You see these fuckers? They’re my pointe shoes. Now, I don’t know how much you guys know about ballet, but pointe is a style of ballet where the dancer dances on their toes. There’s a wooden box like thing on the tips, and is flat on the front, which makes us able to dance on our toes like we do. It’s called the box or platform. These shoes need to be the perfect size, otherwise the dancer can easily seriously hurt themselves. If the shoes are too small, their toes could break, but if they’re too big, they could snap their ankles. No two pairs of shoes are the same, so you can’t borrow anyone else’s. They need to be yours because otherwise the shoes won’t fit with your foot and how you dance.
These shoes range from 50-85 dollars, depending on where you get them and what they’re made out of. They’re stiff as a board when you first get them, so you need to break them in. Breaking them in takes months. You have to dance in stiff, hard boxes until the shank and vamp finally takes to your foot. You will bleed. Some people actually cry because the pain of breaking the shoes in is so bad. Once they’re finally broken in, dancing in them is wonderful, even if it still hurts a little. But when they’re broken in, they only last a few more months until they fall apart completely. Then you need to get a new pair and break those in.
In order to dance on these shoes, you need the proper cushioning for your toes, whether it be cotton, a soft gel slip over your toes, or wool. Your toenails need to be as short as you can make them, so that your nail can’t splinter and dig into your skin as you go up. Sometimes it happens anyway. Before a dancer can even consider dancing on the floor away from the bar, they need to practice for months, perfecting their balance, the set of their core, where their shoulders need to be, and how to go up.
Going up is key to staying safe while dancing pointe. If you go up wrong, theres a 95% chance you will hurt yourself. To go up, you need to roll up from your heels to the tips of your toes, flat, and with precision. If you hop up, you’ll break your ankle. If you roll the wrong way, you’ll break your ankle. It literally needs to be perfect. Before leaving the bar, you need to be able to balance for about sixty seconds, to assure your instructor and yourself that you will be save doing forte turns and pirouettes, as well as gran-jete, glissade, leaps, and even waltzes.
The next step is grace. You can’t blunder across the stage. You need to glide, flowing from each step to the other. The dance needs to look like a single step, moving continuously from each pose to another. Fingers need to be extended, necks elongated, shoulders down, chin up, stomach and butt tense and in, legs and back straight and toes pointed and turned out. The dance must always continue, even if you hurt yourself. If you can still move, you can still dance. If you’re bleeding in your shoe, there is no stopping and fixing it. You finish the dance and when it’s over you patch yourself up in the dressing room and continue on with your next dance if you have one. If you fall, you make it look like it was supposed to be in the dance. Your facial expressions and body need to reflect the music, so if you have a melancholy song, you must look forlorn, and depict it through your body and eyes, as well as the set of your mouth. Same as if your number was happy and upbeat, you need to reflect that.
There are two major styles of ballet: Russian and Italian. An ideal ballerina knows both forms, and can tell the difference between the two. A dancer must follow the song with it’s beat as well, and the tempo can go from counts of four to sixteenth counts.
Pointe dancers sometimes need to put resin on their shoes so that they don’t slip and risk breaking an arm, or even their neck. But if you put too much resin on, your shoes will stick, and you’ll fall while trying to turn.
In conclusion, DANCE IS A FUCKING SPORT, OKAY? ESPECIALLY BALLET. WE RISK OURSELVES EVERY PRACTICE AND SHOW, SO DON’T YOU DARE FUCKING TELL ME THAT WHAT I DO ISN’T A SPORT. I PRACTICE FOR HOURS, JUST AS EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO PLAYS SOCCER OR FOOTBALL OR LACROSSE. I GET HURT AND I FALL AND I GET BRUISED AND I BREAK THINGS, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE WHO PLAYS ALL THOSE OTHER FUCKING SPORTS.
So kindly fuck off if you think otherwise.