Monday, October 6, 2008

Ballet Pointe Shoes: An Obsession

pink freed ballet shoes, originally uploaded by Laura Walker.

I was born to a life-long ballerina: this guaranteed that I'd be enrolled into the ballet-frenzy early on in my life. I still remember my first ballet lessons. I must have been around 5 years old, and I had a black leotard with tiny white dots, and a simple ruffle around the hips. After I while, I adopted the pink leotard with pink, gauzy, tie-around skirt uniform.

However, I was always fascinated by the grandiosely stiff tutus adult ballerinas wore, and even more than that, I was enthralled by the pointe shoes. I dreamt of going pointe. I used to swipe mom's old pointe shoes from their storage place to put them on and play adult ballerina in my room, away from judging eyes, nearer to my bed in case I should fall.

I never went pointe. My mom, who used to take me to my ballet and jazz classes and spend the whole day taking her own dance lessons in an adjacent studio, broke her ankle and had to swear off dancing. It followed that I would have to quit my lessons too ....

Years later, when I turned 19, I enrolled in jazz classes in the ballet studio my stepmom used to work for. It didn't take long for me to realize that, whatever illusions I had taken with me as a child that I could move gracefully, I couldn't dance worth a dime. I quit a few months thereafter.

Later on I worked up the courage to ask my mom: "Mom... did I dance well when I was a kid?".
She laughed a bit and said: "Hell, no! You had two left feet!".

Hindsght is 20/20. Unless it comes to how happy and talented you were ... 

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