My daughter asked to see my point shoes the other day. She’s developed a sudden passion for dance and dreams of dancing en pointe. I enrolled her when she was little, thinking it must be in her genes, but she didn’t take to it and landed on the gymnastics team instead. I started dancing when I was three. She’s eleven, but wants to give it a go. Scanning studio schedules unlocked a surge of memories. I actually put my point shoes on and pulled off a couple of relevés.
They’ve lost their peachy pink sheen and the shanks are broken, but I will never throw them away. They’ve been tucked in a memory box for over twenty five years. The ribbons are stained and their edges frayed, the toes are worn and the seams are split, but they are still beautiful to me. My feet tingle in protest as I examine the old Capezios. At once ethereal and excruciating, they symbolize beauty, grace and pain, like many other disciplines worth sacrificing for. My corns and bunions have been tamed, but my right big toe still pops out of the joint and I have scars from second degree blisters. These shoes are a badge of honor. Continue reading