Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ballet Shoes

I love ballet shoes. More specifically I love pointe shoes. I love the way the soft pink satin fits the foot's form and flows into the flawless pink tights that smooth out the natural color variations of the foot and leg. I also love the perfect arch of the ballet dancer's foot when "en pointe".

I started taking ballet in 3rd grade, and I was so disappointed that I didn't get to immediately wear "toe shoes". I idolized the beautiful long legged and graceful dancers, and I couldn't wait to be one of them. My teacher Inge explained to us that we had to strengthen our legs, feet, and ankles before we would be allowed our pointe shoes. I worked and worked, but unfortunately my body was not the prime example of a ballet dancer's body, so it took me a very long time to get my new shoes.

Finally, in 5th grade I got to buy those elusive and beautiful shoes. I was so excited when we went to the dance store and I got fitted for my shoes. I remember how I sat and stared at the beautiful pink shoes in their box all night, feeling the smoothness of the fabric and smelling the leather of the soles. I dreamed that I would put them on dance like all of those graceful swans I admired.

Whoa was I wrong. Those shoes hurt like heck, and I got blisters on my toes the first day. I felt like I was walking around in wooden shoes, and I couldn't arch my foot in them to save my life. Everything I did was more difficult, and after my first day in class, I couldn't wait to take them off.

Oh well, like I said I wasn't really built to be a ballet dancer. However, I still love to watch prima ballerinas in action, and I stand in awe of what they do. I also still love the look of an arched foot in an immaculate pointe shoe and pink tights. When looking at photos like the one above, I can almost feel the satin and smell the leather, and I can relish in the dream of what I once wanted to be.

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