How to sew ribbons onto ballet shoes - Bloch resource


  • Ribbon bundles are sold in one long 2¼ metre length so the ribbon needs to be cut in half and then in half again so there are four pieces, one for each side of the shoe. 

  • Take one piece of ribbon and at one end fold one centimetre over once and then fold it over two centimetres again.

  • To attach the ribbons at the correct angle, fold the back of the shoe forward and down, then mark each side of the shoe on the cotton lining in the angle made.

  • Place the folded end of the ribbon at the marked position and sew as shown in the drawing onto the side of the shoe through the cotton lining but not through the satin. The ribbons may be angled forward if required to hold the shoe on more securely.

For extra support the ribbon can be sewn further down the shoe close to the inner sole at the same position. Do not sew the ribbon through the binding as the drawstring cord can not be adjusted and the binding may pull away from the satin. The cord inside the binding of the pointe shoe is to adjust the tension of the width of the upper. It should be adjusted while on the foot, and tied in a double knot with the excess cord tucked into the shoe and not be visible. Do not cut the excess of the cords off, as should the knot come undone the ends would be lost inside the binding.

Bloch Elastoribs are pre-cut into four pieces and each has an elastic piece sewn into the ribbon length not quite in the centre so one length is shorter than the other. The shorter length should be pinned to the marked area for sewing to check that when the ribbon is wound around the ankle the elastic sits directly behind the Achilles tendon. The Elastoribs come with detailed instructions in the packet.  

Cecchetti Ballet Australia: Enrico Cecchetti

ENRICO CECCHETTI was born in a theatre dressing room in Rome in 1850 and later became famous as a dancer, mime, and one of the greatest teachers in ballet history. Both his parents were dancers and he started his training in classical ballet technique with his father. In 1864 he studied in Florence with Giovanni Lepri who, like Cecchetti's father, was a pupil of the famous Carol Blasis.

Cecchetti made his debut at La Scala Milan in 1870, then toured Europe as premier danseur. In 1887 he danced at St Petersberg for the first time. The Russians were so amazed by his brilliant technique that his arrival can be compared to the more recent impact of Rudolf Nureyev on the western world. In 1889 he was appointed premier danseur and instructor at the famous Marinsky Theatre, St. Petersberg where he remained until 1902. The roles of Blue Bird and Carabosse in The Sleeping Beauty were created by Cecchetti in Russia. Among his pupils at the time were Anna Pavlova, Olga Preobajenska, Tamara Karsavina, Mathilde Kschessinska, and Vaslav Nijinsky.

The Cecchetti Method of teaching classical ballet includes a very full vocabulary of movement, including exercises composed by Cecchetti himself for the development of strength, balance, poise and elevation. The port de bras, or exercises to develop grace and coordination of the arms are generally admitted to be unsurpassed. One of the foremost features of the Cecchetti Method is the very sound basis of anatomical detail, as set down by Carlo Blasis and proven through the ages. Combined with a close association with the professional dance world, this enables the Cecchetti dancer to adapt easily to modern works.

In Australia, our tribute goes to our own Madam Saronova, herself a pupil of Cecchetti and favoured with his personal certificate. To her we owe the existence of the Cecchetti Society, and the Cecchetti method in Australia and the continuity of a great tradition of dance which is now being carried forward by an ever increasing number of qualified Australian teachers.