How to Tell if Your Pointe Shoes Are Dead

It’s important to know when your pointe shoes are dead and in need of replacing to avoid injury. This is more important when you are just starting out on pointe as your pointe shoes will probably last longer when you start out. Once you start using your shoes more you will get through a lot more pairs and will know when your pointe shoes are getting close to being dead.

dead pointe shoes

Here are a few of the tell tail signs of when your pointe shoes have no more dance left in them:

  • If you are starting to feel the floor through your shoes when you’re on pointe it is definitely time to get a new pairdead shoes
  • The box begins to feel soft and not very supportive
  • The shank is no longer supportive or does not feel as supportive as it used to

There are other things to look out for that could mean your shoes are ready for renewal as well such as:

  • Feeling pain in areas you do not normally feel pain in
  • Being unable to push over the box correctly
  • Unable to stay on pointe when balancing or turning

Remember, these are not the only signs to look out for. If your box or shank becomes damaged or cracked in anyway you should look into getting a new pair. Also, don’t rely on the shank to tell you when your shoes are dead. The box is just as important in supporting your foot. Both the shank and the box should be giving you support and if one isn’t it’s time for some new pointe shoes.

Have a look at my other post to see what you can do to look after your shoes and extend their life for as long as possible.

 

The Art of Auditioning

Dance-Audition-
Many dancers of all ages will more than likely experience an audition at some point. Even if you don’t dance with the intention  of becoming a professional and just do it as a hobby. Going to as many auditions as possible is very important, even if you aren’t focusing on a professional career. If you get the job you’ve auditioned for it’s an incredible opportunity and will be a lot of fun. If you don’t get it then it will give you the experience you need to improve for your next audition. Experiencing dance auditions can also help you when you come to do an interview for other jobs. Just talking to someone will seem like a piece of cake when you have performed a routine you have only just learnt in front of a group of strangers.

audition

 

I’m going to give you 10 tips on how to: prepare for and perform at an audition.

 

 

1. Breakfast – It doesn’t matter how nervous you are feeling, make sure you have breakfast. Even if it’s the last thing on your mind. Also, make sure you have it early enough, if your audition is in the morning you don’t want to be dancing on a full stomach.

2. Appearance – Just as you are expected to dress smart to an interview, you are expected to be dressed appropriately for an audition. This means more than just making sure you’re in your dance clothes. Your hair should be neat and off your face, males should be well groomed and females should keep make up to a minimum, you want to enhance your features but not look like you’ve painteauditionsd your make-up on. Finally, try and make sure your dance wear shows off your physic. If you are wearing a leotard for example, thin straps often look better than thick straps and bright colours will make you stand out, helping you stay in the judges memory.

3. Stay Focused – Combinations will be taught quickly so it’s important to focus on what you are being told so you can pick it up. Watch/listen carefully to what the choreographer wants including the style and copy it.

4. Think Dance Etiquette – Think about how you’re expected to act in a class, this will show respect to both the other people auditioning and the judges. Just to jog your memory on what not to do here is a short list: don’t sit down unless you are told to, don’t talk, don’t lean on the barre or the walls, make sure your phone is turned off and clap for the other performers when they are finished dancing.

5. Do Not Copy! – Remember to think for yourself, you don’t want to be copying the person in front of you. If you end up copying the person in front, when you perform in smaller groups this will become obvious. Ignore the other candidates and pretend they aren’t there, this will help you pick up the combination and focus on your own technique.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up – If you are unsure on a step because to cannot hear the choreographer or cannot see what is being shown to you ask if you can move. They would rather you ask questions than copy off someone else. You will often find you aren’t the only one asking questions, and listening to other questions being asked may help you.

7. Be Confident – Always have a smile on your face and try your best. Even if your performance isn’t spot on the panel will appreciate that you are putting the effort in. Which can be more beneficial than having perfect technique while looking miserable. If you look confident in what you do, the audience will think you are performing well.

8. Be Considerate – When other groups are performing be aware of where you are standing. Always stand at the side, out of the way of the performance space. Also it is very important to stay warmaudition-2 and mark through the steps, however do not distract the other group by dancing full out at the side, not only will this wear you out but will also distract everyone else in the room. And never ever ever talk during other performances!

9. At the End of Your Dance – At the end of your performance, remain on your spot until one of the judges says thank you. Remember to control your breathing as well, you will be out of breath and want to collapse on the floor but instead, walk or run off calmly and beautifully.

10. Reflect – No matter how well the audition went, whether you got through or not, always reflect back on the audition. This will help you understand what went well and what didn’t go so well meaning you won’t make the same mistakes again, which will help you improve your performance.