Don’t Pointe at Me

15 Feb

My daughter is a dancer.  Buns, leotards, pink tights and tutus.  And, pointe shoes.  Pointe shoes are a right of passage for ballerinas.  Dancers have to work hard to be recommended for pointe class.  It takes years to accomplish.  I am proud of our ballerina.  But, pointe shoes are expensive and need to be replaced frequently…as in every two to six weeks to the tune of about $80-100.

Last weekend, I used one of my standing intervals to take my sweet ballerina for new pointe shoes.  She has a brand and style she likes, so there would be no need for a fitting.  Quick and painless, right?  Just ask for the kind she likes, state her size, pay a chunk of change and get out.  Perfect.

Not.  Said sweet ballerina did not notice the shoes had an “N” after the “XX”(I have no idea what that means for sizing on pointe shoes.  They are a Russian brand and I am not fluent in Russian).  So, we grab a few other necessary ballet items like toe pads (ouch!) and drive the 15 minutes home.

Did I tell you my ballerina is a teenager?  Sweet as can be 90% of the time.  Use your imagination for the other 10%.  Once home, she heads to her room to try on the new shoes and get ready for the tedious process of hand sewing on ribbons and elastics.  Then,   a wail, followed by her bedroom door slamming open.  “Ahhh!  These are not the right size!”  Oops.  “Well, you had the size written down, what happened?”

You can imagine it all turned out to be my fault.  Go figure.  And now the world is certainly going to end.  She will now not have time to sew on her ribbons and elastics before Monday’s class and there is absolutely no way she will have time to break them in. I state this is ridiculous (calm and motherly, of course) offer to drive her back, but am firm that I am not using another set of my standing minutes going into the store.  She will have to go in and sort it out herself.  After a while we come to an understanding.  Proper pointe shoes are scored and Peg Leg remains in the car. Lesson learned?  Double check your order, be nice to your mom and if you have a little girl, do not encourage dance…choose something cheaper like soccer…otherwise in about eight years, you will be buying point shoes every month with a teenage ballerina.




6 Responses to “Don’t Pointe at Me”

  1. words4jp February 15, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    A little advice from a ‘once upon a time dancer’ – even if she – you – probably should be she to make absolute certain – always try the shoes on. Even if it is the right size and maker (according the the Russian scribble on the bottom of the sole), because these shoes are made by hand and each cobbler is a person who has good days, bad days, hangover days…..and believe it or not, there can some be deviation between each pair. Your daughter may still be getting used to pointe in general, but as she progresses, she will become more in tune with her shoes. Which makes sense, because it is a goal (one of) to have one’s feet become one with their shoes and vice versa. In my days, I wore Freed’s of London. My favorite maker was P and V and Spade and M. I was a professional dancer and was fortunate to have my foot sized and shoes designed with my own foot and arch in mind. But I can tell you, P was not always on his or her best behavior. I had a few pairs that I had to tweak because something was not right. Oh and by the way – she should keep her old shoes – put a date on the sole. I used to write the date and what I used them for – a ballet role, classes, whose classes…. I would also keep a small notebook with this info. It becomes valuable especially when you – mom- starts paying mucho bucks on point shoes every month!!! As we say in the dancer’s world – Merde!

    • bossybostwick February 15, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

      Thanks for the pointers :). She saves the shoes and marks them, but I don’t think she has time for the notebook. I will make sure she tries them all on now. Thanks.

  2. NTP February 16, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    But pointe shoes are so pretty though. I did not realize they were hand cobbled. They should include a photo of your Russian cobbler so you have an association with the craftsman. Now I understand the high price tag. It’s nice to know that they aren’t mass produced in China.

    • bossybostwick February 17, 2013 at 2:19 am #

      Have Kbear give it a whirl…or you? You can collect them with your cookbooks…not all are made in Russia…

  3. Charlie's daddy February 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    i put duct tape on one of my orthotics this morning. not quite the same, but nonetheless traumatic.

    • bossybostwick February 20, 2013 at 6:03 am #

      Traumatic, but kind of up getting up there to punk rock status. You just need to add a few safety pins and you’ll be there.

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