Last Night...

...was AMAZING! The girls and I went and saw Sex and The City in awesome style... meaning, we were drunk. haha. 
We went to dinner first and had a total of 13 martinis and 10 shots. Then it was off to the theater where we waited in a massive line filled with girls and women and even a few guys. It was a pretty amazing sight. I don't think I've ever seen that many girls in my life!
The movie was awesome. I loved it! I totally annoyed my best friend Sascha by yelling out the names of the designers of every shoe that passed by on the screen. It was pretty hilarious. 

Anyway, I totally recommend it to any SATC lovers. It wont disappoint. CHEERS!

Skip Anderson: Selling in the Home: 9 Sales Tips

Skip Anderson: Selling in the Home: 9 Sales Tips

Some advice for sales men and women. Recommends that sales people should remove their shoes when entering homes.

In Honor of Tonight's Opening of Sex And The City!

Here are some of my very favorite Carrie pics:

This is one of my very favorite outfits Carrie ever wore! I love all the color and the girlyness of it all. L-O-V-E the shoes too!

Remember these shoes!? "Hello Lover!"... These were the the first Christian Louboutins I'd ever seen. I've never been the same since ;)

Aaaah... A girl who can understand my obsession with shoes! I always had a soft spot for Carrie. She's a shoe girl, and any friend of shoes is a friend of mine. ;)

I have made a few changes

I hope you all like the changes I have made to the template of the blog.

Global: Are you smarter than a Finnish 5th Grader?

Global: Are you smarter than a Finnish 5th Grader?

This article attributes the intelligence of Finnish school children to the fact that they are generally shoeless in the classroom.

I only spent three days in Finland, but I absolutely loved that country.


Although I am a Fundamentalist Christian, paganism does have a certain appeal to me. Maybe it is all the pagan music I enjoy listening. I suppose if I was not a Chritian, I might have become a pagan. Though I do not know if that would fit in with my pro-business, pro-technology views.

I remember reading on a discussion forum that a pagan priestess (Wicca I think) required visitors to her home to remove their shoes.

I don't know how common having a shoes-off rule is amongst pagans, but I can imagine it would fit in well with their emphasis on the sacredness of space and location.


So I remember these sandals from a few years ago, so I guess Giuseppe Zanotti loves them so much he made them again. I didn't like them then and I don't like them now. I mean, who wants to wear a dead fish on their feet? And for $795 none the less. I'm not a big fan of shiny rhinestone shoes. It's all too Stuart Weitzman for my liking. Blah.
I dunno, am I missing something here?? Does anyone like this?

On a side note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY BENJAMIN! You are the best husband that ever husbanded. ;) I'm so lucky.

So Cute!

So check out these adorable canvas wedges by Castaner! They're so cute and right for Summer. I was so excited when I saw these because I actually went to shoe design school in Milan with the guy who's father started the company. Castaner is their family name, and the guy I went to school with, Rafael, was studying design in order to carry on the family business. How cool is that!?

Castaner has been credited as the company responsible for bringing the espadrille to fashion. In the mid-sixties YSL featured a pair of Castaner's high heeled espadrilles on their runway. Before that, espadrilles were considered a country folk shoe. Pretty awesome, huh?

Housewarming Party


If you are moving into a new house or apartment and you want to make a clean start and have a no-shoes rule, you have an ideal opportunity to kick it off with an housewarming party.

The best thing to do is to indicate clearly on invitations that you will be requiring shoes-off. That way people will have no surpises. They can bring slippers, wear clean socks with no holes or a floaty skirt that looks great with barefeet (Trinny and Susanah actually recommend that hostesses of dinner parties should wear a long skirt with barefeet or slippers).

Having an housewarming party is such an excellent way to send the message that your new house will be a shoe-free zone. Even those of your friends who do not come will see on the invitation that you want shoes-off.

Requiring shoes-off at a housewarming party sends the message that you are really serious about the rule and that it is not just an exception for a wet winter evening. After all, some people with shoeless homes actually make an exception and allow shoes-on in parties. However, having shoes-off at an housewarming makes it clear that you want the house to stay as it was when you bought it.

Ok, ONE More Post Before I Go to Bed...

'cause you know I'm not posting tomorrow. I'll be too busy pigging out on BBQ.

So I got a question from an anonymous blog reader about how many pairs of shoes I own. So I decided to answer in a post.

anonymous said...
Just curious, how many pairs of shoes do you own?
I'm sure your collection surpasses mine by millions lol!

Ok, so my answer is that I'm not sure. The last time I counted was over a year ago and I was at about 200. I've moved since then and have a few (6-7) large boxes filled with shoes with fates waiting to be determined. Do I keep them? Do I give them to those who could give them a better life? Those who would love and appreciate them more than I could? 
I'm thinking of selling them. Most of them anyway. I have too many, if there is such a thing. That picture up top is of my old shoe closet in my condo, before I was married. It was 300 sq ft. of shoes. I was no Imelda Marcos, but it was amazing. Now, there's a lot less room and it's time to make some sacrifices.

Anyway, when I decide to put them up I'll let you all have first dibs. I'm an 8 1/2, sometimes 9. I've got some goodies. ;)

Lookie Lookie...

So back to Bakers one more time. SJP has been seen running around the set of SATC in this awesome Dior shoe and whadda ya know, Bakers has it covered already. And for only $69.95.

These look like they might be super cheap looking in person. It says that it's leather though, so maybe not? Anyway- just wanted to end the weekend with a nice little treat. Oh but WAIT! It's a long weekend! Yippee! Even better treat.

Enjoy your holiday :)

Another Blatant Knockoff...

It's incredible that I didn't know about all this before.  Maybe I did know and I just turned a blind eye? I mean, considering that our sister company who shares an office building with us makes shoes for Bakers, I had to have known, right?

This is a complete knockoff of my Spring favorite... the YSL Tribute sandal. I finally broke down and bought them in navy patent btw... I must have bad shoe karma! Seriously you guys. This shoe is almost totally indistinguishable as a knockoff, other than the thick rubber outsole (gross)whick you won't find on the original. Unlike with the Louboutin knockoffs, there is no signature red sole to separate the real from the fake. 

I can't decide! Is this a good thing? At only $79.95 is this the way to bring high fashion footwear to the masses? Is this how to get them out of crocs and Payless shoes? Or is this just effing it up for those of us who appreciate a well made, overpriced, beautiful designer shoe???

I'm starting to feel dizzy with all this designer knock-offery. I think I need to sit down.

My Sandal of the Day...

I just bought these on Wednesday and wore them today for the first time. I LOVE these sandals! The color is a perfect neutral that goes with anything and the dark brown snake on the insole makes it sexy and sophisticated. This may become my favorite sandal to wear all summer. 

It's funny because I thought these were cute, but not really my style... until of course I saw miss Gwen Stefani wearing them in a paparazi shot and I realized how amazing they look. Hahaha! I'm so lame. Oh well. Hey, at least Gwen wears the shoes of her namesake, unlike OTHER celebs with their own shoe lines. Eh-hem.

Anyway, you can find them on line or in stores at Nordstrom. I highly recommend them. :) I'm pretty sure Gwen does too.

You Guys Have to See This...

The Shoe Girl Blog reader Margaret just sent this over to me and I just have to share with you guys! 

The wonderful people who brought us Crocs have decided to become shoe designers. Yep... they've launched a "fashion" line called YOU by crocs. According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, they launched it a year ago, but this is the first I've heard of it.

Now I'd be lying if I said they were all hideous.  There are a couple of styles that I wouldn't kick out of bed, but still- crocs??? I just can't support them! I am surprised to see that they did an ok job. But then again, I am looking at their spring/summer collection which consists mostly of flat sandals and wedges, which aren't the hardest things to design. 

I don't know. I hate comfort brands in general, especially designs by Taryn Rose which are SO ugly and are at a high end design price point. I mean, comfort at a low price I get. But $400+ on a shoe that looks like an orthopedic shoe with a mid-heel? No thanks.

I'm going to stick with a NO for this new brand, but that's just for me. I won't judge those who decide to wear them. I will however, continue to judge those of you who wear crocs... especially those who wear crocs with socks... although I'd like to think that none of MY readers would be caught dead in them. ;)

Maybe I Spoke Too Soon?

Ok so I'm kind of pissed off right now. As part of my new "buying cheaper shoes" experiment I was browsing Steve Madden's online store when I saw these. WTF? Direct knockoff of the Balenciaga boots... which I own thank-you-very-much Mr. Steve "I've served time in prison" Madden!!!

I'm sorry, I mean, getting a knockoff that looks almost as good as the real thing for like, a thousand dollars less is amazing- but it RUINS it for those with the real thing!! It's like, what's the point of having the real thing!? Obviously the Balenciaga boots have amazing details and hardware compared to this one, but still.  

What do you guys think? Knockoff handbags are tacky as hell- unless of course you get a REALLY good one. Is it the same for shoes? Where do we draw the line?

Turning Over a New Leaf...

So, I've decided that in order to be a better wife through these difficult financial times, I should get over myself and take a peek at what's out there BESIDES overpriced designer shoes. I looked at many sites for the first time ever, including Nine West (where I made my first ever purchase!) and ALDO. Now, don't get me wrong... I still lust after my designer favorites, it's just that these are so much more practical! 

I can't believe I'm writing this, but it's true. So check out this super cute wedge that I found at ALDO. ON SALE even. Crazy! A cute shoe under $100?? True story. These wedges are a recession friendly $79.98. How could hubby get mad at that? ;)

How To Improve The Basics Of Pirouettes For Pointe Shoe Exercises

The basics of classical ballet technique need to be thoroughly understood to build strength for pirouettes, and later for ballet classes in pointe shoes. Knowing the finer details of your daily routines gives you an extra advantage to the use of your core muscles in stabilizing your ballet positions and movements.

First a quick review of some basics that will help you make progress toward pointe work, good pirouettes and doing well dancing the kind of roles in ballet recitals you would like:

1. Is your postural plumb line correct in your fifth position standing with straight legs?

2. Do you maintain your postural plumb line and turn out when you demi plie in fifth or fourth position?

3. Do you have a relaxed neck for good spotting?

4. Do you maintain the placement of your hips in your retire position?

5. Can you releve straight up and balance there?

6. Can you keep the foot muscles engaged when you descend back to your landing position so that you land softly into a controlled demi plie?

If any of the above are non-existent or weak, pick the most basic and do a practice routine to correct it. Ask your teacher or a class buddy to help you until it is 100% correct.

If you tip to either side when you releve, check to see if your core muscles are not holding, or if loss of turnout on one side tips you. Also check to see if your arms are closing too forcefully and knocking you off balance.

Doing a series of quarter, half, then whole turns (once you've corrected the basics) without any arms at all gives you the right feeling for more effortless pirouettes. Put your hands on your shoulders or hips and just turn from the force of pushing up out of the demi plie and the working leg turning out as you place it into retire and begin the turn. You'll get around.

For pirouettes en dedans, you've got the force of the working leg pushing off and coming up to retire and the supporting leg turning out as you start the turn, to get around at least once with no arms needed.

The other issue is hopping towards the end of a turn, or throughout. If this happens, try getting a feeling of pushing down through the supporting leg into the floor as you pull up your core muscles and leg muscles. Connect with the floor, even get an idea of drilling down into the floor - use the image to keep you grounded. And check all your basics to see what you are compensating for.

This should help you in how to improve the basics of classical ballet technique for pirouettes. Enjoy! They're fun.

Go here for info on how to prepare for pointe and improve your pirouettes!

It is nice to be noticed

This blog got linked in a Greek-speaking discussion forum.

If anybody knows Greek you might find that interesting. If they are saying anything obscene, please let me know and I will delete the link.

Wicked Local Wenham: Check your shoes at the door

Wicked Local Wenham: Check your shoes at the door

I do want to say that I do not advocate Organic food, something this article encourages.

Getting fussy about definitions

What is a no-shoes home?

A no-shoes home is a home in which there is a strong and manifested expectation that persons entering remove their shoes.

You do not have a no-shoes home if you only ask family and very close friends to take their shoes-off.

You do not have a no-shoes home if you would like people to take their shoes off, but you never ask them to do so.


You still have a no-shoes home if you make exceptions for the elderly, infirm, workmen, occasional refuseniks and others.

You still have a no-shoes home if you live in a country where removing shoes is the norm and would never need to ask.

Men In Ballet - How To Get The Most Out Of Your Foot's Demi Pointe - And Then Your Pointe Shoes

I am going to cover a few of the finer details in strengthening, stretching, and maintaining your foot mechanics, and health. You want to get the most out of the joints and muscles that you have in your foot for your demi pointe. If you are among the men in ballet, you may choose to try some work in pointe shoes.

I'm not referring to demi-pointe shoes in the title above, but your own demi pointe, your foot.

Whether male or female, I recommend that you view some drawing or x-ray of an ankle joint, and the foot bones. It is good to know what is under your skin.

If your ankle joint is flexible enough for you to point a straight line, or more, you can probably get up onto demi pointe so that your toes are a ninety degree angle to your instep.

If you do not have this ninety degree angle, first you can work on the big toe joint. There is a muscle going under the big toe that can be gently massaged and stretched. Just working this joint can get you a gain on the angle you need to be fully on demi pointe, and therefore able to complete the postural plumb line of the body. That means getting the metatarsal joints under your ankle joint, regardless of how the arch in between shows up curve-wise.

To maximize the ankle joint flexibility, consider the tension that builds up in the tibial, or shin muscles, practicing ballet, that could detract from your ankle joint flexibility. This tension can be released, daily, with the help of a soft rubber ball. Kneel, then sit back on your feet, making sure there is no inward sickle. Roll the rubber ball just below the knee joint, into the top of the shin muscle. Lean on it, easing down the leg. Press into the tender spots until you feel some tension release. Don't lean too heavily on it, it is just to get a release of the tension.

Get all the way down to the ankle joint. You have now resolved some of the work-related tension and can do a stretch for the top of the ankle/foot area. Place the ball under the foot above the metatarsal joints (and you can do more than one spot here), between the big toe and second toe, and you'll feel a wonderful stretch. You can move the ball a little more in between the second and third metatarsal area, only if it does not cause the foot to sickle. And stretch again, gently holding the stretch for 10 seconds at first. You can increase the hold time, but not to the point of pain.

Then start on the other leg. I have Deborah Vogel to thank for that rubber ball use and foot stretch.

Using a rubber ball or a golf ball on the sole of the foot releases tension in those muscles. Roll it and push gently. You don't want to exert too much pressure on the foot joints, just feel for tension release. Do this daily, or after every class.

Soaking your feet in warm water and Epsom Salts or mineral salt (sea salt) and then icing tired and aching foot muscles is a treatment your feet deserve.

Especially if you plan to dance classical ballet in pointe shoes, attend to these few daily routines. They are not pampering, but needed care for all women and men in ballet.

Click here for a resource on ballet wear, pointe shoes, ballet technique articles and The Perfect Pointe Book.

New Layout...

You guys like?? Ben made me a new header and a new background but I can't for the life of me figure out how to change the freaking background!!! So annoying.
Anybody have any tips for me? 

Thanks! ;)



I am always a little surprised when I see children wearing shoes at home, whether on television or in person. It surprises me because when I was a child, my parents expected me to remove my shoes at the door. When I visited my friends' homes, their parents often expected me to take my shoes off. So it always seems a little strange when I see children keeping their shoes on at home.

The practise of removing shoes was expected until I reached the age of about 12. My parents became less stringent about it as I got older. Occasionally this house rule would be revived in later years. It was restored when I was 21 when my parents and I moved to a house with cream carpets, though they were not consistent in keeping to it.

There are some homes, in the UK, where the hosts will expect the children of guests to remove their shoes, but would not expect it of adult guests. Some guests will insist that their children remove their shoes without removing their own. I can understand why some people may be more concerned about children's shoes; children do tend to be less careful about what they step in and are more likely to run around in long and wet grass. However, adults should never forget that their own shoes pick up an awful lot of less noticeable dirt. There is also the fact that children learn to follow rules better when adults act consistently. There is a certain amount of 'do as I say, not do as I do' in the requirement of shoes-off for children only.

Some childcare experts are of the opinion that children should wear shoes to the minimum necessary and therefore recommend shoes-off indoors for health reasons.

Fit Flops???

"When the FitFlop launched in London in 2007 it became an instant hit and sold 18,000 pairs in three days. These sporty go-anywhere sandals - the brainchild of Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore and Dr. Dave Cook - are engineered to tone and trim your legs as you walk. Described as 'a flip flop with a built in gym,' fans of the innovative fitness footwear include Hollywood style-setter Mischa Barton." -net a porter

So what do YOU think about this "fit" footwear? Would you wear them if they really helped tone your legs??

Putting shoes in a basket?

Some writers who advocate adopting a shoes-off policy suggest that you should leave a nice basket by the door, in which guests can put their shoes. They hold that this is a really nice gesture.

I am grateful to these writers for advocating the no-shoes rule, but I fail to see what the big deal is with putting shoes in a basket. Is this a lady thing?

Film Premier Benefits One World Running

Sunday, May 25th, 2 screenings: 2:00 or 6:00 @ Boulder Theater

Dorst Media Works presents:

Get inspired for the Bolder Boulder and benefit One World Running
(, a local nonprofit that collects and donates
new and "near-new" athletic gear & shoes to Africa, Haiti and Central
America! Join filmmaker Steve Dorst and hundreds of runners for the
World Premier of Volcanic Sprint -- a documentary film featuring one
of the toughest foot races in the world, straight up and down the
10,000 vertical feet on Mt. Cameroon, a live volcano. Watch the
triumph and trials of ordinary farmers who risk it all for glory --
and the grand prize worth four years of salary. Please bring along a
pair of running shoes you no longer need and One World Running will
pass them along to someone in Africa who could use them.

Here is what elite athletes think of the film:

"Volcanic Sprint is a compelling look into the deep personal stories
that unfold through sport. It also brings light to the immense impact
competition can have on the lives of people who have very little in
the way of material possessions, and how it can bring both hope and
devastation when the dry reality of "one champion" works to fulfill
the destiny of some and crush the dreams of others. A must see. "-Mark
Allen, 6 Time Ironman Triathlon World Champion

"This movie captures the competitiveness, danger, and heroism of the
world's most difficult marathon." -Deena Kastor, US marathon record


Sunday, May 25th, 2 screenings: 2:00 or 6:00 @ Boulder Theater
Limited Tickets: $15.00 @

I Can't Believe I'm Doing This...

Remember those Balenciaga wedges we saw celebs rockin on red carpets? Well............... I found a pretty good knockoff at an unexpected place. I can't even believe I'm going to say this, but check out the Nine West version! I personally have never owned a pair of Nine West shoes, so this will be my first. They're only $89 too!!! Can't beat that ;)

They're backordered because the demand is so high. I believe it, these shoes are seriously cute and SO close to the original. Yippee!

Downtown Dashers - Greensboro, NC

The Dashers, based out of the downtown YMCA, collected shoes last summer, and again in the fall. Kudos to Naomi Ballen, for organizing the collections, to Bryan James and Hughes Metalworks for shipping the shoes. Now we all have runners to train with in Greensboro!

Parent Volunteers Can Help With Natural Stage Fright Before Ballet Recitals

Parent volunteers for ballet recitals are the support every ballet academy needs. Sewing tutus, dyeing pointe shoes, help in the dressing room with hair and makeup, are the many tasks that need to be done. The excitement of performing sometimes becomes fear - a natural stage fright that some children need help with.

If your young ballerina, tap dancer or hip-hop performer starts to express more anxiety than excitement there are ways to help.

Firstly, you may be hearing expressions of natural stage fright, which almost everyone feels when the reality of opening night strikes - even if just for a few moments.

If you have a child that worries, let her/his teacher know that he/she needs encouragement as well as corrections. Remind your child of compliments regarding their dancing you may have overheard from the studio or stage area.

Some dance teachers like to provide each student with the music of their dances, so that they can practice mentally. When they are resting with their sore feet up at home, they can visualize and feel themselves performing, applying their corrections over and over. The earlier they learn this the better. It is a method that actually helps develop neural pathways and better performance. This is a great way to increase confidence, without getting exhausted, or spraining and straining muscles.

Having a couple of soft ice packs handy at home eases aches and pains.

For older children, remind them about good nutrition. While a lot of sugar can be a tranquilizer, it also weakens the muscles. And for many children sugar is an irritant and increases nervousness.

Fruit is a wonderful source of the minerals that get lost in excessive perspiring....and that, along with good water, is something that students can have with them during long rehearsal days. Replacing minerals and staying hydrated (frequent sips, don't wait until your throat is dry) also helps prevent muscle spasms.

Backstage volunteers can help by remaining cheerful and calm no matter what happens. If a child freezes up in the wings, deep breathing can remedy it. Practicing deep breathing is a good idea during staging rehearsals, while kids are in the wings waiting for their entrances.

Speaking of waiting... modern theaters are often chilly with air conditioning. Your child will need leg warmers, even sweats, to keep their muscles warm during the staging rehearsals.

Having them ready with everything they will need in the dressing room, with some Band Aids, a sewing kit, extra hair pins and nets - anything that could be suddenly required - will reassure a worrier that all angles are covered. Aside from that, it is a good professional habit to ingrain in aspiring dancers.

Natural stage fright turns into exhaltation when the performances are done and well received - and hopefully that won't wear off for a while. And parent volunteers get to share that with the joy of seeing their child close a year of hard work at the barre by getting to dance for you!

Go here for professional books on nutrition for dancers, ballet wear and pointe shoes, and tons of technical advice.

Another One Bites the Dust...

Ok, one more bad shoe and then we'll get positive again. I've seen this shoe while out shopping and I just don't get it. I understand that designers are doing different and interesting things with heels, but this is just stupid. It looks weird and seems like it would be really uncomfortable! I'm ok with uncomfortable shoes in he form of high heels... I mean, I almost expect it- but in a one inch heel? No bueno. Especially from Jil Sander who I usually love. 

Smelly Feet


The issue of 'smelly feet' is often raised as an argument against the Shoes-Off rule.

In Western society there seems to be a lot of paranoia about the phenomena of 'smelly feet'. I think this is simply a result of people not removing their shoes very often. Your feet will actually smell a lot less if you remove your shoes regularly. It is unfortunate that we in Britain have not yet reached the civilised heights of Finland, where it is acceptable to remove shoes in business meetings and on trains (not that people do not do so in Britain, but it is frowned upon somewhat).

Nevertheless, I think most people worry too much about this issue. People imagine their feet smell far more than they actually do. I have met very few people who let off much of an aroma after removing their shoes, and most of them were people who did not wash and change their socks regularly.

If people know in advance that they need to remove their shoes, they can make sure they wear clean socks, or even better, bring slippers with them. If they are especially worried about it, they can use some of those fancy foot deoderents.

Feet wil smell a lot less if people wear sandals. Sneakers are best avoided in favour of leather shoes.

Some people will say 'I would rather put up with a dirty floor than people's smelly feet.' Well, I guess people decide on their own priorities. However, stinking feet will leave with the guests. A dirty floor will not. Nor will the dust they brought in on their shoes, and that is very bad for your health.

Technique For Pointe Work - Including For Men In Ballet

There are several famous male ballet dancers who have practiced classical ballet in pointe shoes. Some required it in their roles - for example, for the donkey Bottom in A Midsummers Night's Dream. Some choreographers have put on pointe shoes in order to empathize with their ballerinas. And many men in ballet want to take advantage of the opportunity to stretch their ankles and build strength.

I know many dance teachers would love to see some boys/men in ballet take pointe classes. Men in ballet actually can get exactly the right fit in pointe shoes, or let's say most can.

Why would men want to put on pointe shoes and do those cruel-looking exercises?

Some men in ballet might have the ambition of getting into Les Trocs (Les Ballets Trockaderos du Monte Carlo, all men, many ballerina roles). Pointe work is an absolute necessity.

The majority of men in ballet do not have the mobile ankles that typically females have. A high curve, or ANY curve on the top of the ankle and instep is a plus, to meet the ballet fashion.

Female dance students quickly learn how to use pointe shoes to stretch the top of the ankle and instep, if they need more flexibility in the ankles. In second position, rise onto pointe, and plie, allowing the weight to go over the platform of the pointe shoe. If the ankle is not flexible, the weight of the body, supported by the pointe shoe, gives it a fabulous stretch.

And to build strength, if ankle flexibility is sufficient, rise onto pointe, and plie but stay on the platform of the shoe. This requires restraining the ankle joint and holding it exactly where you want it. For ballerinas, this is a requirement for control in general, and a necessity for the repetitive tiny hops on pointe found in classical ballet choreography.

While there are perfectly good exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet without using pointe shoes, basic exercises on pointe are excellent for strengthening the feet. I recommend strengthening the feet before going onto pointe, but keep it up once you have started pointe classes. A simple exercise like rising onto pointe, slowly pressing down to demi pointe (as opposed to dropping down) and then pressing back up onto full pointe, will build strength. Adding repetitions as you can, you will develop strength and control.

Getting back to men in ballet - you will need to learn all about foot and toe types, and all the tips and tricks of toe leveling, toe spacers, and toe padding. Avoid dancing in pain! You are surrounded by experts - all the girls you study with!

I think many boys and men in ballet need to hear it from their teachers - that this would be a good idea! Not for the lucky men with the hyper-mobile arches, necessarily. Even for them, however, it would introduce an understanding of what ballerinas need, to check out the delicate balance that men learn to support, as a partner.

If you are among the men in ballet and already learning technique for pointe work - good for you!

Go here for more information on excelling at pointe work and all the relevant technique details that you need.

Don't Make the Indian Cry...

Why would you spend $550 or even $450 on a hideous shoe? It doesn't make sense, but those are the price tags. Seriously.

It makes me sad to see a designer brand making such yucky shoes. Both of these beasts come to you from "designer" Robert Clergerie. Thumbs down dude. Thumbs down.

Note to commentors

I value your comments, but please watch your language.

Effect of a heat wave

I take back what I said about flip flops not being so popular.

It only took a heat wave to get nearly half the folks at my church wearing flip flops.

Sexy Python Peep Toes

No, I don't ONLY like Christian Louboutin... it's not my fault that he's so damn good at making sexy shoes. Example? These hot-like-fire super sexy python skin peep toes. You can't buy python in California, (it's illegal to sell any python products in CA) but you can buy them online at Brown's of London

Don't even ask 'cause NO... I won't be buying them. I'll stick them on my wish list to never be fulfilled. If I couldn't afford those cork babies, I surely can't afford these. At a whopping $1,300 I'll have to pass, but for some lucky ladies this shoe will be a great addition to their shoe closet. 

I love how there are hints of pink with the gold. Pink and gold are such a pretty and girly combination. I love the mix of girly and sexy. It's very Lolita, don't you think? They also seem kind of retro Hollywood chic. I could see these on a blonde starlet with fire engine red lips wearing a long cream dress and a pink mink stole on the red carpet. Yes, I am mental.

Anyway, these sweet little girls put a smile on my face so I figured I'd share. I'm sure they'll be dancing around in my dreams like sticky sweet sugarplums. *sigh*

How Can I Improve The Basics Of Pirouette Exercises - Especially In Pointe Shoes?

Even if you are never going to dance ballet in pointe shoes because of gender, casting, dance style or because you are starting ballet at a later age, how to improve pirouettes is important. Pirouettes are fun, showy, and prominent in classical ballet choreography as well as other dance styles.

The postural plumb line is where you start, in looking at what is going to make a pirouette succeed. Firstly, can you stand with good posture?

If so, can you rise up and down, firstly in a cou de pied position, on one leg, without losing your postural plumb line? If so, can you do a series of releves holding a good position, without neck or shoulder strain?

If you do lose it, correct your posture, then see if you lose it going into your demi plie. Is your weight sitting back? Do you lose any placement at the hips? Do you lose any turnout?

If any of the three things above occur, you need to get those fixed and forget about pirouettes until you build strength to maintain the basics of posture, turnout and a correct demi plie. You will still do your pirouettes in your ballet class, but for your daily practice routines, you need a step-by-step approach to get stronger.

If everything is good so far, raise your leg into a retire position and check that no placement gets lost at the hips. If this occurs, you need more stretching in the hip and pelvic area. Or, perhaps you need to rearrange the tension at the hips and you will find that you can get your hips level after all.

While the feeling of the spin is important and not to be lost for the sake of good technique, it is still vital that you be able to do sixteen, twenty-four, and then thirty-two strong releves in retire on both sides, without strain. You need a relaxed neck and shoulders to spot properly in multiple turns.

Especially in pointe shoes, you need to do these repetitive releves, to see that you can stay on one spot and not travel around. If you have trouble with this, use the barre. Check your balance at the bottom of your demi plie, as well as in the releve position. Seeing where your weight wants to go tells you where the weakness, or excess tension is. To build strength is important, and to train the muscle memory properly is too.

The reason why I recommend back-peddling to basic exercises in order to correct or build on an exercise, is because practicing things incorrectly is a waste of time. Asking your teacher for help or getting another student to buddy with you on practicing and correcting each other, is really worth the while.

It is more fun just doing turns, but technical inaccuracies will catch up with you and hold you back. Instantly, when you put on pointe shoes.

On your rest day, be sure to relax, stretch out the tired and tense muscles, using a rubber ball for the tight and tender spots. Ice the sore spots for 15 minutes, two or three times a day.

If you have worked so hard in ballet class or rehearsal that your legs are throbbing, lie down and stick them straight up the wall for a few minutes. It is easy to fall asleep that way...

Whenever you find yourself thinking "how can I improve..." just go back to the basic, slow motion movement to discover what classical ballet principle of technique is missing. Regardless of your dance style, simple ballet exercises done well, build strength. And then it is even more fun.

Click here to get the definitive home practice manual written by an expert dance medicine specialist, The Perfect Pointe Book.

Shoe Dilemma...

Ok people, I need your help!! There's a shoe devil afoot!

I bought these amazing shoes that I just can not afford right now. They're kind of a rip off to be honest. Even for Louboutin. If you haven't seen them already, (check 'um out here) they are a super high florescent pink heel and double platform with a cork upper. 
Now I've never been a huge fan of cork uppers before, but this one is just perfect. Super sexy and fun.

Now the dilemma. They just arrived at my doorstep from the nice people at FedEx. Do I keep them and suffer the financial kick in the ass... or do I do the "right thing" and return them?

Of all the addictions on Earth, WHY must I suffer from such an expensive one? I mean, according to Whitney Houston... crack is cheap. Maybe I'll look into it. I hear it does wonders for your figure.

Tacky? Fabulous? A Little of Both?

So, I always have mixed feelings about bold logo stuff. It seems like, I dunno... almost an overstatement. Like, LOOK! I'm wearing Chanel! Am I cool now!? 

Ok ok, I know I'm a hypocrite because I'm not even going to pretend like I buy those Christian Louboutins for any reason other than the red sole. If it were the shape I was after I'd have gotten the Steve Madden knockoff, right? ;)

But I digress. I do think there is a difference between logo shoes and distinctive shoes. Most logo shoes look tacky to me but for some reason- I love this one. Maybe it's that it is so tacky that it goes back to fabulous? I dunno. It obviously screams Chanel but I think its in a bitchy, sassy way thats a fun play on fashion. What do you guys think?? Come on people, I'm ready for some comments. I'm not writing this blog for myself you know...

Athlete's Foot


An unpleasent fungal infection.

A lot of people mention Athlete's Foot as an argument against people having a shoes-off policy. However, this is a quite unnecessary concern.

Athlete's Foot is generally associated with swimming pools and changing rooms. It is possible to catch Athlete's Foot on one's barefeet at a swimming pool or in a locker room. However, recent research indicates that this is not so likely as was previously thought.

Most importantly, the reason people catch Athlete's Foot in those places is not because people there are barefoot, but because the fungus needs a warm and wet environment. People get exposed to the fungus in the damp conditions. If they fail to dry their feet, the fungus is very comfortable and even more so if the victim puts on sweaty socks.

The fungus will not survive long on the clean, dry floor or carpet of a person's home and so you are very unlikely to catch Athlete's Foot in somebody's house, even if the owner has the condition.

What is more, people who are not wearing socks are likely to put on sandals when they leave, as opposed to closed shoes. Thus, they will not create the right environment for the condition to thrive.

Of course, if you are worried about it, you can always bring some slippers or socks when you visit a shoes-off home.

People who have a shoes-off policy ought to let their visitors know in advance and be willing to lend a pair of clean socks, if not slippers.

Weak Sauce.

So I was at Neiman Marcus the other day when I saw these shoes. If you saw the runway pictures (right) you'll recognize these as a dumbed down version of their runway gladiator sandal. 

Ok, I get it. Designers do this all the time, usually because the runway version is too extreme. I think they did a pretty good job of interpreting the sandal for the masses... BUT... this shoe is over $2,000!!! WTF? How lame is that? Sure there are a lot of details, but two grand? Weak sauce. 

If I'm paying two grand on a shoe, it better make me breakfast or something. Pshhh.

The Technical Cornerstone To Getting Into Pointe Shoes

Is there a technical cornerstone that builds strength toward getting into pointe shoes? If a student of classical ballet has a reasonably suitable physique, a reputable ballet school, and access to at least two classes per week, what might be the key to advancing faster?

If your ballet teacher outlined a customized instruction list for every student in their ballet academy to use for technical priorities, each list would include the basic technical cornerstones of:

***the postural plumb line (involving mechanics) and the exact degree of tension to maintain it (introducing qualities)

***the holding of one's turnout in both position and movement (involving mechanics)

***the shifting of tensions in the demi plie and grand plie while maintaining the postural plumb line and turnout

These three basic aspects of classical ballet technique could be called technical cornerstones. They introduce the mechanics and introduce the qualities that will determine all of your barre work, your center work, and one day - your pointe work!

Being able to exert more effort or tension quickly and then revert to a lesser tension in a beat, requires practice, prediction and musicality. Again, mechanics and quality. For example, more exertion is required in the core muscles for faster tendus than slow, for faster degages than slow. And, faster shifts of tension. All applies to dancing in pointe shoes.

Musicality makes it easier. You are more like a boat going with the current rather than against it.

If you can notice where in the barre work you feel an awkwardness in the shifts of exertion, that is where you need to build strength as a key to YOUR advancing. When I say exertion I do not mean strain or struggle. I mean an increased effort to put into a movement but where you already have enough strength to do it.

I really hope this makes sense because if you can feel this in your work, you will always know exactly what the key to your advancing is. If you are in a large class and don't get a lot of corrections, or personalized corrections, you can figure out a lot for yourself.

Awkward transitions in ballet exercises usually call for increased strength in your core muscles. This includes turnout, in the case of classical ballet.

Study the very basics and you'll understand the ruling factors - what is your technical cornerstone strength, and the key to your advancing in classical ballet.

Get an amazing dancer's guide with hours of instruction and video to get YOU ready forgetting into pointe shoes.

For Those Who Haven't Heard...

The man himself will be at Barney's in Beverly Hills this Wednesday!!! 

If you haven't met him yet, I highly recommend it. He's super sweet and will either sign your shoes or if you ask really nicely, make a one of a kind drawing on your shoe box!! I have one he did for me a couple of years ago framed and hung up in my office. It's super amazing.

Anyway- go meet him. You'll be glad you did. ;)

Entertaining Today

I had six people, all twenty-somethings from my home fellowship group over for Sunday lunch. They all removed their shoes at the door.

I had prompted two couples who were coming beforehand about removing their shoes, but I suspect they would have removed them anyway. My guests always remove their shoes at the house where the home fellowship meet. Twenty-somethings are smart.

I do think a social gathering where everybody is in socks (Apart from me, I was bare foot) is somehow cosier than ones where people are in shoes. It is very hard to explain in words exactly why shoeless gatherings seem more comfortable.

Swedish Welfare System

I would really like to learn more about the Swedish welfare system.

I am a Conservative who believes in free-market economics, but I do believe that capitalist society can generate situations of poverty that cause social problems. I believe generous welfare provision is a means by which the state can deal with these problems.

I believe the Swedes are right about removing shoes at the door; maybe we can learn some things about welfare from the Swedes as well.