- Published: Sunday, 12 November 2017 19:00
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When you step into your skinny jeans, the stretch denim adds lift and shape to your legs.
Now your ballet slippers can give you that feeling on your feet:
Capezio’s new Hanami ballet shoes are made of four-way stretch canvas, so they cling to your feet like a tight sock, showing off your arch and beautifully pointed toes.
They’re so form-fitting that Capezio’s designers were able to leave out the traditional elastic drawstrings used to pull in any extra buckling fabric.
And are you ready for this? They won’t let you cheat: Because your foot shape is so clearly visible and the feel is so snug, you’ll know immediately when you’re not fully pointing your toes. So get ready to see improvement on the floor— and fewer reminders from your teacher to point those toes.
Contemporary ballet dancer Paige Fraser, of Visceral Dance Chicago, finds her Hanamis benefit both her experience onstage and the audience’s view of her feet from their point of view.
And in the studio, the lightweight fabric allows her to keep the crucial connection to the floor that contemporary dancers want.
“When you are standing, you can really feel the floor. That is perfect for a contemporary dancer,” she said. “We are encouraged to be grounded.”
Pre-teen dancer Brady Farrar, winner of the 2017 YAGP Hope Award, finds the Hanamis have assisted his technique.
He dances a mix of contemporary and classical styles, and he studies at Miami’s Stars Dance Studio, a hotbed of national talent.
“I feel like I can turn better and quicker when I wear them. I always wear them when practicing turns,” he said, describing the fabric as “more sleek and form fitting” than other shoes.
Why It’s Different:
Made with four-way stretch canvas, the Hanami shoe clings to your foot like a tight sock.
How It Helps:
The lightweight fabric gives you a connection to the floor and allows you to feel when your foot is not fully pointed.
Fabric isn’t the only defining factor that sets these shoes apart from others. Hanami ballet shoes come in six colors: Three shades of brown — mocha, light suntan and nude — as well as traditional white, pink and black.
“It’s really wonderful to see a shoe coming in more skin tones,” said Fraser.
She wore mocha Hanamis at a performance of “Minor Threat” by choreographer Mark Godden, a work that calls for bare legs. With shoes the color of her skin, her legs could appear even longer, without extra work to darken pink slippers, or add elastics, as the Hanami come pre-sewn: “I don’t have to pancake my shoes — or sew the elastic