When fitting all dancers, including beginners, Russian Pointe suggests focusing first on selecting the properly fitting toe platform, size, width, and vamp, and then choosing the shank. Many professional instructors favor lighter shanks for beginners. Lighter shanks allow beginners to experience roll-through and develop foot strength without over-reliance on the shoe as a prop. All dancers should learn that pointe shoes are meant to provide support, but that strength in the feet must be developed from the beginning if proper technique is to be achieved. Even in the first year, however, different dancers have different needs. For example, a dancer with very strong, high arches may require a stronger shank as a beginner than a dancer with flatter arches. Ultimately, shank choice for beginners is the same as for more advanced dancers: choose the shank that best matches the dancer’s needs. The right shank strength provides adequate support while allowing proper placement on full pointe and the desired level of flexibility for roll-through.
Soft - S