Properly tied ballet ribbons are crucial for dancers to keep the shoe comfortably secured on the foot whilst dancing. The last thing you want is for your ribbons to come undone whilst dancing, especially because you can trip over them and injure yourself. In fact, for performances, many dancers actually sew their ribbons in place to prevent them from dropping out!
Here is a fool-proof way to tie your ballet ribbons:
1. Take the ribbon on the inside of the foot and cross over the top of the foot. Continue to wrap around on top of the ankle until you come back to the inside of the foot. You should be able to wrap the ribbon around the ankle twice.
2. Take the other ribbon on the outside of the foot and do the same cross over so that there is an “X” shape on the top arch of the foot. Continue to wrap around on top of the ankle until you come back to the inside of the foot, meeting the first ribbon. You should be able to wrap the ribbon around the ankle twice.
3. Tie both ribbons together in a double knot on the inside of the ankle bone. Try not to tie the knot too tight against your foot to cause discomfort!
4. Tuck the knot and the ends inside the ribbons underneath so that the knot does not show and is less likely to come undone.
5. Repeat on the other foot!
Ribbons should be sewn along the middle seam of the shoe so that the “X” shape highlights the high point of the arch on your foot.
Make sure the ribbons are long enough to wrap around the ankle twice so that there is enough length to tuck the ends into. To measure this easily, sew your ribbons on first with extra length. Then wrap the ribbons and tie in a knot (Steps 1-3). Snip the excess ribbon tails off so that you have the perfect length of ribbon ends to tuck inside.
To prevent the ribbons from fraying, burn off the ends of the ribbon using a match or a lighter. Alternatively, you can also paint the ribbon ends with clear nail polish.
Practice tying your ribbons so that it becomes second nature.
Tying ribbons should be a fast process, especially if you need to change your shoes quickly!