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On your toes: pros' tips on pointe shoe accessories.

Finding the right pointe shoe accessories, like finding your second position, takes practice. What you choose can make a big difference in the way you look and feel on pointe. The ideal products should protect your toes without too much bulk and streamline your look. For the minimalist, a little padding will do. Kansas City Ballet mistress Lisa Thorn says that too many products can weigh you down. She likes a little bit of padding in the lip of the toe. Gel pads that can be cut down to any size are perfect. If you like a little more between you and your box, try Pillows For Pointes update of the classic lamb's wool toe pads. They're thinner so you can feel the floor and they have a neat gel tip for extra cushioning. Corps member Melissa Hough from Boston Ballet suggests letting your shoes breathe in a mesh bag to help them dry out and re-harden. New ribbons add extra flexibility and support for lacing up the leg, and mesh elastic blends seamlessly with tights while helping the shoe to fit more snugly. Here are a few favorite items (with their suggested retail prices). Have fun; In/them out. Then, decide whether you're a pointe shoe minimalist, or if you prefer to stylize to the max.

1 PRIMA SOFT Extension Stretch Ribbon #PSSR $5 215.572.5177 www.prima-soft.com

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2 PILLOWS FOR POINTES Gel Tip Toe Pillows #GTTP $11 800.269.3844 www.pillowsforpointes.com

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3 FREED OF LONDON Jet Glue 2 oz. #JET764 $15 1 oz. #JET763 $10 866.693.7333 www.freedoflondon.com

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4 BLOCH Covert Elastic #A0185 $2 800.942.5624 www.blochworld.com

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5 EUROTARD Pointe Comfort #990 (blue) $23 Pointe comfort Ultra Lite #990 (clear) $24 Ask for them at your favorite dance store. www.eurotard.com

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6 POINTE BLEUE Professional Dance Gauze No, 5 $11.95 866.TOE.TAPE www.pointebleue.com

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6 GAYNOR MINDEN Vamp Elastic $5 "Invisible" Elastic $3 For a retailer near you: www.dancer.com

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8 BUNHEADS Shank Tacks #BH450 $2.50 Stitch Kit #BH350(pink) #BH351 (black) #BH352(white) $6 For a retailer near you: www.bunheads.com

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9 DANZTECH Blister-Aid Kit $14 SoftSpacers $8 For a retailer near you: www.danztech.com

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10 CAPEZIO Pointe Shoe Covers #TC $8.50 800.533.1887 www.capeziodance.com

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Article Details
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Author:Freese, Julie
Publication:Dance Magazine
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
Words:410
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