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Stupid Question? Why do they use ribbons on pointe shoes?

Discussion in 'Other Gymnastics' started by Sarah_the_gymnast, May 31, 2017.

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  1. Maybe this is a stupid question, but why do they use ribbons on pointe shoes, as opposed to like elastics or something?


    I guess my question is, why are they ribbons, as opposed to elastics - obviously the nike ones don't look like ballet shoes, but why do they use thin, stiff ribbons as opposed to stretchy, thick elastic?

    Like something sort of like this [​IMG]

    But obviously an actual pointe shoe, not a fake version!

    Sorry for posting it here, but I couldn't find a satisfactory answer :p
  2. Probably tradition more than anything.

    Ribbons would at one time been necessarry to hold the shoe in place, before the invention elastic. Now it's part of the "look" of classical dance, so even if elastic is used, the ribbon will stay.
    ldw4mlo, Pirouette and PinPin like this.
  3. I think Faith nailed it on the head: tradition.

    Also if you notice, almost every dancer uses elastic in addition to the ribbons. The ribbons do help the shoe stay connected to the foot and placement of the ribbons varies from dancer to dancer. The other thing I imagine is that elastic might be too tight. Ribbons you can tie as tight as you want, but they still have a tiny bit of give.
    Pirouette and sce like this.
  4. When I was a professional dancer I only put ribbons on my performance shoes and only elastic for my class/rehearsal shoes. Unless I was auditioning or doing something special. They now have elastic ribbon too. That gives your ankle a very little bit of support.
    sce and txgymfan like this.
  5. I don't have much experience in this realm other than friends but I'm sure tradition is a huge factor as it is in all of ballet. I wonder if those Nike pointe shoes are used often as they seem like they would not fly in most studios.
  6. They aren't real - just a concept image.
  7. They never made them. Just a tease. GAYNOR MINDEN is the Nike of pointe shoes...
  8. I asked my ballet dd this question. Her first response was "tradition... duhh! But it also makes the shoes look pretty." Ribbons and Wide elastics are sewn onto the shoes (by the dancer- the shoes aren't pre-sewn). The elastics are sewn first, usually in a cross/cross pattern over the top of the foot. Then the ribbons are sewn on, usually a bit forward of the elastic attachment. This anchors the shoe to the foot. Pointe dancers are constantly working their shoe & foot, rolling up into pointe, and the shoe has to be stable. Most ribbons sold now are slightly elastic/stretchy, which forms better to the foot and doesn't cut into the Achilles as badly as non-elastic. There is also an option for non-stretch ribbon on both ends, with a small elastic portion joining them together, sewn in so it wraps at the Achilles.
    txgymfan likes this.
  9. Oh okay makes sense!! They seem pretty cool though. I think something like this could be really useful to provide more comfort or support for practice, maybe they could find a way to make something similar with a more traditional look.
  10. Cause it's pretty :)
  11. I have a ballet dancer en pointe at home. It was a huge shock to me the first time I dished out $80+ for a pair of pointe shoes, only to discover that I had to sew the elastic and ribbon in! I understand why (personal preferences) but still... I taught my ballerina how to do it on her own REAL quick. Lol.
    MILgymFAM likes this.
  12. Well I'm a dancer and I see on elastic to keep the shoe in place then the ribbon looks pretty and helps the shoe stay on. I use a slightly stretchy ribbon but honestly idrk, it just looks pretty and feels good[emoji23]
  13. For looks and tradition, technically they COULD keep the shoes on with just the elastics... The ribbons do hold the heel on better while en pointe in most cases.
    DD has always sewn her own, if you are old enough to get pointe shoes, you are old enough to sew them.:)
    Some dancers sew the elastic in a criss cross, others do not (depends on foot shape etc). Some dancers prefer elastic drawstrings around the shoe, some use cotton. DD always uses slightly elastic ribbons (the kind that still looks like satin) but some prefer the traditional kind, yet others use satin ribbons that have small elastic sections sewn to the ends.
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