Just when I thought the brands list would shrink away to nothing, it’s wonderful to see that manufacturing is still alive and well. The show goes on even though it can be a long wait in between performances.
The Virtisse Company is a female-run organization with innovative new ideas on what dancers are looking for. One of the first things that I noticed about the model descriptions is that some come with built-in toe padding. As a matter of fact, many of the models are created both with a built-in pad and room in the toe box to add your own.
Virtisse Has Seven Different Pointe Models In Their Collection
The Apogee is described as a lightweight, noise absorbing shoe that is good for a medium to high arch. This is a pre-arched model with long wings. What I find interesting about this collection are the model names. I am immediately curious to find out what they mean.
According to Google, Apogee is the highest point in the development of something. What a fitting and fantastic name for a pointe shoe, don’t you agree?
Medora -This model was made for the dancer that has a low to medium arch and has a preference for drawstrings on the side. From the photo, it appears to have a wide platform, but very shallow profile.
This brings back some humorous memories when I tried a few shallow shoes in my collection. I literally could not walk, only waddle like a duck. However, the dancer with shallow feet would swim around in higher profile shoes. Medora means Mother’s Gift and is of Greek Origin. Fascinating!
Enigma- The Enigma is another model suitable for the dancer with a low to medium arch. The shoe also has long wings for extra support. This is another model created for low to medium arches.
It must have been very interesting to have a company meeting and brainstorm the shoe names. What is an Enigma? The word is used to describe things that are seen as mysterious puzzles.
Perhaps to a non-dancing audience, the way a dancer can balance on the tips of her toes without killing herself is an enigma of epic proportions.
Enigma-FX- This is the ready-to-wear version with a flexible 3/4 shank that allows for easier rise to full pointe. Again, it is described as a shoe for low to medium arches.
One of the most difficult things for the low-arched dancer is fighting with too-stiff pointe shoes that create a battle getting over the box. It completely ruins aesthetics and throws off balance. Having a shoe you don’t have to fight with is going make pointe work a lot less frustrating.
Prodigy-It is a given that someone who is a prodigy is gifted beyond their years. It is a lovely name for a pointe shoe and has a lot of positive connotations. This particular model solves a very frustrating problem for dancers with short toes and low arches.
It was made for the square-shaped foot which is yet another fitting challenge. As you can see by the photo, it appears to have a low profile so those short toes aren’t swimming around in loose boxes. My goodness, there is so much to consider when designing a pointe shoe, isn’t there?
Flora- This is the only V-vamp shoe in the entire collection. It is described as a model suited for strong feet with medium to high arches. I find it intriguing that the name Flora means all the plant life that exists in a region.
Of course dancers on pointe are not plants, but have similarities in the way they need to be nurtured to grow. Fertile soil and sunshine is to flora what daily barre exercises and floor routines are to a ballet dancer.
Via-I think it is very fitting to name a student shoe Via. The word Via means the way, the path to, or the direction to take. This shankless model has a low U-shaped vamp with wide platforms.
Shankless student shoes are another subject that can get a few tutus in an uproar. I have read many debates about whether a ballet student should go directly from a slipper into a pointe shoe, or transition gently into a shankless pointe to get used to hard toe boxes.
Inspirational Names For Beautiful Pointe Shoes
Don’t you love the names of the shoes in this interesting new collection? Virtisse has elegantly celebrated foot shape diversity with models that solve dance challenges. Another more positive fact is the power of collaboration when like-minded people get together to offer input and experience to benefit others.
On a personal note, I am so, so relieved that the beautiful art of pointe shoe design and construction hasn’t completely died. The ballet world took quite a hit during this pandemic, but it appears there might be a bit of hope as manufacturing dance products resumes.
The Vamps Of The Virtisse Collection :
- Apogee– Medium to high
- Flora– Medium to high
- Medora- Low to medium
- Enigma– Low to medium
- Enigma-FX– Low to medium
- Prodigy– Low to medium
You can visit Virtisse on Facebook , see their latest Tweets on Twitter, or head directly to their official website, Virtisse.com