Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome to my blog!This is my blog about my science fair project, Pointe Shoe Physics. I am testing the amount of force per square centimeter on a ballet dancer's feet while dancing in pointe shoes. I am also studying how this changes in three different positions. Be sure to check out my report, background information, videos and other cool stuff! My final report and other files can be accessed through the "Documents" link on the right. Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Force, Weight, and Mass

What is a force?
A force is any push or pull. The guy in the picture is exerting a force.

What is mass?
Mass is the amount of matter in an object. It is measured in grams using a triple beam balance.

What is Weight?
Weight is the pull of gravity on an object. Since weight is a measure of force, it can be measured in Newtons.

1 Pound = 4.45 Newtons

What is a Newton?
Newtons are the metric unit for force. It can be measured using a spring scale.

Is there a difference between weight and mass?
Yes. Weight is a measure of force, and mass is a measure of matter. Your mass always stays the same. Your weight can change depending on your location. If you were on the moon, your weight would be different than it is on Earth, but your mass would be the same.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ballet Terms Quiz

Who was the First to Dance En Pointe?

It is said that Marie Taglioni was the first to dance en pointe. In 1832, she performed La Sylphide entirely en pointe. However, there may have been others who danced en pointe before her. Her shoes were nothing more than tightly-fitting slippers with a leather sole and some darning on the sides. Her fans loved her so much that they cooked her shoes and ate them with a sauce!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

How It's Made- Pointe Shoes

Video from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzB1yY2397E

Parts of a Pointe Shoe

Pointe shoes are made of many different parts. Some of the main parts are the box, platform, shank, and vamp.


The box is the hard area around the dancer's toes. It supports the sides of the foot. The box is made of canvas, linen, and glue. The stiffness may vary in different shoes.


The platform is the part of the shoe that the dancer stands on. It provides a flat surface to balance on.


The vamp is the front of the box. The depth of the vamp varies in different types of shoes.


The shank is what supports the dancer's arch. It is made of hard leather, plastic, cardboard, or burlap. Shanks come in many different strengths. Different strengths are used depending on the strength of the dancer's foot.

Did You Know: Every pointe shoe is handmade. Because of this, every shoe is unique.

Inside a Pointe Shoe:

Image from http://www.dancer.com/peekinside.php

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Have you ever wondered how ballerinas stand on the tips of their toes? Pointe shoes, a special kind of ballet shoe, enable a dancer to stand up "en pointe." In this project, I will examine the physics behind a ballerina's pointe shoes.


How much force (in Newtons) per square centimeter is on a dancer’s toes in pointe shoes? How does this change when a dancer is standing flat, standing on the ball of their foot, and standing en pointe? How does this change when a dancer is standing on one foot?


There will be the most force (in Newtons) on a dancer’s foot when they are standing on one foot en pointe. The force will be the least per square centimeter when a dancer is standing flat on two feet.