I’ve just lived what little girls around the world dream of, getting pointe shoes and I finishing my first pointe class, more accurately I finished the barre en point and I’m a dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.
If you were to tell me that I would have ever done anything en point I would have probably laughed in your face, not just a chuckle but a full on guffaw. I didn’t even know that guys even took pointe. Wow, how my ballet world has changed!!
With new pointe shoes in hand I presented them to the Teach’. “Ah, you went with the Gaynor Mindens, these are very good shoes, they will do you well, and you’ll have very strong feet. Oh and you have Ouch Pouches too, that was a smart idea.” She then proceeds to tell the lady in the office that she has a student starting pointe, with a proud parent tone of voice.
“If you want to do barre tonight your more than welcome, your strong enough that you should be fine.” Blah blah blah, boring technique type conversation follows. Along with a recap of my dumb bike and dental related injuries and procedures. Let’s just say It’s been a painful last couple of weeks.
Holy shit snacks! I can’t quite rap my head around what’s about to happen. Me, barre, pointe shoes, tippy toes… I plop down outside the studio and pay no attention to the blue leotards finishing their class, I sit there and fiddle with my ribbons, too tight, too loose… I probably tied and retied them a dozen times. Holy crap, am I really tying pointe shoe ribbons? It’s fo realz dawg!
The blue leotards scamper out and we walk in. I kinda’ clomp across the floor, your never going to sneak up on someone while wearing pointe shoes, never! I claim my spot at the barre and I have this feeling that every eyeball in the room is staring at my pink satin incased feet. I couldn’t have been more conspicuous. I did my best to act like it was no big deal, doesn’t everyone wear shoes that are tied to their legs?
I did my best not to look down to see these shinny pink puppies in action, I so wanted to. Oh but wait, that’s why they have those big ass mirrors in here. It reminded me of wearing white shoes after wearing dark shoes for the first time in a long time. I would see flashes of white along the ground as I walked or ran, now I’m seeing flashes of pink below as I did my best to look forward. Then it hits me, oh shit this excresise has a relevé or ends with a sous-sus studio, with a plié and a bit of pep in my step I was up there, OMG! Granted it was a little shaky but it was what it was. I got a very minor correction and the thumbs up from the Teach’ who’d been closely monitoring the situation.
It’s official, put it in the books, he’s en pointe at 6:39 pm CDT. The following 35-40 minutes were terrifyingly fun, each and every time up was so exciting, a bit surreal and ultimately exhausting.
All of a sudden I realized why were beaten over the head in each and every class with these seemingly insignificant corrections: heads up, shoulders down, pull up, use your core, straight backs, feel like your being lifted up by your hair, pliés are the key to everything… It all seemed to come together in an instant, each and everyone of those seemingly little things all fired as one the instant I wanted to rise to pointe. So f-ing awesome!
I’d be lying if I said I was glad barre was over. My dogs were barking up a storm. I’d never realized just how comfortable my soft shoes were until I slipped them on and stood up. Lately I’ve been wearing my really old shoes, the ones you see pictured below, they are completely bombed out and depleted but are so much more comfortable than my newer soft shoes. So what if they look like swiss cheese or the dog just got to them. Comfortable is comfortable, am I right?
What can I say about these shoes that hasn't already been said about Afganistan? It looks bombed out and depleted.
Now before you get your leotards in a bunch, I’ve also signed up for the Adult Pointe aka “Ballerina Class” (a term I’m stealing from Ms Adult Beginner, please do yourself a favor and go read her blog, it’s the bees knees) class too. If I’m going to do this I might as well do it right, right? Right.
Now, I’ve got three incredibly long weeks off from Big City Fancy Pants Company school before I can continue classes and pointe work. Major bummer dude. However, that gives me three weeks to beef up my right ankle, it’s not as strong as its side left companion. Right foot, meet Mr Threaband, Mr Threaband meet right foot, you will be seeing alot of each other.
Post-class conversation went well, the Teach’ said I did very well for my first time and should continue doing barre en pointe in her class (pumping fist!). Blah blah blah, more boring technique talk, and yes, work on the ankle. She noticed it too. “Practice the simple stuff if you want, but go slow.” And then again in the proud parent tone, to another instructor who was in the lobby with us. “He just took my class en point.”
Fuckin’ A! That just happened, That Just Happened!