October 29, 2011

Just like a ballerina, stepping lightly.

Inspiration photo

As I slid my tights over my feet, my hands grazed over the soles.

Rough, raw, calloused.

I sighed and pulled my tights up. Reaching into my bag, I pulled out the shoe box, slightly battered from being transported to and from countless clas ses, rehearsals, and performances. But as long as it was the box which took the beating, I was ok, for it lovingly held my point shoes, and those were much more precious cargo. They were no longer the soft baby pink that shone when I bought them, now they were slightly paler, rosin residue covering the bottom and point. But for what they lacked in appearance, the regained in familiarity. Sliding them on, they fit perfectly. Each toe nestled into the nooks and crannies, a mold of my foot that was made for me.

I wrapped the pink satin ribbons around my ankl es, crossing once in the back, then the front, before finally ending with a bow at the base of my calf. Loose enough to ensure I could move, tight enough to ensure the shoes would not.

In one smooth motion, I slid my bag back under the bench and took a few gliding steps into the studio. I perched on my toes, taking small stutter steps across the room. A few deep bends to warm up my muscles before launching myself in a series of jumps, dips and pirouettes until my hand brushed against the window on the opposite wall. The other dancers watched as I made my way gracefully back and forth across the room.

I could feel my shoe rubbing my foot, no doubt adding to the already disfigured surface. I knew it came with the territory-as long as I danced, my feet would suffer. The bruises and fissures would fade eventually, the callouses would shrink and the rough skin could be made soft again. But as long as my feet were stuffed into shoes that kept my tottering on my toes, my feet would continue to deteriorate.

It amazed me that an act know n for it's grace and beauty, produced such ugly scars.

This post is in response to a Red Writing Hood prompt at Write on Edge-Athleticism.


d'Artagnan said...

Love it. Good work.

Anonymous said...

Great work! :)

Cameron said...

I thought this was a really nice view into a dancer's mentality, and the link with the shoes really anchors the piece.

I think, though, that the last line is unnecessary. You've done the work of showing us the ugly scars from the pointe shoes, telling us in that final line takes away the impact of your earlier prose.

Trust yourself!

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