A hard pointe

Gentle Reader, do you remember how I was saying that pointe is so much easier this time around?
Well never mind about that.
All that earlier pointe-y confidence is totally gone, and I feel sad and exhausted and the class is leaving me behind to eat their sparkly dust while I keep one or preferably both hands on the barre.
The other day in class I was even daydreaming about finding a pointe class for twelve-year-olds, and you know how I feel about taking class with kids, so you know that’s extreme.
Ok. I’m being a little dramatic.
I’m going to stick with it because I adore my teacher,
And it’s only half an hour,
And barre is great, anything in center on both feet like bourrés and pas couru is do-able, it’s just piques and anything else one-legged terrify the fuck out of me.
Part of the problem is that I’m exhausted by the time we take off our slippers and put on our pointes. I’m just starting now to add back in the running, yoga, Pilates, and spin that I’ve been skipping this past month of stupid wisdom teeth down time, so my stamina is just gone and when you’re tired on pointe it’s hard to pull up the things that are supposed to be up and pull in the things that are supposed to be in and relax down the things that are supposed to be down, and just arg.
I just wanna come home and take my pointes out of my bag and fling them.
One time while I was in school, I walked past one of the dance studios and peeked in and it was empty except for a super dejected-looking pair of pointe shoes flung against a wall, and I almost totally ran in and stole them to take home and admire, but then thought No, they belong to someone, she’ll be back and need them, they probably fell out of her stupid-giant Danskin tote while she was getting up from the splits to run off to her next class, right? But thinking about it now I wonder if she was feeling sad and exhausted and took them out and on purpose flung them and then ran away.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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26 Responses to A hard pointe

  1. Basia says:

    Dramatic and poetic… Love it

  2. Sad thing is, sometimes I feel that way about my flat shoes – like throwing them away in frustration and sadness. This ballet can sure be discouraging sometimes. Luckily, then there’s the good (or at least decent) days…

  3. Barbara says:

    I can totaly relate with this RANT and my friends just shake their head and say….STOP…..DO SOMETHING ELSE……then I remind myself they just don’t get it. The love/hate of ballet class is beyond understanding to those who don’t do it. But when you feel improvement nothing is as satisfying. WOO HOO!!!!

  4. Nicola Lynde says:

    Pointe is like that. Ups and down, ebbs and flows. After a great season, I totally lost stamina by the summer and just wanted to throw my (dead) pointe shoes at the wall. I took August off of pointe, bought new shoes and am heading back to class tonight. Don’t beat yourself up, you’ll catch up with the rest. And besides the one foot stuff is always scary.

  5. guyenne says:

    Piques aren’t terrible, unless they are turns. I have always been dreadful at turns on pointe. Just stepping onto one foot isn’t too bad, it’s the moving/up and down on one foot that gets me. Good luck with your strength and stamina.

  6. Amanda says:

    In part because of your inspiring story and your determination, I decided to be brave and sign up for my first beginner class tonight. The teacher thankfully only accepts adults for all classes, but that doesn’t make me feel any more confident. Don’t let this get to you. You’re my inspiration that just maybe I can learn enough to get my own pointe shoes that I can fling at the wall in desperation one day =)

    • Hey! That’s exciting! Thanks for telling me, gosh. I hope your first class went well!

      • aamandary says:

        It was such fun! I felt like a gorilla doing a monkey dance while we were trying to learn spotting while prancing across the room lol but luckily I wasn’t the only one collapsing in giggles halfway across, but other than that, 1.5 hours went really fast and I loved it. It remains to be seen if I actually remember anything we were taught.

  7. Jessica says:

    I’m so sorry class has been tough. I was approved for pointe on Friday and just got fitted yesterday, and I’ve been thinking of you and everything you’ve written. This is definitely helping push me to start running again like I know I need to since my stamina is v. low. Sending you good vibes for all the cross-training benefits to kick in ASAP!

  8. wedoballet says:

    Well isn’t that just like ballet for you? Remind me again why we love it? Seriously though AB, the frustration is part of the joy. Just like you remember how easy it felt and now that makes this feeling so much worse, you’ll get to another place where you feel good, and this terrible time will make that time feel so much more satisfying. At least that’s what I tell myself.

  9. New to ballet says:

    Almost totally unrelated but I have to ask how do you find time to do ballet, pilates, yoga, spin and running when you have a job and a small kid? My son is about the same age as yours and I can only take one class of ballet per week while my husband looks after the boy, he says two classes per week would be too much. I don’t think so myself but I have to listen to his opinion since he’s the one who has to stay at home when I’m gone. Is Mr. Adult Beginner just super supporting or what is your secret? PS. Love your blog!

    • Oh hey: the secret is I’m not working right now. Didn’t mean to be mysterious about that but I guess I haven’t talked about it much. I feel really fortunate that taking this time out from work is even an option. Thanks Union! For my husband’s wage and for the kid and I remaining covered under his health insurance until I go back to earning my own union wages.
      The other secret is that the gym I go to has childcare, so while I take Pilates or spin or yoga there’s someone to watch the boy. I might get called out of any class at any moment if he’s crying or needs changing, but without that child watch center I wouldn’t be at the gym at all. Those childcare ladies, I love them.
      For ballet, I’m at once a week too. The pointe class was added at the end of the one per week I already take, so I’m just gone longer not an additional evening.
      More classes would require hiring a babysitter for daytime or missing out on dinner/bath/jammies/bedtime and neither of those sound awesome at the moment.
      Do you love getting The Dad Report when you get home from ballet? What was the favorite at dinner, was there fussing at bedtime, did he swim in the tub or just stand up looking silly the whole time?

      • New to ballet says:

        Ooh, gym with childcare! One of those here please, that would be awesome! Thanks for spilling the beans about your circumstances, now I feel better about my out only once-a-week situation :-) Dodged a serious underachiever-syndrome bullet there, phew.

        Yes, the Dad Report! He welcomes me proud as punch, tells me how much fun they had and that the boy didn’t miss me AT ALL and how he took care of a poop disaster all by himself! Then I too get to hear what they ate, how long it took to get the kid sleeping, what silly things happened etc. It’s so cute, and I ofc admire Dad appropriately.

  10. Steph says:

    I just started trying one legged things on pointe and I agree it’s terrifying. Trying to get yourself over your leg feels like launching yourself over and thoughts along the line of “why the f$&@ would I throw myself over the tips of my toes in a satin and glue shoe” always come to mind. Makes we watch you tube videos with even more wonder.

  11. Pingback: The ancient and terrible Ones. | Adult Beginner

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