TKS Pointe Shoes From Germany

TKS pointe shoes

TKS Pointe Shoes

Imagine starting a business in the Black Forest area of Germany 100 years ago making circus shoes. The business then evolves over the decades into a manufacturer of different types of dance shoes and accessories. Such is the case of the TKS brand name of dance shoes from Germany.

The initials stand for TanzKunstSchuhe.

Deep In Heart Of The Black Forest TKS Creates Pointe Shoes

mapTKS is a family owned company located in St. Georgen, Germany, in the southern Baden-Württemberg region where the gorgeous Black Forest landscape attracts visitors from all over the world.

TKS makes one pointe shoe model, several varieties of soft slippers and a soft Jazz shoe. They also manufacture tights and toe protectors. TKS has over 25 shades of leotards in vibrant, amazing colors. I was very impressed by the variety they offer.

Visiting a Black Forest sounds magical, doesn’t it?

Model Specifications For The S20 TKS

TKS German Pointe Shoe

Made in Germany by the Schullerer family

According to the product page, the model is labeled with the number S20 and is created in a medium width with a cotton liner. The sales page mentions that the shoe is designed to fit tightly. Ribbons are included with purchase. The model appears to have a long vamp and slightly tapered toe boxes.

Hand-Cobbled Pointe Shoes Still Exist

TKS pointe shoes

Hübsche Spitzenschuhe means pretty pointe shoes in German

I love the TKS website because it has some charming photos of the Schullerer family and its employees hard at work making dance shoes and garments. This is so refreshing from other manufacturers that hide what goes on behind their factory doors.

Although this brand is one I have never heard of before, I am pleased to share my discovery with you. This is a real German pointe shoe, made in Germany by Germans.

Smaller, regional pointe shoe makers are just as important as mega-brand name factories in keeping the cobbler traditions alive and well in the ballet world.

Sadly, I couldn’t locate TKS on Facebook or Twitter, although they may be there. However, you can learn more about this interesting German brand on their official website, Tanzkunstschuhe.de.

* Click on Schuhe, then choose Spitzenschuhe to see the S20 model.

 

 

Kevin Pointe Shoes- A Cold Case Exclusive

Kevin Balletto pointe shoes

If the bag were flipped the other way we might have a better clue about these shoes.

When it comes to researching brands, there comes a point ( no pun intended) when the shoes need to be filed away and put into the cold case files.

After hours and hours and days of hunting the web for information about a new find, you need to relax and hope that one day the puzzle will be solved.

Up For Today’s Mystery Review Is  One Pair Of Kevin Pointe Shoes

Kevin Balletto pointe shoes

The sole appears stamped with the words KEVIN BALLETTO when I zoom in. If the word appears to read differently to you, please feel free to comment.

The shoes appear to have low profile boxes, a brushed suede sole and are made of the prettiest pale pink satin.

These shoes were being offered for sale on eBay Germany.  The name Balletto is often referenced in the German and Italian languages with dance products and websites from those countries.

However, because Kevin is neither German or Italian, I find it interesting, yet baffling. Having languages that are mixed like this and then stamped on a pointe shoe only adds to the intrigue. When pointe shoes are lightly stamped and not deeply embossed with a manufacturer’s name, they can appear middleman-ish  as far as distribution and sales.

This Is All We Have For Our Kevin Pointe Shoe Cold Case File:

  • The shoes were being sold in Germany, but they may be manufactured somewhere else.
  • The shoes might be another well-known brand, but the dance shop owner, Kevin,  just stamps them with his logo and puts them in a company bag for the customer.
  • The bottom name is very fuzzy and unclear. It might say something other than Balletto.

If you know anything about this company, please contact your local Sheriff’s department. If they aren’t interested, leave the information here instead. :)

 

Angel Dance Pointe Shoes From Russia

Russian-made pointe shoes are considered to be some of the best-quality shoes on the market. Their rich theatrical history and remarkable high-standards of excellence in ballet training make their country one of the masters of pointe shoe construction.

Finding another potential source for beautiful Russian construction techniques was the first thing on my mind when I discovered a Russian pointe shoe supplier by the name of Angel Dance.

About The Angel Dance Company

Angel-dance-model-H

With a little luck and a lot of Google Translate, I can decipher that Angel Dance offers discounted apparel and shoes for different types of dance genres for both individuals and groups. I wasn’t able to locate any history on the founding of the business or who owns it.

The only clues I have to its location or possible locations are on the contact page. There is a toll-free number listed for calls within Russia. There are two separate representatives listed; one that covers Chelyabinsk and the other Orenburg. The contact email is angel@angeldance.pro

The Pointe Shoe Models From Angel Dance

Angel Dance offers two models on their website; Model H and Model MH.

Of course my romantic ballet heart would have preferred gorgeous Russian names instead of letters. Don’t you hate factory jargon initials instead of ballerina-esque names that make you want to whirl and twirl in your pink tights?

Model H by Angel Dance

Model H by Angel Dance

Model MH by Angel Dance

Model MH by Angel Dance

Model MH Specifications:

  • Exactly the same specs as the Model H, but comes with a medium-hard shank.

Model H Specifications:

  • Constructed with a u-shaped vamp
  • Created for “springing” onto pointe
  • Comes in three widths; narrow, average and full
  • Has a hard shank
  • The inner liner is soft and fleecy for comfort
  • Ribbons are included with purchase

Why I Chose To Categorize Angel Dance As A Mystery Brand

angel-dance-russian-brand

As excited as I am to discover a new brand like Angel Dance of Russia, I am also disappointed when I can’t be 100% sure that they are, indeed, made in Russia. Here are a few reasons why I don’t put them under the category of Russian-made pointe shoes:

  • No response email from Angel Dance when I  asked them directly by email if the shoes are made in Russia. I also asked for any  information they could share about their specifications. Nothing. Zilch.
  • “Angel Dance” , their contact email addresses and the corresponding model names are in English, yet the company website is completely in Russian.
  • The company mentions being a discounter of  dance products. Put that together with the bulky-stiff sole design and off-edge stitching shown above and one thing comes to my mind; a potential made in China alert.

If I am wrong, Angel Dance, please forgive me. I only care because I group brands into country categories for my readers. If you want to offer a low-cost alternative for Russian dance students, bless your heart.

If you want to see these models, visit their official website @Angeldance.pro. You can find them by clicking on the 4th category down on the left sidebar, Балетная обувь. ( Ballet shoes in English).

 

Bloch’s New Pointe Shoe Models; The Eurostretch & Dramatica

When it comes to pointe shoe fit and beautiful aesthetics, there can be a wide discrepancy in how a shoe looks while on pointe versus a flat or demi-pointe position.  Satin fabric just doesn’t have the “give” to look smooth around the heels both on and off the platform. Those annoying heel crinkles are the bane of many a dancer and professional fitters as well.

Bloch of Australia is now offering a possible solution to the problem; pointes that stretch. They have added two new models to their collection; the Eurostretch and the Dramatica.  Manufactured several months ago, they began arriving in stores a few weeks ago. Bloch made the debut announcement June 12, 2014 on their Facebook page.

The Unique Design Qualities Of The Bloch Eurostretch And Dramatica

European Balance

European Balance

Both of these models are created with a stretch satin heel area. There is a slight difference between the two as far as toe box configuration, wing construction and paste materials. As you can see in the images above, both are split sole shoes.

Because of the split sole construction, the models are recommended for students that have had several years of pointe training and have strong feet. Both  models are manufactured using the European Balance last, or form.

Eurostretch Specifications:

  • Medium u-shaped vamp
  • Low profile toe box
  • Wide, high platforms
  • Make of humidity-resistant paste for durability

Dramatica Specifications:

Sole design of the Bloch Dramatica

Sole design of the Bloch Dramatica

  • Made with higher wings than the Eurostretch
  • Uses TNT heat-moldable paste technology; a Bloch exclusive
  • The Dramatica appears to have a more tapered toe box and slightly narrower platform.

The shank construction of both models is very interesting. The shank is layered with the under-section going along the entire sole and the top shank layer  split to allow the satin to stretch. You can read more about these new models on Blochshop.co.uk.

Stretch Pointe Shoes; Not Exactly A New Concept

To give credit where credit is due, I have to say that the concept of  incorporating stretch into a pointe shoe heel is not new. Merlet of France thought of this idea when they created a half satin, half stretch-canvas model called the Kaliste years ago. You can read about the Kaliste on an old post from 2010.

Is It Possible To Completely Remove Heel Wrinkles On Pointe?

Eurostretch sole design

I don’t know.  Our feet become so much shorter when we stand on our toes. We lose heel depth. I can’t be totally convinced that “wrinkledge” can be 100% wiped out by using stretchy material across the heels. There always seems to be a little bit of seam bulging out or a small air sac that protrudes on even the best-fitting pointe shoes.

Maybe well-placed ribbons and /or elastics will make these types of shoes stick closer than what they appear to be doing in this photo. Doesn’t this heel look wrinkled to you?

Although these new models are not yet featured on Bloch’s official website, it appears that dance supply shops across the country are now debuting these interesting shoes.

New models mean waiting for all the dancer reviews to come in so we can find out whether they live up to the manufacturer’s claim. What you do think about Bloch’s newest shoes?

Sonata Presto Pointe Shoes From Singapore

According to online dictionaries, a sonata is a musical piece that is played, not sung. It consists of  a solo or small group of instruments. In a ballet story, a solo variation and a hauntingly lovely piano sonata is one of immense beauty to watch. The video below is a lovely example of sonata music.

When we think about Sonata pointe shoes, there is one brand that comes to mind; Bloch of Australia. Now there is another Sonata pointe shoe on the worldwide market: the Sonata Presto from Singapore.

With the Bloch Sonata, Bloch is the brand and the Sonata is the model. Here, Sonata is the brand name and Presto is the model.

Sonata PrestoA Real Brand With Information Included Is Priceless

I was very happy to discover this brand. I was thrilled that this company has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and is on Pinterest. I can only handle so many “mystery” brands a month, so this was a joy.

About The Sonata Dancewear Company

According to the company about page, Sonata Dancewear has been in business since 1982. The company founders are the husband and wife team of Mr. Tai Han Kwang and his wife, Ms. Ong Long, a former ballet dancer and current dance instructor.*

They produce many different types of dance apparel and accessories; including their own pointe shoe model; the Sonata Presto. Although the name sounds slightly like a kitchen gadget , the shoe looks very well-made with pleasing lines.

The Sonata Presto Model Is Very Pretty

What makes this design unique is the angled side seam construction; a technique that Baryshnikov was also fond of for creating arch-hugging aesthetics in his now discontinued collection. Few shoes have this.

Sonata Presto General Specifications Include:

  • A tapered box and heel to visually elongate the foot
  • Small platform
  • Medium vamp length
  • 3 shank strengths; order models by choosing Presto One ( soft shank) Presto Two ( medium shank) or Presto Three ( hard shank)

Sonata has an official website you can visit @ Sonata Dancewear.com. They also have a Facebook page where you can learn more about their products.

* Perhaps married couples in Singapore have different last names and the wife is a Ms., not a Mrs. Anyone from that area is free to enlighten us, please!