During Monday’s adult class, I figured it was as good a time as any to bust out the new pointe shoes, even though I haven’t had time to tighten the elastics a little or to try out different padding options on my own. I went with what I was used to–the gel tip on my big toe with the normal toe pad stuffed where my short toes are so my shoe doesn’t twist–and hoped for the best.
It had been a while since I last did barre en pointe, but if anywhere is safe it’s going to be the adult class. I felt a little intimidated, like maybe it was expected that I be fabulous since I’m doing pointe in the adult class instead of taking a leveled class, but the pace and focus is better here for what I need. I tried to just suck it up and do my best. Fear is everywhere if you let yourself see it.
There were a few things I was just out of practice in trying to do. Some moments were quite literally laughable, but others showed great promise and improvement. The shoes themselves are wonderful and give me great support where I need it. They hold my foot well and give me confidence to attempt things where other shoes made me hesitate.
As the class went on, my toe started to go numb which I half expected using the gel caps. By the time we got to center, it felt like my toe was replaced with a rock and I had to dance on it. I tried to press through, but there came a point where it wasn’t worth it and I just did things on demi instead. It was towards the very end of the class, so I had made it farther than I usually do, so I tried not to beat myself up over it. I did manage a pirouette before the rock-toe came into full swing, so that was nice.
Typically if there’s something I can’t do, I just sit it out. Like jumps that are hard on my knees. But this time I would mark what I couldn’t do then join in on what I could. In a weird way, it made me feel better about myself; less like a failure. As much as it can be a relief to not have to do some of the more strenuous things, I wish I was able to. It can be quite disheartening to have to sit out of things I should be able to do but can’t because my body gives me all these challenges.
I still need to work on finding out the compromises to be able to have better balance when in my pointe shoes due to my uneven legs. I need to better strengthen certain muscles and know where to place different parts of myself to get where I need to be since being square doesn’t come naturally. Thankfully, I’m starting to get somewhere with all of that.
In yesterday’s class, I was going to try my shoes again, but not using the gel tips. It proved too much without my lambswool, so I just did without them for the class.
I found myself struggling that day with different physical and mental illness symptoms that take an extra bit of me to power through, but thankfully it wasn’t too full blown to cause me to have to take more drastic measures or leave the class. It did compromise my focus a bit, but I was able to power through without too many hose-ups. I did get some good corrections in class about my turnout and really using my plie. These are two things I think I am doing better with than I actually am, so having someone point out that I still need to try a bit harder really helps me to know what I’m actually doing versus what I think I’m doing.
I love going from the V’s class straight into adult because I can implement corrections received in the first class when attacking my second class.
I had some pretty solid balances and moments where I really kept the flow of the movements, which is something I’ve struggled with. I even managed my first true solid double, which was exciting. I still have loads of work to do, but to know I managed it was a great feeling.
I’m taking part in the #perfectyourpirouette challenge on instagram, aiming to work on having better pirouettes by the end of September. I filmed a bit after class, which proved rather rough being that I had been in the studio for 3 hours between teaching my bitty class and taking two classes. My blood sugar was rather low, my organs were beginning to scream at me, and my brain was spacing (but I cut most of what was obvious in that out of the video.) but I want to do this anyway. I figured it’d be a good “beginning” video for it anyway, haha. I’m hopeful that doing some targeted work on my pirouettes will help them improve. Seeing them in video form has already taught me a lot about my tendencies and what to really focus on. I gotta keep my mind open to correction and really strive to implement.
I’m going out of town for almost 2 weeks on the 4th of September for a wedding in New York, and also seeing my brother-in-law’s family up there. I’m trying to squeeze in an adult class while there (New Hampshire), but it’ll depend on the scheduling to see if it’s feasible. I’m hopeful, though. And if not, it’s okay. It would just be nice to not have to go a whole week without dancing.
I tried to add the edited video on here, but my phone is being weird, so here is a link to my Instagram instead.
Hope y’all are doing well! And if you would like, feel free to join in on the challenge!
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.