Most people think that pointe shoes are all pink satin perfection but never give a thought to what it actually feels like to put them on your feet. I’ve been thinking about it more lately as I’m working on my novel–many scenes take place during ballet classes. I’ve had a bit of a love/hate thing with them since my first pair. Honestly, I’ve some to the conclusion that pointe shoes are like cement ball gowns; luxuriously beautiful and clunky as hell.
Also… they are very awkward to walk in since the toes are solid blocks. It’s kind of like walking in ski boots. Keeping that in mind now try to imagine jumping in them. Every time the dancer jumps the landing is supposed to be silent. Like a cat… but not a cat in ski boots. Not an easy thing to do.
Pirouettes are another story. Let’s talk about turns for a second. The tip of a pointe shoe has what…. maybe three square inches of area in total? It’s like spinning on your toes on an area the size of a postage stamp. Nothing short of miraculous when you think about it.
It’s been many years since I had to wear pointe shoes every day. I’m thankful for that. These days I prefer dancing barefoot and feeling my feet against the smooth wood of a dance floor. However I recently purchased a pair of pointe shoes to use in photographs. From time to time I put them on and play around. Man, do those suckers hurt. I mean, they really, really hurt (more about that here). I’ve had to ask myself how I ever managed to wear them all the time for as long as I did.
But hey, they look good, don’t they?
If you dance en pointe, you are hardcore. Just how hardcore? Read more about that here.