Sunday, June 10, 2012

The oddball things people believe

People are willing to believe all sorts of crazy things that just don't pass the "smell test". Here's one such.

I posted a picture of the Sansha "Futura" pointe shoes I mentioned in my last update to another forum. For reference, here's the photo:

I received the following response:

True toe shoes like they wear in ballet have a smaller toe area and they have no real support. Most pro ballet people have their toenails removed to decrease foot pain. Your ankles and tendons have to be very strong.
They are not designed for walking.
Well. Gee. Where do I start?

It's not like I have no previous exposure to ballet. I've never been en pointe myself, but one of my college girlfriends took classes with the Baltimore Ballet and I learned a lot from her. While I was taking ballet in the 1980s I was recruited by my teacher to help with the girls' pointe class that took place immediately before our adult class. This gave the girls a chance to do some basic partner moves, including turns, lifts and jumps. Some of the girls were a delight to dance with, while others... well... it was a lot like weight lifting at the gym, except you had to watch your feet (and other body parts) more carefully lest you get stepped on or kicked. Those pointe shoes are hard!

I'm friends with one or two professional ballet dancers. None of them ever mentioned having their toenails removed. None ever mentioned it as a common practice. In fact, none of them ever mentioned anything about it. The only mention of toenails has been when one got bruised, or maybe came off due to an injury. But maybe others know something I don't.

I do agree with the part about "your ankles and tendons have to be very strong", hence my concern for the other student. She says she can still get up on pointe wearing her old shoes, but somehow I suspect that means for a moment, while holding on to something for stability. Not taking a class.

Comments? I know you folk are reading; I look at the stats. You don't have to be an authority; you just have to have an opinion.


  1. I have an opinion!
    My opinion is: those shoes are Incredibly Ugly!
    Perhaps even so ugly they've gone all the way around and come back out the other side to cute. Like a pug. Maybe. Or not. Maybe they are more attractive on feet? Or maybe they just look orthopedic.
    I hope your classmate wears them for barre one day so you can give a full report.
    Also, "They are not designed for walking" is a totally hilarious comment on pointe shoes.

  2. Hey there, Adult Beginner! Love your blog. Thanks for replying.

    My classmate tried them on only briefly, just long enough to decide they were the wrong size. The studio owner (who I'm sure has a shoe fetish) and our teacher oohed and aahed over them, so clearly it's a matter of taste. Me, I'm a traditionalist.

    I was hoping my classmate would show up this week and maybe talk with the substitute teacher about it. She's done a lot of pointe work, while our regular teacher told me she's never been on pointe. Alas, she didn't show up.


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