Are you going to go on pointe?

“Are you going to go on pointe?” is the question I get asked all the freaking time when I tell people I’ve just started taking ballet.
It’s not just a really stupid question, it’s also mean, and generally I think less of people who ask it.
Here’s why it’s a stupid question: Beginners don’t go on pointe. Whether they’re twelve years old or thirty two. Its commonly known that pointe requires years of training, and a beginner is by definition just beginning to train.
And it’s a mean question because it has the tone of, “are you going to do Real Ballet, or just lump around self-indulgently in slippers?” to which my imagined reply is: Ok, you’re right, I will never bourre across a stage with the spotlight catching all the handplaced crystals on my tutu, and then bow modestly to the third balcony while people yell Brava, but you know what? You have arm fat. Yeah I said it. Arm fat. Oh, what’s that? You don’t wanna play the Reality Check Game anymore? Then why don’t you jiggle off and go bother someone else.”
The worst offender is my stepmom, when she asked me the question I had to physically restrain myself from reaching through the phone with both hands to throttle her while yelling, “No I can’t go on pointe! Because you didn’t enroll me in ballet! When I was six! GAAHHHHh!”
Instead I responded with the less accusatory, “Ah, no, I don’t think adult beginners get to go on pointe.”


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, Bark! Bark! Bark! and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Are you going to go on pointe?

  1. odile says:

    Funny. I was taking class with a couple of other women. We’re all retired pros, and we all were taking class in deshanked shoes we were using as slippers. If you have half a zillion old shoes laying around, why not deshank them and use them as slippers? Cheaper that way. One of them is still wearing out shoes from her company days. With a pin in her tarsals, she will never do pointe again, and she doesn’t care, as long as she can dance.

    While adults aren’t going to ruin growth plates in their bones, there are other considerations: Slower healing time from injuries. The possibility of diabetes, where even a stupid blister has the potential to be life-threatening. Pointe isn’t some kind of basic human right. It’s a demanding and rigorous part of ballet, not that there are any non-rigorous or non-demanding parts of ballet. It really shouldn’t be thought of as a goal, and not everyone is suitable for it at any age.

    A couple of very young adult beginners joined our class, and were looking at the three of us in our beat up shoes and on demipointe. And then one of them said, “Look, the ballerinas can’t even get all the way up anymore!” They obviously didn’t know that those shoes wouldn’t hold a Barbie doll up.

    Made me want to tell them to just bouree their jiggly butts over to the nearest McDonald’s and go feed their fat little faces!

  2. “The possibility of diabetes, where even a stupid blister has the potential to be life-threatening.”

    As a dance teacher, I try to be very aware of the special issues that students might have, but I had not thought of this issue before… Thanks for throwing that out there odile.

  3. chrisgo1 says:

    When I’m not jumping around self-indulgently in slippers (sorry, I couldn’t resist your quote) I also race bicycles and I hate when stupid people ask me if I’ll be in the Tour de France this year. Stupid people are everywhere and they are all to willing to show off just how dumb they really are.

    • Haha!
      “Why yes I will be in the Tour de France this year! I assume you’re asking because you’d like to become a sponsor and that’s great! Most people start with a hundred dollar donation, does that sound good to you? I’ll just need you contact info and a signature here…”
      Oh, and please note, it’s Lump around self-indulgently, as in a big lumbering Lumpen Lump, as in one who lumps, as in lumpity lump-lump.

      • chrisgo says:

        It’s funny, once you get something in your head you can stare at it all day long and still not see the mistake, lump it is. And yes, $100 would be nice, cash would be the easiest but I’d take a check.

  4. Pingback: Confessions of a two-time dance dropout |

  5. Pingback: Something that I need to say «

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