Feeling Inspired…

Sewing Satin Shoes

I wrote this post several months ago but got caught up in final exams and forgot to post it. I hope you enjoy a taste of my creative writing! 

The stinging in my fingertips, the cracking of the glue, the unadulterated satin, and that distinct factory smell. The sweet satisfaction that a new pair of pointe shoes brings to a dancer’s heart.

It’s probably been about a year since I last sewed a pair of pointe shoes. I’m performing in Cal Poly’s Spring Dance Concert: Catalyst, and my grimy, worn-out old pair of Bloch Jetstreams just wasn’t going to cut it. I faithfully returned to Discount Dance Supply to order the pink satin shoes I love to hate. They came in the mail and my roommates acted like little girls, anxiously waiting to see the magic pink shoes emerge from their inconspicuous cream box.

As they focused on the shoes, I inspected the ribbons and elastic, making sure they were the appropriate width and length. After more than six years of this beautiful, torturous dance form, I’ve established some very precise specifications for my pointe shoes. I cut and measured the elastic, hoping it wouldn’t be too tight and cut off the circulation to my feet.

Foil, nail polish, and scissors: the ingredients for making fray-proof ribbons. With all the preparations made, the painfully tedious sewing, rather stitching, began. First sewing the elastics to the heels, then the ribbons on the sides, attaching the elastic over the ribbon…I might sound insane, but to my bunhead readers, this is completely normal. The final stitch never comes soon enough, but when it does, I can never resist slipping the shoes on and trying a few harmless relevés.

In retrospect:

My Bloch Jetstreams were the finished touch and the essential ingredient to my ballet piece in the Spring Dance show. In the rehearsals prior to the show, I attempted wearing a pair of Gaynor Mindens that I once optimistically purchased but have never had the patience to adapt to. I love that my Blochs feel wonderful (that might be a bit of an overstatement) after a thorough barre. However, I’m never completely satisfied with my shoes. I have an incessant compulsion to find a different shoe that will serve as a better vehicle for my dancing. But for now, I’m happy sticking with my Jetstreams.

After the Spring Dance Show, I grabbed my amazing dance friends, Nikki Sullivan and Lauren Creger for a quick picture with me. Both ladies choreographed brilliant pieces for the show. And, they’ve been interviewed for this blog!

To my lovely Bunheads, comment below and tell me what kind of pointe shoes you wear! I love comparing shoes with fellow dancers, it’s almost as fun as comparing blisters and other wounds on our feet!

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