experienced or professional dancer. It features a deep, round vamp, but those needing more support will favor the deep V-cut vamp and stronger insole of the Classic Wing Block.

The Studio line is intended for the younger dancer and offers extra support. The Studio II style features a wider platform and lower profile than the original. The Studio Pro is also designed for the younger dancer, but it includes a V-shaped vamp and ¾ shank for greater flexibility.

Grishko Pointe Shoes

The line of Grishko Pointe shoes features Eleve and Releve models. The Eleve include the Ulanova I and II. These shoes are intended for dancers instructed to roll up on pointe. You can find out more about dancing en pointe at www.balletdancestudio.com. Ulanova I has a medium height vamp and versatile box for dancers with toes of an even or slightly varied length. Ulanova II has a deep vamp and is best suited for dancers with longer toes or narrow feet.

The Releve styles, Fouette and Vaganova, are designed to accommodate the Russian–style of springing on point. The Vaganova has a deep vamp and tapered box. This style is particularly suited for dancers with a flexible arch, longer toes or narrow feet. The Fouette has a broad box and wide platform best suited for dancers with shorter toes or wider feet.

Gaynor Minden Pointe Shoes

Gaynor Mindon Pointe shoes differ from many brands. While manufacturers commonly feature a variety of styles, Gaynor Mindon instead designs shoes over six fitting options; shank, vamp, heel, regular fit, sleek fit and size. So many variations can feel confusing, but the benefit of this brand is that dancers essentially custom fit their shoes. The entire line is designed to minimize the shock of impact and comfortably fit every type of foot. Shank options run from flexible/little support to hard/ample support. In order from flexible to hard shanks, options are Pianissimo, Featherflex , Supple, Extraflex and Hard. Vamp options include Regular, Deep and Sleek.

A deep vamp is best for dancers with pronounced arches, while the sleek vamp is best for feet wider along the ball and narrower towards the heel. High, Regular, Low and Sleek heels are available. Choosing between them is a mainly a matter of comfort. The Regular and Narrow fit shoes differ only in width, but less heel and vamp options are available with Narrow Fit shoes.

Suffolk Pointe Shoes

Suffolk Pointe shoes includes the Solo, which features a slightly tapered box and longer vamp. It is available with a range of shoe types, Standard insole, Hard insole or Light insole. All but Light feature a standard box which provides uniform support appropriate for most dancers. The Light version is a flexible choice designed to help dancers go on pointe more easily. Hard insoles are available with either a full or ¾ shank, so dancers have the choice of greater flexibility along with ample support. No matter the variation, the Solo Pointe shoe features a low profile to provide comfort throughout the metatarsal area without sacrificing support or function.

How do you choose?

There is not one shoe that overall is considered better than every other shoe. It really is a matter of individually fitting the right shoe to your foot. Be wary of other dancers recommendations because your feet will differ from theirs, and their shoes may feel very uncomfortable on you. You now know the major brands of pointe shoes and their different characteristics. You should have a good understanding of which style of shoe and which brand will fit best on your feet. I recommend finding a good retail dance store with a good shoe fitter. Get them to take you through the process of fitting different shoes and working out which shoe will best fit your feet.

Anita Leembruggen is a dance teacher and avid dancer herself. She has written many guides and articles for young and old dancers alike. Anita spends a lot of her time helping students overcome obstacles in their way to dancing success. http://www.balletinfo.com.

About The Author

Anita Leembruggen is a dance teacher and avid dancer herself. She has written many guides and articles for young and old dancers alike. Her great joy is helping students succeed. http://www.balletinfo.com

Becoming A Front-line 21st Century Cio

Nowadays with the negative consequences of poor risk management growing bigger, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are again on the front lines of business. Usually all problems can be solved with the help of paying money for fixing it and moving on. But today not all risks can be solved by power of money.

The responsibility for CIO’s deeds is huge. The responsibility for the deeds of others is even bigger. There is no way out so CIOs seize the moment and reinvent themselves. In the challenging world CIO has to be aware of lots of risks facing organizations. These are risks inside IT departments and operations there, risks in the use and deployment of technology, risks facing the broader organizations, strategic risks. Often, a lack of alignment between IT and the organization hampers the CIO’s mission which present day CIO cannot allow happen. They should establish IT priorities and processes in order to achieve better coordination in the organization. Risks come in many species. Risks can have various levels of impact, and different risks can combine to create new and greater ones. So many managers are familiar with risk management.

Today “perfect” Chief Information Officer combines a profound understanding of technology and the benefits it brings to a company with a deep knowledge of his company, customers and its industry. A great change has been noticed in the way of leading business in IT industry, changes to aligning business issues more tightly. Competitive advantage is at hand when there is a combination of business experience and an understanding of business. This is a precious combination. Technology is the future of business. A Front – Line 21st century CIO understands where the technology is going and has an excellent feel for the customers, personnel and communicates in a non-technical way.

The best CIO today is a strategy-savvy shark, and also someone with powerful awareness of the capabilities of the technology, a smart and a bit cynical guy. How to accumulate all of those qualities is another question. CIOs are treated less as partners but more as a core center. Besides a person of that kind should advisably have a foundation in technology.

Large organizations usually have CIO-type
positions with divisional, regional, line of business or strategic business responsibility. The size of a company doesn’t matter, and all companies need a CIO just as they need a Chief Operational Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Being a CIO you must determine what you are truly missing, what is important to you, and proceed thoroughly. If you are an IT director and are dreaming about CIO than take your case to the CEO and show him examples of how your strategic initiatives have benefited the company’s top and bottom lines.

Also there are some points that are crucial for IT leaders to understand. IT is by far the youngest profession if you evaluate other company divisions. Accounting has been around as long as business. If you look back as recently as 40 or 50 years ago, IT didn’t really exist. It might probably be a data processing group that could be a branch of accounting department. Now IT is something that you can not live with and something you can not live without.

What can be done at the beginning of a professional growth on the way to a real CIO leaving campus? Start with a good marketing document – résumé. A businesslike two-page résumé comprising a chronological employment history focused on responsibilities and accomplishments, quantifying the latter whenever possible.

You may not find a Fortune 1000 ready to make you their CIO, but any reasonable private-sector experience will get you started in the corporate world.

The CIO position is changing in response to a turbulent business market, in which organizations increasingly turn to technology and business process innovation to gain competitive advantage.
Savvy CIOs have demonstrated their transformational value to senior management during the past three years, even while operating during a down economy. Now CIO has become more business-savvy.

Nowadays new responsibilities for CIOs have emerged. Recent surveys have shown that they have broadened their responsibilities beyond the traditional CIO-only role to absorb some form of business responsibility

Many present day CIOs have come to the role of senior IT decision maker with a business background. The most critical success factor for the CIO to operate effectively as a change-agent is collaborative executive leadership. CIOs responsibility include ensuring that that Commerce uses information technology to develop the best, most useful, and most effective products and services to support its mission.

The range of CIO’s responsibilities includes:

• Implementing of an effective process for managing IT resources in accordance with Commerce policy

• Prepare annual Operational IT Plan at the beginning of the fiscal year to reflect the current year IT operations and development

• Implement a process for the selection, control, and evaluation of IT investments

• Keep abreast of Commerce guidelines for developing and maintaining operating unit IT capital planning and investment control processes.

Training and Education Required for CIO is diverse and very greatly. There are no specific degree is an absolute requirement for CIOs. The majority of CIOs, close to 80 percent, come from information technology backgrounds. Most CIOs have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which is true of most top executives. Many have MBAs and other advanced degrees.

Manual for a strategic CIO

One of the most important things for an IT company leader is to make his best in managing of demanding IT decisions. CIO is the very person to be responsible for making that decisions and applying ideas to life. What are the cases of successful implementation of such practices?

Collaboration of IT managers and Business Developers in a company while making strategic business decisions is the main factor here. In many companies there are no leaders in
IT so IT directors can hit their strides in three directions. CIO will be able to find the most appropriate solution which will cause higher ROI and that fact will give the opportunity to feel free for managing more demanding business goals.

During the last decade financial directors and CIO are advised all over the world to collaborate; only in that case an organization can get profitable results. Success in that case will definitely equal IT plus finances.

A specific characteristic of a modern company is creation of a new model of business development that are based on implementing of first–class technologies. Today more that 60 percent of CEOs see a competitive advantage in a sound collaboration of CIO and Business Developers in the range of one company.
Together with appropriate personal characteristics CIO needs to develop demanding management proficient skills as in information systems modeling of an organization and also possess best–of–breed knowledge of IT domain. So becoming a Front-Line 21st Century CIO is challenging but worth trying.

By: Vera Leonik

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Vera Leonik, eMarketing Specialist at www.qulix.com”>Qulix Systems – Custom Software Development Company, located in Minsk, Belarus, Eastern Europe. Our client-oriented approach and effective offshore software development services are the things that will help you to achieve your business goals. For further information feel free to contact us.
Copyright © 2007 Vera Leonik. All rights reserved. This article may be freely reprinted on your websites. We only require that the article and the resource box at the bottom of each article remain unchanged.

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