I went to Las Vegas this past week to celebrate my littlest sister’s/best friend’s birthday. I desired to post some ballet pictures. What I ended up with?! Just pictures with my peeps. I.e. family.
That is ok with me. Well, enjoy!!
I had yet another wonderful ballet and pointe class last night! Although, we briefly worked on ensembles (boo). I am terrible at those. No matter what I do, I cannot kick my leg out and back in without looking queer. I just cannot jump high enough to make it look remotely non-beginner-ish. Blech.
We also worked at pirouettes in 5th position. This is truly a cruel, cruel exercise. I have no idea how anyone can get around more then once while only using your arms for momentum. Coupled that with a newly washed floor and humidity so high you can cut
The air with a knife, and you have one pathetic girl (well, woman) squeaking sllllooooooowwwllllly around back to 5th! in fact, the whole class was squeaking. And sweating. Good news is that the General only tried to encourage us to do double pirouettes in 5th once. After that less then stellar display, she decided to make us work harder to get our singles to look cleaner. Surprisingly, I didn’t do as bad as I thought I would. I no longer struggle with singles, regardless of whether they are right or left. Ahhh – progress. Now doubles, that’s a different story.
Anywho – about the pointe shoes. So I talked to little-miss-general and had her take a gander at my new Gaynor Mindens in the feather flex shank. She said I am not over stretching my ankles. Yeah! HOWEVER, she did say that I should wear the stronger shank so I can build up strength in my feet. I just don’t understand how I am not building strength using these shoes. I mean, I have to use more ankle strength to prevent my ass from getting pushed over the shoe! It is not easy and I can feel the difference. Regardless, she wants my to build my foot strength by working a hard shank until it is worn out. Ok – I can dig it. What the General says, goes. So we agreed that when the spending stay has been lifted, I would buy a pair of Griskos and switch between them and the Gaynors during class.
When I got done with my class last night, I got a delightful text from my husbands mother. She read my last blog post and wanted to buy the shoes as an early birthday gift. Wahoo! I was so happy that she thought to do that! Now I have the benefit of working with the new shoes before the fall!! Yeah Mom! She is the bestiest.
Btw: I am leaving for Vegas to celebrate my little sister’s 21st birthday in T-minus 4 days. Double wahoo-ey!! I bought “Vegas” gear for all three nights. I am also bringing the pointe shoes to possibly do a picture or two for the blog. Fingers crossed that I don’t drink too much and break an ankle!!!! That would not be quack-tastic.
I am officially confused about the whole pointe shoe thing. Brand, fit, shank, size, box, blah, blah, blah. It seems almost impossible to get it right unless you are a professional pointe shoe fitter monitoring your every purchase.
Ms. Disney issued a post regarding a recent purchase of a different pair of pointe shoes. Poor Ms. Disney has struggled with finding the right shoe since she started taking pointe. The other day, Ms. Disney went to the store with the General and a couple of other students to try on shoes. When Ms. Disney told the fitter that she was currently wearing Gaynors in a supple shank, the fitter said that her feet were too strong and it wasn’t supportive enough for her. Well, I am currently wearing the Featherflex shank, which is even softer than the shank Ms. Disney was in. I purchased the Feather because I wanted even more flexibility in my shoe. I prefer a shank that is really worn and almost dead. When I wore traditional shoes, that type of flexibility only existed a week or two before the shoe needed to be shot and buried in the backyard. Hence, I tried this type of shank. They certainly are more flexible than the Supple, and admittedly, I had to get used to them. I rolled off of them a couple of times when I first wore them, but now? I am good. Well, I think I am good. Are they too soft? Am I rolling over my shoe and not realizing it?? Am I putting my feet at risk??? Good lord. Why does this have to be so hard?
The General has been paying attention to my turns during pointe class. She has never mentioned that my feet are over-flexed. However, that doesn’t mean I am foot-issue-free. I am no professional – I do not know how much support is necessary, and at my age, I don’t want to risk injury. Maybe I will have the General take a look today in class. If she thinks I need more support, she will tell me. Unfortunately for me, my husband has me on spending lock down. We are going on three trips and wants me to curtail the spending because we are getting ready to build a new house. Yeah for the trips and house! Boo for no spending. If I need a stronger shank, I will have to revert to my old Gaynors (supple shank) until the spending stay has been lifted by the old ball-and-chain.
On an unrelated note, I am really happy about how the ballet and pointe classes are going this summer. What is the most pleasing is the fact the General is giving me constructive criticism of my technique during every class. I try my best to impliment her suggestions immediately, but at least I know what needs improvement (arms – blech). Furthermore, while I still have so much to learn, I feel much more confident about my dancing. I no longer feel like a ballet newbie! True, I am still a beginner, but I am not completely green anymore. I am able to remember choreography easier, I can perform all of the basic ballet technique, I am more flexible (I can do both splits now!) and I am familiar with all of the students and found my place in the studio. I walk into class knowing what to expect from the instructor, the other students and from myself. I am satisfied with my progress and am proud of my accomplishments. During every class I learn, I work hard and I have fun!! Who wouldn’t want that?!
For all of you real ballet beginners out there, take solace in knowing that you can feel this confident in the not too distant future. Put in the work and you will fall into place at your studio. Newbie status will melt away before you know it. When it does – you will feel absolutely wonderful!! 🙂
Attention all those blog readers residing in the London, England area – please provide me with a list of ballet studios that could accommodate an early 30’s ballet beginner. I got a great comment from a blog reader and I really need your help people!!!!!
That is all.
(Thanks – 🙂 )