How To Prepare Your Ballet Slippers
Ballet slippers should not be confused with the flimsy ballet themed house slippers available in many stores today. A ballet slipper is a substantial shoe made of leather or canvas with an elastic binding and elastic strap(s) across the top of the foot.
Ballet slippers and pointe shoes do not have a right or left. They form to the foot you put them on. Switch them frequently and allow them to dry out completely after each class and they will last much longer.
When preparing your shoes for their first class, put them on, tighten the elastic binding and tie a sturdy knot. Cut the excess elastic off, leaving room to retie the knot as your foot grows. Lightly burn the ends to prevent fraying.
When heading into class make sure to have the elastic binding tucked into the shoe. There should not be a bow. There should be a flat line on the front of the shoe (as seen in the top picture on the left). This makes for a clean line and prevents the numerous "Will you tie my shoes?" in the class itself. Your instructor will thank you!
Beginner ballet slippers are generally pre sewen and ready to wear but as you advance you may be required to sew the elastics on your ballet slippers yourself. As a ballet dancer you absolutely must sew your own elastics and ribbons onto your pointe shoes. You have to do it yourself, personally. It is the only way to learn what you like and dislike about placement and feeling. Sewing is part of being a ballet dancer.