Let’s try it. 

Yesterday started off not much better than the day before. My brain was fuzzy and I felt out of my depth. I know it’s the 6 class and many people say I’m more than capable, but yesterday I was feeling my 5.

There were bits I was terrified over but still tried. So that was something at least. I don’t know that I would say I was successful, but I was definitely more successful than having never tried at all.

There was a point when I panicked. And it was stupid. But I was embarrassed and just didn’t have it in me to fully wrap my brain around what was happening, what was being asked of me, and I knew I looked like a fool doing it. Thankfully, Julie is good at recognizing when to push and when to pull back and she pushed until she needed to pull back so I didn’t completely fall apart. (Although I did fall apart more than I would have liked. And felt a prime idiot more than I prefer.) (yay for comfort zones being demolished?) (or something)

After ballet was over, I went into the small studio to break in my new shoes. I waited until then to do it instead of breaking them in in class because I wanted to make sure it was done properly. These are experimental shoes, and I want to give them every bit of a real chance as I can.

They’re the same shoe, just with a harder shank. The hardest Capezio makes, actually. I had the hardest shank before, but now they’ve started making an even harder shank, so Amanda from Capezio in Austin told me about it and I figured I’d give it a shot. They came in, I sewed them that day, and waited for d-day. (So to speak)

I was nervous, so say the least. After the Gaynors bombed because of sizing, I was afraid these wouldn’t be any better and I’d just have to make my old shoes work best I knew how. Which they aren’t terrible. But it seemed something was missing.

I put them on, did a few things to help the arch so they wouldn’t snap, then I rolled up.

I’d say my biggest fear was that they’d be too hard. That I wouldn’t be able to get over my box and it would be so defeating. That I would find myself with the opposite problem of what I had before, and would have to find a way to make it work.

But that didn’t happen.

Instead, they seemed to mold to my arch, getting me over my box but not too far. Just enough to do what I need but give me room to work harder. If that makes sense? Anyway.

I went into the office and asked Ms. Munro what she thought. Sometimes people think they need hard shanks but are really just fooling themselves. I didn’t want to be that person. So she had me do typical bit of standing in first, then pushing through the instep, then straightening while trying to stay far over the box. Afterwards she said, “those look great!” And we talked about how people who have naturally higher arches need a harder shank. Which I’ve been told I have, but never really realized it I guess.

So the shoes are a go. Approved by Ms M, and feel great. I went back in the studio and worked a bit more. I did a few of the things to help me lift out of my shoe and then I decided to try a pirouette to see what would happen.

Wouldn’t you know it, it improved substantially.

I was able to hold the position a bit longer, it felt more stable, I was able to fully get around and roll through like a champ. I was on cloud nine.

So I tried an en dedan. And I got around with my leg not even to the front where it needed to be. So I fixed it and it was quite a decent turn. Still better on one side versus the other but that’s typical. I went back to regular pirouettes and the first one I tried was so solid if I would have gotten a bit more force it could have been a double. What. The. Heck. So then I tried a double and completely bombed it because I was thinking too hard so I just laughed at myself.

I worked on chaines and piques and was successful with both, though they need work. I felt like what I see other girls look like. That this must be what it feels like for them in class.

More importantly, I felt hope.

Which is something that has seemed to be in short supply recently. It gave me a bright point among all the stormy clouds that have been keeping me company. Sure things still suck, but at least I have something to help me through.

I’m grateful, for sure, and emailed Amanda from the studio letting her know she’s my hero and asking to order the next pair of magic shoes. I wish I could order more at once, but these bad boys run about $120 each. Sucks to go through them so quickly.

Oh well. It’s worth it to me.


  

Oh look! An update!

It’s been a while since I’ve had a class to post about, but never fear! Classes start again for summer today, and my first one is tomorrow.
I’m taking the intermediate level, which consists of levels 2, 3, and 4. I was torn about deciding intermediate over advanced, being that it will be geared more toward the younger ones (so I’m told?) and I don’t want my choice to cause me to be written off. But upon consulting a more advanced friend, as well as Ms. Lori, Intermediate is probably a good choice for me this year.

  • I’ve never done a beginner pointe class. What we did at Instep was close to one, but my shoes weren’t fitted right and I struggled so much that I couldn’t even finish the class in my shoes.
  • Going back to the basics is always a good idea. Plus it’ll help me know what to do at home by myself.
  • I’m not biting off more than I can chew. I’d rather be on the advanced side of intermediate than drown in the advanced class. 
  • The goal is to dance it en pointe. Even if I could do advanced on flat, I don’t want to use the time when I could be doing pointe across the hall.
  • My back is still messed up. Ms. Lori pointed out this would be better for me than pushing it too hard when it’s still pretty crooked. (Plus the chiropractor keeps side commenting about dance. He hasn’t told me to stop, but I’m terrified if I say the wrong thing that he will.)
  • I’m taking private lessons from Mrs. Abby to help me improve further.
Coming into this week, I’m really glad I don’t have to mentally prepare myself to do super-complex things that I really don’t know how to do, but I do have to prepare to be “on” in the sense that I will be with the younger levels, and they really like me. 
I love those girls, and I’m glad to get to take a class with them, but I’m a bit nervous of how it could go in a way that could show a side of weakness for me and cause anxiety. I don’t know if that makes sense. Oh well.
I’m not extremely worried about it or anything, it’s just a thought in my head.
My first private lesson will be on Thursday. I’m nervous/excited about this (more excited than nervous) and really hopeful that it will go well. I really trust Abby. She has a great way of explaining things in a way that is easy to understand and grasp, as well as motivating without making me hate myself. Plus, since we’ve become friends, she knows all of my health woes. I know she will be understanding of my limitations, but not write me off because of them. Does that make sense? My brain has been mush today. Oh well.
I got invited to go to a spontaneous pointe shoe fitting last week, but it fell through. I was both sad and kinda glad, because the place we would be going didn’t have a shoe similar to what I wear, and I didn’t want to spend so much money on something that wouldn’t do me any good when I know a shoe that does me good is down the road. 
My co worker had to go to Austin, and said if I went along, we could swing by Capezio. (what a gem.)
I emailed Amanda, who is the wonderful lady who took Jordan’s spot, and asked what she thought. She said it would be a good idea to make sure there wasn’t anything better for me now that I knew what I liked and what worked for my feet. 
For some reason, I was hesitant to get excited (I guess I do this?) in case it fell through or something, but it didn’t.
At 11:15, I walked into Capezio (early, oops.) and met with the girl Amanda said would be there and told her my feet woes and she kinda stared at my toes with an I’ve-never-seen-such-weird-feet look and it was funny. She went back to their shoe room and as I waited, I noticed that they carried the new Airess that had come out not too long ago. I immediately text my friend Elizabeth and told her. We had talked of pointe shoes at a photo shoot I did of her the Saturday before. She was the one that suggested the secondary fitting to make sure the shank breaking wasn’t due to an issue with the shoe to my foot, and mentioned how she wanted to buy a pair just to try them on then send them back. 
When the girl came out, I asked if I could try them. She said, “Actually, that’s the shoe I brought you.” 
Perfect.
She said they have six different types of the Airess, with two different box styles, three different shank strengths, and something else I don’t remember because I was so excited. These shoes have been pumped up not just by the company, but by many dancers in the industry. To say I was curious is an understatement.
I remember when I did the fitting in September, even Jordan made a comment about some people not liking how Capezio looked on their feet. The first thing I noticed with the Airess is how clean it looked. 
The first pair she brought out were a little small for my feet, but when she grabbed the second pair, it was near perfect. (It should be noted, I tried them on with no toe pads at first. hah.)
I went over to the barre and went on releve and the girl said, “You get over your box really well!” Which just made me feel great. 
I couldn’t really tell if my toes were scrunching or if they were just perfect, which tends to be my struggle in new shoes. If you err on the side of maybe-they-are-scrunching your shoe can end up huge and makes dancing particularly complicated being that most of my toes are midgets already and don’t fill up the shoe.
The shape of the tapered boxed, super hard shanked Airess that I tried was perfect for my wide jointed, but tiny-toed feet. I was over-the-moon-thrilled about it. So I bought them.
All in all, the fitting took maybe seven minutes, tops. 
I looked around the store for new tights and to check out their leotards when the girl mentioned that all the leos were 15% percent off. I said, “Don’t tell me that!” and she apologized, which made me laugh. (I told her to tell me that after. It wasn’t as awkward or rude as it sounds, go with me here.)
Typically I have a hard time finding leotards that are long enough for me, but this time I found three. THREE.
Two of them were simple styles, but ones I had been looking at getting online (now 15% off and no shipping!) The other was fancy. I’m really excited.
The whole rest of the day (which was a long one) I was gushing over my fifteen minutes in the heaven reincarnate that is known as Capezio Austin. I put the shoes on and text a picture to Lillian and we squealed and it’s just great. 
I have sewn the ones I had special ordered–which weren’t supposed to come in until August, but happened to make it there Wednesday and they held them for me–and have to wait til after tomorrow to sew the Airess, but I don’t really want to try those until I have Abby as a teacher. They gave me elastic for both pairs, but I have to cross mine and one is never enough, so I used both to sew the one pair I’ll need for tomorrow.
(She had noted that the shank on my left shoe twists a little, but she didn’t think it was enough to cause alarm and that crossing the elastic should fix it. Thankfully this time I sewed them tightly enough.)
One of my friends has a giant roll of elastic and told me not to get anymore, so she’s bringing me some on Tuesday. Such a gem. So I’ll be able to have the Airess sewn by Thursday’s class.
All in all it was a very productive Saturday. A trip I really needed to make happen but couldn’t figure out how I could swing it when it found its way into happening on its own. 
It’s like ballet wants me to dance it.
The loot.

They’re just so beautiful…

This is what I sent Lillian.
You’re welcome.
(please note the driver’s seat I was behind was occupied by a 6’5″ person and I was smooshed.)