I just had my first pointe class today (it’s 7/11) and I have to say, I’m so glad I finally did it. I didn’t plan to do class here in Washington, I really was planning to wait until I got to Hawaii. I upped the meds for the nerve pain yesterday and the last time I tried that it went really badly. I thought for sure I’d be a drooling mess. So I told my instructor I’d see her at the end of the month thinking I’d miss the last two classes. Instead I feel just fine, great even. The increased dosage is helping for sure. And despite being a little tired, I’m fine. So I decided to go to class. Saturday’s are the only dedicated pointe classes and it happens after an hour and a half intermediate class. I struggle with that one, if only because it’s sooo early in the morning. I literally roll out of bed and head to class on days I go to that one. So I’m not exactly at my best on those days. By the time pointe class came I was fine though. I had a quick bite to eat and went back in and started tying my shoes on! I did need a little help from another girl though. I did one just fine, but the other… I don’t know what happened. She tied it for me, lol. Then I went to the barre, my teacher talked me through it a bit and I was up! I managed to keep up with the rest of the class, to my utter shock and amazement.
I stayed at the barre for the entire class, but honestly I still did everything everyone else did. Maybe a few less relevés here and there, and I did some on two feet instead of just one foot. But my teacher gave me that option. I still remember her saying I didn’t have to do any on one foot but I decided to give it a shot and I could do it. It’s funny, cause I thought it would all be so hard. That I’d struggle to do more than ten minutes of class, but I managed to go the full half hour (class was short today). I probably could have gone even longer. Especially once I got going. In the beginning I had a pain behind my right ankle (by my achilles, sort of) and my big toes! Ugh… But after a few minutes my ankle was fine and after a few minutes more my toes were okay too. It was weird. They clearly didn’t like it in the beginning, and they really started to hurt at one point. I told my teacher and she said I may just need a bit more padding. But I don’t know if I’m going to add any. It’s just 10 minutes or so until they adjust and I’d rather be able to feel the floor. I don’t want too much padding in my shoes. I like my Ouch Pouches, they’re perfect. I don’t want more in my shoes though. I think a lot of this is just figuring out what it’s all supposed to feel like. It’s not like say, pants. Most people will wear pants in their life. There are rules to how they should fit, and everyone you meet will likely have an opinion on how they should feel but the general rule of thumb is to get something that feels comfortable. Pointe shoes, and pointe work isn’t like that. Yes there are rules as to how the shoes should fit. But if you’re hurting somewhere your teacher may say work through it, whereas another might make you get different shoes. A lot of it just seems like you have to experience it for a while before you can even ask questions.
So much of it is strange. I said to my teacher, it’s crazy but balancing en pointe is actually easier than on flat. So much of it is actually coming easier to me than when I “dance” on flat. Even that, I say “dance”. But where pointe is concerned, I feel like that’s coming- and fast. My instructor actually said she thinks I’ve finally found my niche in the ballet world, and it’s pointe work. I have to say, I agree. Today was probably my most successful class ever. I never thought this would come easily. I thought I’d struggle until I made the decision to come off pointe, or my teacher suggested it. So I’m happy this is working out. Now granted there are drawbacks to this. It was my first class, I spent 30 minutes on pointe, and my shoes are already pretty soft. My teacher was showing my how to shape them now that they’re all warmed up and she said I really need to get a stronger shank. She said they’re a really perfect fit for my feet otherwise. So I just bought the same exact shoes just with the hardest shank Grishko makes. Hopefully that’ll make a difference. I don’t want to have to buy new shoes after every third class. I’m lucky I can afford to buy them at all, I’m not going to be wasteful. I bought the harder shoes and I’m going to have to learn how to glue them as well. I think the harder shanks will make a real difference.
I’m headed to Hawaii next week, though by the time this goes live I’ll be back home. While in Hawaii I’m going to be taking pointe class, I’m hoping things continue going well when I’m there. I’m having my shoes with the harder shanks shipped there incase the ones I have now die. I’ll be sure to update on here how it’s going.
See you next week!