Monday, December 25, 2017

Conversations en Pointe

In the dressing room before Saturday morning's class I bumped into a man who I used to see at the school regularly, but hadn't seen in well over a year. He said he'd intended to take the Advanced Beginner class that started at 10am, but had arrived late and decided to take the Beginner II class instead. Apparently we've been in the school at the same time quite a bit, but he's been in class when I arrive and I've been in class when he left.

As has become her habit since at least September, our instructor was in the hallway warming up wearing pointe shoes. I once asked if she'd bought new shoes and she said they were a half-dead pair that she'd pulled out of the school's hand-me-down bin one day. I'd half-jokingly asked her when she was going to start teaching class wearing them, and she'd laughed and said "Never!"

Apparently "never" arrived Saturday morning.

My usual barre spot was already occupied, so I took an empty spot facing the spot where she normally demonstrates the barre exercises. When she walked into class she was still wearing her pointe shoes, and as she demonstrated she rose all the way en pointe when we'd normally go to demi-point. One of the long-time regulars in this class looked around and commented, "This is turning into a pointe class." And to some extent it is. There were two students wearing pointe shoes for barre, and last Tuesday evening there were three others.

At some point during barre she changed into her regular slippers, but I keep thinking that this isn't a random event. If I was to speculate, I'd think that the idea that adults who want to learn pointe deserve proper instruction has sunk in. Maybe she feels that if she's going to teach pointe work she should be capable of doing it too. Or maybe seeing them has rekindled her own desire to dance en pointe. Or maybe I'm reading way too much into this. Still, even if it's not a formal pointe class, it's a lot better than people trying to learn it on their own.

About 5 minutes before the end of class my right quads started spasming. I don't think I've been doing a good job of keeping hydrated now that the heat is on in my house. I tried stretching it out and even dug out my massage stick, but eventually I excused myself from class and hobbled off to change. When my classmate joined me in the dressing room after class he commented that he'd forgotten what this instructor's classes were like. He thought he did reasonably well, but felt like he was struggling. I thought that was interesting considering what class he would have been in had he arrived on time.

He and I also had a conversation about pointe. He'd seen an interview with some of the Trockaderos who said that learning pointe work had really strengthened their feet and had improved the way they danced even when wearing soft slippers. He seemed fascinated by this, and we discussed where one could get pointe shoes to fit men. I wonder if he'd be a candidate for an adult pointe class too?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update on these interesting developments! I'll bet that Joy Ellis, owner of Footlights, would probably fit men in pointe shoes (if she has not already in her many years fitting dancers of all ages). I hope I will be back in class soon (tendonitis hopefully healed) and, when in shape again someday, would love to take an adult beginner pointe class with men and women.


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