Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Pointe Progress

It's the small things that brighten up my day! And I really do look forward to Tuesday evenings as it's my mid-week pointe and ballet lesson. It's one of the little things that keep me going and I look forward to the clock hitting 5.05pm so I can leave and be on my way to the other side of the city for my lesson.

Tonight was even better; everything seemed to go in my favour - (although I shall touch wood as I say that!) I had no meeting at the end of the day, the traffic wasn't too horrendous, and then, I had a really great pointe lesson: My pointe shoes finally feel broken in! I've had them a few month
s and only a fortnight ago realised that when I put my foot flat in them, the heel my left foot really digs in. My teacher had suggested I shave them down to make the sole's profile slightly flatter, which I did, but last week they felt far too soft (I wonder if perhaps they hadn't dried out since I'd been practising the day before) and I had fears that I'd have to buy a new pair. But - this week they felt perfect! (Take a look at my pic, right, to see my bloch serenades!) I even managed to balance in second arabesque (albeit low) without wobbling! We tackled some more advanced bar work and it's such a great feeling to think that when I began a few months ago I could barely rise onto one foot without gripping the barre for dear life, and now we're doing wonderfully balletic things like pose balances, pas de bouree piques and my favourite, coupe fouette racoursees! Now, I'm not naive enough to think I'll be pirouetting like Natasha Oughtred by Christmas, but it's great to feel progress and to be able to see it in the things we can do.

I learned pointe for about a year as a teenager, but since I didn't pursue the vocational examination route, my teacher didn't 'push the pointe' (so to speak!) and it was always a final 10 minutes at the end of a syllabus lesson. Taking a dedicated pointe class now feels quite indulgent, given that I'll never dance professionally, but I really do love it! Perhaps the most exciting point(e) tonight was when the teacher explained to us that she was having to set up a new 'beginner's pointe class' since we were no longer beginners. As we looked on dumbstruck she explained that what we were attempting wouldn't really go down very well in a 'beginner's lesson' since it was a little more advanced. Now, I don't really care how much more advanced, but the fact that we're spending more time in the centre, more time side-on to the barre and less time repeating simple rises and pliees, is a brilliant feeling of accomplishment and really made me smile!

Ballet class was good too, we did lots of enchainement and I wasn't rubbish, for once. Having been brought up on a diet of RAD syllabus work, it's hard to get my brain to process all the steps at once without practising them till they're second nature, but my IDTA class embraces the enchainement and though tough, I feel it's really improving my dance-sense and ability to pick things up. I'm not always great at it, but I can feel a slow, but steady, improvement and I feel more like I'm actually dancing each week. I wasn't sure about IDTA to start with, but I'm really enjoying it now and learning to enjoy the music and dance as well as the technicality rather than the practised perfection of RAD.

NB: Please forgive my pointe puns - lame, I know - but I couldn't help it!


  1. I love pointe work so much! It's such a nice break from the typical class work. I think it's awesome you are doing it. I love Blochs but found they broke down on my feet in a weird way.

  2. Ooh - Dancing branflake, I love your blog! I'm flattered you read mine!

    I haven't decided yet whether my pointes are the best ones for my feet. They feel comfortable but the vamp is very high (which suits my feet as they do tend to overarch a little). Compared to the freeds I used to have they are a million times better,but my feet are nearly a size different and the sole of my left foot digs into my heel if I don't shave it... I'm contemplating Gaynor Mindens or something similar (since I don't dance all the time like a professional, the prospect of having ready broken in shoes does sound appealing!) like the Bloch TMTs, but I do like the shape and look of blochs on my feet.

    Which shoes do you wear? I love hearing about other's shoes - and I'm such a pointe shoe geek - I can see which girls wear gaynors/ bloch and freed in my class! A friend wears grishkos and they make such a distinctive sound but look so pretty on her feet.