Girl, save that money!

And buy yourself something pretty!
Dudes, you too!
Ok, here’s what the haps is. In this post I mentioned a need to maybe swing by the dance store and maybe check out the toe-spacers? To prevent the Gumby-toe.
Ya know.
Got a sweet tip from Kaija: she got a toe-spacer from the from the foot care aisle of the pharmacy for much less dineros than at the dance store.
Wanted a piece of that cheaper action! Went to nearby chain drug-store.
Feeling, well, not majorly hopeful. Probably Kaija goes to some kinda magical pharmacy. Right?
Cruised the foot care aisle. There’s the insoles, there’s the corn-pads. (And hey, corn is a horrible name for a foot issue, right?! Just, super gross name, right?) Oh, and look, there’s a toe sleeve. Very similar to the creepy big-toe-sleeve I tried on at the dance store. Ok. There’s the wart stuff, don’t need that. Oh look, there’s a two-pack of toe-spacers! Sweet! $4.99, that seems like a good price, ok, never used one before but the price is right…
And then mine eyes fell upon something so glorious, you guys-
Remember the Ouch-Pouch?
Which was the biggest surprise-$$$-bomb of the whole pointe shoe buying experience?
$25 frikin dollars for that ouch-pouch? On top of the price of the shoes? And it’s not like I can do without? And I’ve been thinking in the back of my head of ways to DIY it for the future ever since that second when I laid my money down?
On the shelf in the stupid chain drug store:
Selling for $8.99:
“Pump Pouches”. “Amazing Wraparound Toe Cushions”. To all outward appearances, Gentle Reader, the Exact Same Product as the Ouch-Pouch. Two pieces of, what, neoprene maybe? Flat-locked together? Peachy-beigey-pinkie color? $8.99!
Gentle Reader, get thee to a pharmacy!!!
Ya know, for that matter, Gentle Reader, the conspiracy theorist in me sez that your local dance store knows it can make money off you because you’re obsessed with dance and don’t know anything about the world outside of dance, such as pharmacies, or craft stores where you can buy ribbon, which will not be pre-measured, but, heck, you know how long you ribbons should be by now, right?
And elastic.
Well, don’t know about you, but the Adult Beginner has been known to occasionally run a nude-colored bra through the dryer, thereby rendering it fried and non-functional, but hey, free elastic in the correct color! Bonus! Could be used for shoes! Maybe not ankle elastic for pointes, maybe just for slipper elastic. But still, elastic! Wild and free for the taking!
Ok. The moral of the story is: you better shop around. Also, let’s all give a big wi-five to Kaija for the science she is droppin’.


PS, Girl, you best to scroll down through the comments! Helpful info up in there! Dudes, you too!

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, OMG outfits you guys! and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Girl, save that money!

  1. Sarah Dani says:

    I cannot believe you found that at a drugstore! I have never seen them… and I just forked out a bunch of money on a new pair of Ouch Pouches. Poop.

  2. Caveat: if its your first time, buy everything the dance store recommends at whatever price. I mean, you know, use your good judgement. You know you don’t really need a tutu yet, but for foot stuff, maybe do like The Adult Beginner and demure to the experts the first time, once you know what you need you better shop around.

  3. That is great! I actually wrote a post on this phenomenon on Tights and Tiaras, about ways to save money on your dance-wear. I’m not really into the pointe-accesorry pricing field (obviously), but I can tell you one thing for sure: That conspiracy-theorist in you is quite on the spot this time! Dance stores are mean, calculating, super-capitalistic beasts… I’ll link my readers on to this post for some pointe-shoe insights on the money-saving business! And if you want, my article is here:

    • Awesome, Thanx Henrik! That post is hot. I like the part about the lost&found. No shame!

    • Kaija says:

      I’m a fan of the lost-and-found bin, I confess. One of the studios I go to offers classes mostly for children and teens (and mostly from posh families). They tend to “forget” or “lose” things quite often, and at the end of the term, after a couple of weeks go by and no one claims items, I go through and pick out the things I can use. I’ve gotten a couple pairs of ballet flats, legwarmers, sweatshirts, etc that were hardly used! I was a grad student at the time and tres poor, so every little bit helped :)

  4. I saw those the other day at the drug store and my eyes just about bulged out of my head.

    They even say something like, “used by dancers everywhere!”, which I think is some weird understatement; they should be saying something more like “Ever wonder how ballerinas do all that crazy, mind-boggling stuff on the tips of their tippiest toes that you could only imagine doing in your wildest dreams? Well, they use THESE!”

    I personally haven’t had to use any kind of ouch pouch, as I wear Gaynor Mindens, but if (when?) I switch shoe brands, I’m heading straight to CVS!

  5. odile says:

    Dr. Scholl’s makes excellent toe spacers, almost identical to those made by Bunheads.

    Don’t buy Bunheads toe tape. Not even the first time. Never. Go to WalMart (yuck) and get a roll of one inch masking tape at 1/4 the price. It’s exactly the same thing! Better yet, raid your husband’s stash in the garage, for free.

    If you like the super-special Gaynor Minden foam toe tape (at $7 a roll, last time I checked,) google 3 M foam tape, go to one of the online medical supply stores, and buy the IDENTICAL product for $30 for a box of a dozen rolls. Be nice to your fellow students, let a couple of them try it, and the next time you order they’ll be willing to split the cost of a box with you. This last one really makes me snarl, GM doesn’t even have the decency to have the tape colored pale pink or something “dancelike.”

    I personally prefer Future floor wax for re-hardening pointe shoe boxes. Your grocery store probably has it, if not, Home Depot does. Get a foam brush for painting the inside of the box with the stuff. Much cheaper than Jet Glue, and no real risk of an annoying and painful glob of the stuff building up.

    Chiffon wrap skirt? JoAnn’s Fabric. They have the chiffon and some ribbon, you can make your own, the length YOU like, which might be a little bit longer than the twelve inches that most of the dancewear companies offer.

    There’s no excuse for someone to spend the prices the stores want to charge us for getting the “official” dance junk!

  6. Kaija says:

    Holy crap! I paid $25 for my Ouch Pouches at the dance store too. I’m going to get my next set at the drugstore for sure. The info exchange here is a wonderful thing. :)

  7. Awesome! What a great deal :D

  8. Johanna says:

    Super tips! I always cross-check all the stores for dance supplies, but no ouch-pouch equivalent in Finland, nor Germany (last countries I´ve been to). Bummer.
    I do buy my toe-tape in the pharmacy, and the cheapest no-brand I can get. Don´t use it for my toes anymore (ouch-pouch), but to patch up holey soft slippers.

    Ribbons I got from the dance store, in Germany the cost half the price. But any shop will do, as long as the ribbon is wide and sturdy enough (and not too shiny-slippery). My soft shoes come with pre-attached elastics, but you could reuse these for your pointes. Did that until I discovered Bloch Covert Elastic, which I absolutely love.

    Other money-savers? If you do not have to have pink ballerina tights, leggings are cheap everywhere but in the dance store.. Short shorts too.

    Thanks AB and Kaija! :)

    • Janet says:

      You can order “pump pouches” like the ones seen in the photo at the beginning of this post from I am not sure if Amazon does international shipping, but take a look at their site. You never know what enterprising online companies will do.

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