I remember the first time I wore pointe shoes like it was yesterday. I was ten years old when I asked one of the older girls in my class if I could try on her pointe shoes. She said yes! (They were three sizes too big but I didn’t care.) Instead of trying something simple like a relevé at the barre, I started turning! For a second I thought I was flying… and then… my feet cramped! The girls in the studio laughed and told me to take off the shoes and massage my feet. I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t handle the pain and cramping that I quickly hobbled off the dance floor and took their advice.
My teacher had warned me that pointe shoes are a lot of responsibility and they are very dangerous if you are not careful. Boy, was she was right! I had to wait another year before I was ready to get a pair of my own. Although that year felt like an eternity, I worked hard at building the strength I needed to wear pointe shoes. It was well worth the wait. I don’t take pointe shoes for granted because I know how hard I have worked to be able to wear them.
With the strength I need and the technique that I spent years building, I am free to dance any way I want to. Sometimes I actually feel like I am flying and it reminds me of my very first time wearing pointe shoes – without the cramping, of course!
Do you remember your first time wearing pointe shoes? What was your experience?