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What Are Pointe Shoes Made Of?

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What Are Pointe Shoes Made Of?

A pointe shoe

Photo © 2007 Treva Bedinghaus, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Question: What Are Pointe Shoes Made Of?
Answer: Pointe shoes are made almost entirely by hand, usually out of satin. The square box in the toe of the slipper is called the block. The block surrounds the dancer's toes and helps provide balance for her to stand on the very tips of her toes. Although it is hard and shaped like a box, the block is not made of wood. The block is actually formed like paper mache', with layers of fabric, paper and strong glue.

Pointe shoes are fairly expensive, and they don't tend to last very long. A professional ballerina may go through several pairs of pointe shoes in one performance!

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