Ballerinas: En Pointe
“En Pointe” means to dance on the tips of the toes. When ballerinas dance en pointe, they wear specially-made pointe shoes that support their feet and toes. They keep these in place with ribbon. A ballerina depends on her pointe shoes to be extremely sturdy. Pointe shoes are made from cloth and glue and baked hard in a special oven. The tip of the shoe is a rigid box made of densely packed layers of fabric, cardboard and/or paper. The shoes are covered in pink satin and dyed different colors to match the ballerina’s costume. Pointe shoes should be fitted to the shape of the ballerina’s foot. On average, these shoes cost between $45 and $120 per pair, but most dancers pay $65-$75 for a pair of pointe shoes.
Ballerinas first started to dance en pointe over 150 years ago. The age to start dancing en pointe is usually not before 11 years old, although some ballet teachers rely on ability, not age. Whatever age a dancer is when she first puts on her pointe shoes, I am sure she feels like she is floating on air. Beverly