Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ordering Shoes

Belinda's planning for next season's pointe shoe needs. Actually, many of the orders have been placed already (due to the long wait for delivery, we must plan way ahead in order to ensure we have steady supply), but for the new dancers joining the company, apprentices, and those of us that are changing our orders, it's time to strategize. Since I missed the last two programs of last season I still have a good number of shoes left over, but they are an assortment of different makers because of having to drop my previous stalwart, Mr. Club. Before I got injured we'd ordered trials (2 or 3 pairs) in several different makers to determine which one I'd be comfortable wearing consistently. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to try out those shoes as they arrived, having one foot in a cast and all...

Now that I'm working my way back into the studio I've been trying out a couple of the new makers so I can tell Belinda which ones to order for me. There's a minimum of four months to wait for an order to come in, so even what we put in for now won't arrive until Nutcracker. Some makers take as long as seven months, meaning orders placed now will only help out for the latter part of the 2008-09 season.

I've settled so far on O and V and have research to do on a handful of others. The numbers are staggering, as I wrote about earlier--- 20-25 pairs are ordered in a batch, and usually about 100 per season per dancer, more or less. The dollar amounts are eye-popping.

Off I go to prepare a new pair to try out tomorrow. Even after a few months off, sewing pointe shoes is automatic for me-- my hands pretty much do it without thinking. My whole preparation routine takes a maximum of twenty minutes, and that's including breaking, gluing, and sewing.
Step 1: Step on the box to flatten it, bend the shank to loosen the heel nail, pull out the nail with pliers (or fingernails), separate tongue from shank.
Step 2: Tape the cloth insole back down to the shank so it doesn't roll up under my foot and cause blisters.
Step 3: Squirt glue into the tip.
Step 4: Sew on ribbons and elastic.
Step 5: Squeeze foot into shoe, go to rehearsal. (Make sure the glue is dry first).

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