Why ballet shoes make noise? (8 things you should KNOW!)

Attending a ballet show or dancing as a ballet yourself is a soothing and refreshing experience for most people. 

But one only the major aspects preventing a memorable experience of ballet dancing is the squeaky noise made by ballet shoes when ballerinas are dancing on stage which affects the overall satisfaction.

In this article, we discussed extensively why ballet shoes make noise and methods you will adopt if you want to prevent or minimise squeaky noise.

Why do Ballet shoes make noise?

Ballet shoes make squeaky noise when using them due to several factors which include the hard tip of a pointe, thunking of the shoes against hard surfaces, having brand new ballet shoes without breaking them in, the type of floor, lack of experience by a ballerina as the major causes of ballet shoes making noises.

Additionally, other factors that are causing ballet shoes to make noises are the lack of specialised theatres or studios, the location of the microphone, the closeness of the audience to the stage, the volume of music as well as what is beneath the stage of the studio also helps towards the nasty noises coming from ballet shoes during performances.

The noise coming from ballet shoes affects both the ballet dancers themselves because it usually disrupts their attention and comfort as well as the audience watching the ballerinas because the thumping and squeaking noises will negatively affect their experience of the ballet show and make them unhappy when the noises are a bit high in volume.

To understand why ballet shoes make noises like what people are experiencing, let us look at all the reasons for the squeaky noise so that we will prevent our shoes ballet shoes from making them or at least reduce the impacts.

Reasons why ballet shoes make noise

Hard tip of the pointe shoes

Tip of the pointe ballet shoes are comprised of densely packaged layers of fabric, papier mache and other materials which makes them hard and prone to making audible noise when performing on a concrete floor of a studio. 

Moreover, the glue and additional materials ballerinas sew into the tip of the shoes to give them additional comfort when standing on their toes and prevent them from having discomfort helps in making the shoes squeak especially when they are brand new.

Wooden thunk against a hard surface.

The meeting of ballet shoes with a hard surface added to the weight of the ballerina as well as the frequency of hitting the studio floor in the process of dancing also contributes to the noises you usually hear from ballet shoes.

The thunking process creates a noisy situation especially if the floor is not made to the comfort of the ballerina’s mind.

If not broken in properly.

Ballet shoes particularly pointe are usually broken into by professional ballerinas before they start using them which allows them to make the shoes fit their needs and prevent the possibilities of discomfort to the feet of the ballet dancer.

The noise in this particular case is the result you will experience when the shoes are not properly broken into by a ballet dancer and she will also feel the impact of both the squeaky noise and the discomfort arising from that particular mistake.

Type of the floor.

The type of floor ballerinas are using is also a contributing factor in making ballet shoes to be making noise.

Some studios have polished floors, some are made of concrete while others require mild or significant repairs before they can give the best possible professional experience.

If the floor has materials that aid in making noises like echoes or others, it will contribute to the ballet shoes making noises as well.

Type of the shoe (brand)

The brand of shoes a ballerina is using can also affect the sound coming from the ballet shoes as well.

Some brands are more reputable than others, brands like Bloch and others though expensive made their shoes with minimal noise-making capacities to reduce the possibility of making uncomfortable noises.

While on the other hand ballet shoes made by substandard or amateur brands will have greater chances of making noise because they lack the ability and expertise to do a better job in making the shoes.

What is beneath the floor?

Another major contributor to the ballet shoe noise is what lies beneath the floor or stage of a ballet performance.

Some stages have hollow-like openings or are built on top of something prone to making loud echoes when you use them.

An example of such is stages that have lockers or storage in them which can amplify sound because of the spaces in them.

Lack of adequate experience.

When a ballerina with little or no experience attempts to use ballet shoes, especially pointe, it can make the shoes make noises because of the apparent lack of experience which will show up as a result of the ballerina not knowing the steps, methods and techniques to apply that helps in preventing the squeaky noises.

Lack of specialised theatres and studios.

The absence of specialised theatres or studios in many locations also helps in making the shoes to be emitting an unpleasant noise.

Many ballet classes are taken in halls and theatres that are not specifically meant for ballet training and performance.

Microphone location.

The location where a microphone is located will also contribute to the sound of the ballet shoes.

When a microphone is placed too close to the dancing stage, the sound of the ballet shoes will be exposed to the hearing of both the ballerinas themselves as well as the audience watching the event from the stands.

The volume of music and placement of musicians.

The volume of the music that the ballerinas are using provided by a professional choreographer will also contribute to the audible noise of the ballet shoes on the studio floor.

The higher the sounds of the ballet shoes, the lower the volume of the music or the farther the distance of the musicians and instruments from the stage as well while the opposite if the case is reversed.

How close the audience is to the stage.

The location of the audience on the stage of the performance will also help in either making the noise of the ballet shoes audible or reducing the possibility of hearing the sound if the stage is a little farther from the audience.

How to prevent ballet shoes from making noise.

Since all of us believe that the noise made by ballet shoes is not a good experience, the question now is how are we going to prevent the noise from ruining our ballet experience either as a ballerina or as an audience watching the ballerinas.

The following are methods through which ballet shoe noises can be prevented.

They are as follows:

Sprinkle with powder

Many people including professional ballerinas believed that sprinkling the floor and the surface of your ballet shoes with powder can help in minimising the possibility of your ballet shoes making noises during either training or actual performance.

The powder you can use is either baby powder, corn powder, baking powder or specialized powder meant for the ballet industry.

Break in the shoes properly.

Breaking the shoes properly by a ballerina can also help in solving the noise problem and making it comfortable for ballet dancers as well.

Breaking the new pointe shoes and customising them helps prevent them from the noises that can negatively impact a ballerina’s performance.

Add alcohol or water to soften the boxes and the stiffer parts.

A little amount of alcohol or water to soften the boxes of pointe ballet shoes or water into the stiffer parts of the shoes will help eliminate the noise of ballet shoes or reduce it to a minimal level.

However, due to the short life cycle of ballet shoes, water can help accelerate their disintegration faster than you can anticipate due to the materials that are used in making the shoes.

Darn the tips carefully.

When sewing and customising the ballet shoes, make sure that the tips and the edges are done correctly and if you are adding any materials, pay attention to the areas that are more likely to emit the noise In your ballet shoes.

Get a good instructor.

Getting a good ballet instructor will help significantly in making sure you are not making the shoes make the noise as a result of lacking experience  and guide you towards choosing the right shoes for your ballet activities that will not likely make such noises.

Get better ballet shoes even if expensive.

The Brand’s reputation and quality differ as much as the price when it comes to ballet shoes.

Getting your shoes from a better shoe manufacturer will cost you more money because it is usually expensive but it will make your experience worth every penny spent compared to using shoes from cheaper alternatives.

Use a good studio.

To avoid having noise from your ballet shoes, you should choose studios that are in good condition even if they are a little farther away from your street or neighbourhood.

Choosing such studios will accelerate your learning experience and help you avoid the pitfalls that are likely to negatively impact your career as a professional ballerina.

Place the microphone a little farther.

Place your ballet shoes farther from the stage of your performance.

This will help in minimising the noises that a microphone will pick and amplify from your ballet shoes hitting the floor.

The stage should not be too close.

Keep a significant distance between the performance stage and where your audience will sit or stand while watching the performance.

This will help in making the noises from your ballet shoes or that of your team less audible thereby making their experience worth the effort and the payment if one exists.

Use appropriate volume.

Appropriate volume of music should be used during ballet rehearsals or actual performances which will help in hiding the noises of the ballet shoes when the volume is on the high side.

However, if the volume is less audible, the chances of listening to the squeaky noise of the shoes are therefore very likely.

Use the above, all squeaking, noisy parts will be gone.


The reason why ballet shoes make noises as we discussed consists of the following

  • Hard tip of the pointe shoes
  • Wooden thunk against a hard surface. 
  • If not broken in properly. 
  • Type of the floor. 
  • Type of the shoe (brand)
  • What is beneath the floor? 
  • Lack of adequate experience. 
  • Lack of office specialised theatres and studios. 
  • Microphone location. 
  • The volume of music and placement of musicians. 
  • How close the audience is to the stage. 

All these noises can be eliminated or drastically reduced if ballerinas, their management and instructors adhere to the following remedies as we extensively discussed above:

  • Sprinkle with powder (baby, corn, baking or specialized powder).
  • Break in the shoes. 
  • Add alcohol or water to soften the boxes and the stiffer parts. 
  • Darn the tips carefully. 
  • Get a good instructor. 
  • Get better ballet shoes even if expensive. 
  • Use a good studio. 
  • Place the microphone a little farther. 
  • The stage should not be too close. 
  • Use appropriate volume. 


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