"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, May 21, 2012

Such Beautiful Torture

Those stupid shoes! Those awful, painful, expensive, agonizing, torturous, tight, abrasive, wretched, stinky, pink pointe shoes!!!

Don't be fooled by the pretty shiny pink satin. When I quit ballet, one of the things I was most eager to leave behind was dancing on pointe. I even took a picture of my retired pointe shoes and toe pads.

So long pointe shoes! And good riddance!

But now, after a 5-year break, once again I am putting on those dreadful, hated shoes to dance in Swan Lake.

Why do we put ourselves through this??! Who's terrible idea was it to invent these horrible shoes and make us all suffer and endure the endless blisters and bruised, broken, and lost toenails on the way to developing crippled deformed feet riddled with arthritis and bunions by our early 20's if not sooner?!?!

This is what the audience sees. Exquisite, perfect, weightless, graceful, unearthly, effortless.

What they don't realize is that it feels like this...

And this...

Every day. 

Hour after hour after hour. 

And yet, we all choose to do this to ourselves. Why?! What is wrong with us?! Talk about the worst hobby ever! I've only worn my new pointe shoes a few times and I've already gotten several hot angry blisters on top of my old scars and places where my massive calluses used to be, not to mention the beginnings of bruises under the tips of the corners of my big toenails from forcing the weight of my entire body onto a tiny oval less than 1/2 inch in diameter, or the stinging painful ache of bunions. Ugh. 

I found the picture above on this site http://www.the-perfect-pointe.com/Agony.html along with this quote: 
The Ballet toe shoe is one of the few instruments of torture to survive intact into our time. ~unknown
 Truer words may never have been spoken. Except for maybe "beauty is pain". When relating to ballet anyways. 

That being said, it really is beautiful. And as much as it hurts, and as hard as it is to master, there is something wonderful and liberating about dancing on pointe! Being taller and longer than you really are. Such a love/hate relationship! Before I quit ballet several years ago, I never got strong enough on point to feel like I was working with my shoes instead of fighting against them. Maybe this time around will be different. I know more now, and I don't have the same pressures and stresses I did before, so maybe I'll learn to like my pointe shoes a little more. 

...and maybe I won't, and I'll do the bare minimum to get me through Swan Lake and then quit again and just watch other people dance on pointe. It won't hurt like the dickens that way :)


  1. Sources for the pictures:




  2. I think that's just what happens when you don't dance in a while. The callouses actually protect your feet when dancing en pointe so it hurts less. That said, from what I gather most of those destroyed feet are from dancing constantly rather than dancing at all, so it seems best to strike some sort of balance. One of many reasons why it's probably better to do ballet as an amateur...

    I dream of going en pointe some day, but with my height and weight it's probably unrealistic.