My ballet slippers are starting to look a little rough.
Not Gloriously Beaten Up like some of my class-mates’ slippers, but rough enough to get me flipping through my stack of dance magazines.
Came across an article in the August 2010 issue of Dance Magazine, called Sensational Slippers! and noticed: all the featured slippers sport a very sexy, arch emphasizing, split sole.
My slippers do not.
Back when I marched into the dance store, almost a year ago now, and asked for some help picking out a ballet slipper, all I knew was that I needed something basic, appropriate for a beginner and hopefully inexpensive.
Ballet store lady kinda looked me up and down and barked, “For yourself? Or someone else.” I said for me. She grunted, “Good. Have a seat.” I asked did she get many customers trying to buy shoes for other people? She said, “All the time. Moms. I tell them no.”
I love a brusque retail worker!
Anyway, she asked black or pink, (pink) and then canvas or leather (leather was prettier, so leather) and pulled out a few pairs of slippers.
I put on the little sock-ettes and tried the first pair. She said, “Have you learned how to point yet?”
In my head: ‘Really? That something you have to be taught? What kind of moran can’t point their toe?’ Little did I know.
She seemed satisfied with my uneducated pointing, and a few try-ons later I was headed to the cash register with a pair of pink leather full-soled Blochs.
Which have served me well.
But definitely aren’t very sexy in the arch department. The full sole buckles when I point, obscuring the view of whatever archiness may be lurking around in there.
In class I started to notice the other girls’ shoes. All split soled.
Ok, so I filed away a note in my mind-files to get split next time.
But then one day a beginner joined the class, with brand new split sole slippers, and was scolded! Well, maybe not scolded, but Strongly Advised that as a beginner, she needed a full sole to give her feet something to push against, to train and stregthen her ability to point.
Like opera singers and corsets! Sounds totally counter-productive, but a lot of singers love wearing corsets because they provide something to push against.
Feeling a whole new appreciation for these old slippers of mine.