Never been kissed

Going to be fit for pointe shoes in about an hour.
Little nervous.
Excited.
Have never stood in pointe shoes.
Still can’t quite wrap head around how they work. I mean, for the longest time I thought ok, the dancer must be standing on the pads of her toes, because obviously no one can stand on the tips.
Then after looking at pictures of big bodacious arches in magazines I thought, ok, it looks like the dancer is kind of cantilevered out of the shoe, like kind of leaning into the top of the foot, which is held by the shoe…
And then I asked a girl in class and she was like no. You’re just on your toes. That’s it. Toes. Toes toes toes.
And then there’s all this talk about lifting up out of the shoe, but if your lifting with one part, something else is pushing down, right? Every action has an equal and opposite re-action? Maybe not?
Reminds me of when I was a freshman in high school. Fourteen. Thinking how weird that I had no idea what a kiss felt like, a real kiss, but that later, once I’d had that first kiss, I’d be able to call up the memory of how it felt anytime I wanted.
And then later I did have my first kiss. And then my boyfriend pumped his fist in the air and said “Yeah!”
Maybe I will do that when I find the right shoe.
But it’s kind of like that. Kind of like Soon All Mysteries Will Be Reavealed.

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About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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11 Responses to Never been kissed

  1. Laura says:

    At my fitting, I went up on pointe and my arches cramped. The fitter said “You’re trying to do it with your feet; do it with your legs.” I went, “…Huh?” but now I think about that whenever I have to balance en pointe. You’re doing a similar thing with your muscles as when you stretch your leg out in a tendu–quads pulling up, foot stretching away. To me it feels like you’re lifting up with your body while gravity does the pushing down.

    BTW, don’t be surprised/disappointed if you don’t go up on pointe at your fitting. Some people say you are not even supposed to, much less do you have to.

    Have an amazing time and try on lots of shoes! Take notes so you can tell your adoring readers what you tried on!

  2. First of all, good luck today!!

    When I had my fitting last fall (at 25, first time ever in pointe shoes other than that one time I briefly tried on my friend’s pair in junior high) I remember being worried that the woman doing the fitting would take one look at me and say, “You’re crazy for thinking you can do this!” Be prepared to try on a bunch of different styles and brands, and speak up if something doesn’t feel right, like if you feel your toes are cramped or jammed into the shoes. They should feel as though they’re lying flat, and your fitter will have you plié in second position to make sure your feet and toes have enough room to be fully stretched in the shoes. (I had to return the first pair I bought because I had a hard time determining whether my toes were crunched into the box or not, haha.)

    As far as pulling up out of the shoe… I thought I had no idea how to execute the mechanics behind that, but my fitter had me piqué up onto the shoes and commented on how well I was lifting up and that I must have strong legs. I could be way off base here since I’m still a pointe newbie, but maybe it’s just one of those things that your body will figure out naturally because you already use the muscles required to do so, just in a different way — but if it doesn’t happen naturally, that’s what your pointe classes are for. It’s a whole body process: legs, hips, core, all the way to the crown of your head.

    And most importantly… have fun! :)

    • Thank you!
      It felt fun, and yet deadly serious and important.
      And yeah, it seemed like my body was mostly fine with trying on the shoes, and was like, “hey brain, what gives?”

  3. Polly says:

    Let us know how it goes! I’m really excited for you!

    Have fun!

  4. Acacia says:

    Don’t leave anything out!

  5. Claire Aubrey says:

    Wow, that’s so cool – I’m so jealous – it’ll be a good while before I’m looking at pointe shoes. I’ve always been curious about pointe too so you’ll have to let me know how it feels! :)

  6. How exciting! Toi toi for you in your brand new sparkling pointe shoes :)

  7. Jess says:

    Your weight isn’t on your toes, only your balance. Look up a diagram of pointe shoe parts if this gets confusing: When you go en pointe, your weight shifts to a different part of your foot, but it is still generously distributed along the bottom of the foot. The weight rests (one never “rests” in pointe shoes, but you know what I’m saying) on the shank of the shoe. Picture a leg en pointe standing in a shoe that hasn’t got the front part of the box. The whole bottom part of the shoe, the shank, should be in contact with the foot once the shoe is broken in. A good amount of your weight is on the shank from the heel to the ball of the foot. The box’s job is partially to keep your foot in contact with the shank, so that the bottom of your foot can support your weight, even when en pointe. The rest of your weight is split between the rest of the shank (ball of the foot to toes), and the front of the box, when in a broken in shoe. In reality only a small percentage of weight is actually on the platform.

    For this to work, though, the shoe must fit EXACTLY right. The legs must pull up completely and take on the challenge of holding themselves up. The toes must fight the temptation to take on weight and go straight, sort of perpendicular to the ground. Feeling the floor is good, but you shouldn’t feel like your weight is on your toes, though you are on them. If it makes any sense… make sure the toes keep pointing all the way, even though your brain thinks they should go straight down.

    It helps tremendously if your upper body is engaged completely. Ribs down, shoulders down, chin up, elbows lively, et cetera…. your torso is a powerhouse when it comes to aligning your body. If you let one thing go, you’ll feel kind of like a wet noodle in pointe shoes, even though it wouldn’t be so much of a problem on the whole foot. Like, if you let your ribs stick out, it misaligns your upper body and weight will fall back, your hips will push to the front, and your now much diminished point of balance is even harder to maintain.

    Sorry, I didn’t intend that to be long and preachy. The biomechanics of pointe shoes isn’t taught enough. If you take anything away from that ridiculous sermon, remember the whole body is working, including your whole foot, to support your weight. The shank of a pointe shoe is there for a reason – that part of your foot is holding you up, too! If the weight were only on the toes, pointe shoes would only have boxes and be much more discrete and streamlined.

  8. Jess says:

    Oh, and super mega ultra cool congrats on getting your first pair. Is it totally backwards if I say I’m very proud of you?

  9. Pingback: O hai pointe shoes | Adult Beginner

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