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Anatomy of a Pointe Shoe

Box
The hardened area of a ballet pointe shoe which includes the Vamp, Wings and Platform surrounding the front section of the ballet dancers foot. The box is made from the application of numerous layers of special fabrics, all with different shapes, bound together by the paste in between each layer. This process is very similar to the process of paper mache.


Shank
A combination of layers of special material into a unique profile which forms the structural anchor of the ballet shoe similar to the way a spine supports the human body. Shanks/insoles are developed in different profiles creating various levels of foot flexibility for the ballet dancer.


Vamp
A lower forward part of the shoe's upper, covering the forepart of the ballet dancers foot and includes the box and platform.


Platform
The flattened surface at the toe end of the ballet pointe shoe which allows the ballet dancer to balance 'en pointe'.


Wing
Each of the two symmetrical sides of the vamp directed toward the heel. The outer edge of the hardened toe box that contain a lesser amount of material and paste. The wings can vary in shape and hardness depending on the style of pointe shoe or the dancers preference.
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