Pointe was something I always admired and was curious about. A friend bought a pair of signed pointe shoes from the New York City Ballet for me. They were very inexpensive, but it was such an exciting gift. I remember putting those shoes on, just to feel what it felt like. It seemed like a far away goal, and something I couldn't reach. I didn't know if someone who started dancing as late as I did could get onto pointe.
One day, Beth asked me if I was interested in pointe. I said absolutely and asked what it would take to get ready. She said she thought I was ready, and took me down to the store after my private lesson.
I remember that they put me in a pair of 3/4 shank Sansha shoes. I'm pretty sure I still have them somewhere.
The first class
I had to wait a few days for my next lesson with Beth to try them on. When the lesson came, I was thrilled. For the last 15 minutes of my lesson with Beth, we tried out the pointe shoes.
I didn't really have an idea of what to expect. We stayed at the barre for the whole time, and worked mostly on releves. I didn't realize that so much of pointe work invovled getting up and down from being on pointe. I guess I thought it was more about staying up on pointe.
I would go on to learn a lot about pointe. It takes everything in ballet to the next level. There's an element of fear and challenge that goes beyond the experience in soft shoes. It added a whole new level to my training and would deepen my understanding of many ballet concepts.