I’ve been working out a bit at home, with an eye toward going back to ballet class after a 30 year break. Really, though, it’s not 30 years…I did have one class about 8 years ago, a private lesson. The instructor didn’t like my feet (they’ve never been what you’d call pretty; they’re sort of in the Margot Fonteyn category if you consider that her feet were the only drawback she had), but other than that she was pretty darn happy with me. But the lessons would have been expensive — she wanted to teach me privately — and so I never went back.
I’m expecting no such deference this time. But I am working harder. I’m balking at stretching, but am doing all the plies and releves and all that good stuff. I have a few ballet-class videos and am trying to follow them…and suffering the same old brain farts I had 30 years ago. Some things never change.
In the last few days, just for fun, I’ve tried those Sansha Recitals on. I admit this is mainly to protect my sensitive right foot (Morton’s neuroma, what joy). But of course I couldn’t resist rising onto pointe, carefully, hanging onto a chair and keeping both feet on the floor. I did a few exercises that are supposed to help strengthen the ankles, because my ankles have always been incredibly wobbly.
I’ll stop here and report that while this particular Sansha model is not terribly pretty (the sides are way high up on the foot), it is amazingly comfortable. My big toe stays the way it wants to be…completely straight and not pushed into any sort of weird angle. And the platform is wide enough to give a feeling of confidence. Overall, while one would never mistake it for a bedroom slipper while up on pointe, at least it isn’t a torture chamber like my pointe shoes of yesteryear were.
Anyway, after that, for yucks I took a few tiny steps away from the chair. That lasted approximately one foot of travel space before I crashed, lol. But I DID get all the way up over my boxes. It just took such tremendous strength to stay there that it was too much at this point — especially as I have been ill lately.
Anyway, if anyone ever tries to tell you that being up on tippy-toes is easy and the pointe shoes do it all for you…send ’em to me. They’ll be sorry they ever said anything so stupid.