Ballet dancers wear different kind of shoes. These shoes help them to stand on their feet. They are called ballet shoes or ballet slippers. They are made of thin material due to which their feet remain flexible and easy. They are fit and elastic. They have bands that has to be tied in a criss-cross manner. On the basis of material there are three types of ballet shoes:
- Silk ballet shoes
- Canvas ballet shoes, and
- Leather ballet shoes.
Silk ballet shoes are expensive. They are worn at the time of performances. Canvas shoes are cheap. Yet, the two can worn off easily. Leather shoes are cheap and they can used for longer time period.
Ballet shoes are different from pointe shoes. Ballet shoes are usually skin colored so that it would seem that dancers are dancing with shoes. Yet, it doesn’t mean that they don’t come in colours. I many performances, men ballet dancers wear black shoes while female have pink ballet slippers.
The shoes are not easy to make. It takes four days to make a single pair. They are made differently because dancers have different shape of feet because of their moves. Therefore, the makers have to keep different models and provide them custom ballet slippers. Usually, the dancers wear them with ballet tights or legwarmers to keep their muscles relaxed during practice. The moves of them and their position’s purpose is to show off their shoes.
Marie Camargo was the first dancer who wore ballet shoes. At that time- in 15th century, ballet shoes used to have short heel. The shoes were expensive as they were made of silk and soft leather. The lady wore a small skirt so that her shoes could be seen. She was performer at Paris Opera during French Revolution.
Charles Didelot was the first man who gave the concept of flat ballet shoes. They were made of satin that had sole of leather. They had ribbons to ties them but they did not provide support to feet.
August Bournonville was the first person who created male ballet shoes. They had V shape. They were black in colour.
So, this is the basic information and history of ballet shoes. Ballet shoes, leg warmers and ballet leotards are needs of ballet dancer. Without them, they cannot dance well and gracefully.