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Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight! (karma: 4)
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Aug 07, 2009 09:07 PM

He, he, he! The old sylph got up on pointe tonight ... well, sort of ...

Took my first pointe class in 20 years and boy, was I nervous. I got there about 15 minutes early and put on my shoes ... wrong! So I had to switch them around which I did, but then I forgot to put one foot through the elastic soooooo I had to take that one off and try again. Next, I wet the box (I crushed the box at home and pounded it with a freakin' hammer! They're not getting away this time!) and tried just lightly testing going up (with the other foot firmly on the ground.) Didn't have enough lamb's wool in the toe sooooo went for a fourth time of taking them off and putting them on! Man, do I now know how to put on those shoes!

I sat there and got more and more nervous. Talked to somebody (an adult I know that takes there) and she told me all about some absolutely horrendous injury she got .... all because she took a pointe class as an adult after a long absence!!!! Okay, so now I'm really freakin' out! Sooooo I start thinking up excuses of why I need to go home, but before I could take my pointe shoes off for the fifth time, the piano stops playing and the door to the classroom opens. I see someone else I know and she's like, "Oh, boy! You're taking pointe? Goodie!" and starts clapping excitedly. I said I was (cause now I didn't know how to get out of it), but that I was only going to roll-up and roll-down a few times and LEAVE!!!

I go in and the teacher about fell over. Not every day a senior citizen walks in wanting to take pointe. Stood there getting more nervous and it starts and I'm getting up there, but barely. Two-footed releves are fine and rolling goes okay. I keep going and I'm now 1/2 into the class. We start doing piques and then a double releve on one foot and I'm like, "I CAN'T FREAKIN' DO RELEVES ON ONE FOOT!!!" So I white knuckle the barre and power myself up. Now I'm 45 minutes into an hour class and we're supposed to go into the center and I promised myself I wouldn't to the center, but it's only 15 minutes sooooooooo I give it a try. Three releves in first, then stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. Three in second, hold, hold, hold, hold hold. Then fifth the same repeat. Actually held my balance in first and second. Now we get to the combination and I try that also! Not difficult, but my feet were hurtin' so much! And my left ankle and toes, not good, but I did the combination ... twice ... and I made it to the end of class!

I tell you, I'm determined not to get frustrated with myself. It's so weird being on pointe after all these years. I try to logically think that it's only a couple of inches difference between demi-point and full pointe, but man, does it feel more than that!

Here's me in my Grishko's. Not too thrilled with them, but then what else is new.

Anybody else in this boat?

Oh, and the pointe pictures were taken pre-ribbons and elastic and pre-breaking those puppies in!

At least that's my excuse right now .. I'll think up more later.

2946 Replies to Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!

re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Flashnflakymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:06 PM
Sweetie, you definitely don't have the legs of a senior! LOL They look just like an adult professional dancer's legs (I would kill to have slim legs & ankles like that, seriously!)!

That's awesome that you went in there and stayed the whole class! Good for you! (do you want to go back is the next question).

Keep us all posted on how the classes go, and put up some new photos of the shoes all sewed up and broken in!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:15 PM
I'm SO excited for you! :)

I totally understand that feeling that you are at least A MILE higher going from demi-pointe to pointe, lol!

Keep on dancing~
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:09 PM
Aw, thanks for the encouragement, you guys! Y'all are so sweet!

Sweetie, you definitely don't have the legs of a senior! LOL They look just like an adult professional dancer's legs (I would kill to have slim legs & ankles like that, seriously!)!


First, a big virtual hug for the compliment. Thank you! Seriously, at this point in my life, I'm happy everything works! I'm appreciating that things are holding together and I can even do something as stupid as this!

(do you want to go back is the next question).


Are you kidding? I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

I freakin' love pointe so much - always have! I even love watching it. I feel so cheated when dancers aren't on pointe. I used to drive the subscription takers crazy at NYCB by making sure the programs I signed up for were all on pointe. I was like, "Now I don't want to get there and have them be dancing in their bare feet or slippers, you know!" I could hear them sign on the other end of the phone and twirl their finger around pointing to their temples - making endless circles to their co-worker to indicate the person on the other end of the line (that would be me!) was crazy.

Guilty as charged, but I still love pointe!!! Even after all these years. Just wish I could do it!

I'm SO excited for you! :)

I totally understand that feeling that you are at least A MILE higher going from demi-pointe to pointe, lol!

Keep on dancing~


d4j -

Argggghhhh!!! Thanks!!! I love you guys. You know exactly how good this stuff feels, don't you? Inside I'm all bubbly and tingly! Why it affects me this much I don't know, but it always has. And why I take it seriously ... haven't a clue. And I will post post-crushed, hammered, watered pointe shoe pictures!

I hope to keep dancing as long as I can ... and then a little longer!!!

A big ballet hug and kiss and a dozen red roses to you both!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By YellowFairy
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 12:14 AM
Yeah, seriously, hot legs. Wow. I was curious to know how it feels to go back on pointe after so much time off. What was the hardest? What surprised you? I'm just interested in all of it! Everytime I've been off pointe for a while, I kind of freak out a little and worry that I won't be able to have the strength to do anything anymore. Anyway, good for you!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 09:35 AM
yellowfairy -

Yeah, seriously, hot legs.[/q[

Oh, yeah, right! They get me where I need to go! For that, I am very, very grateful!

I was curious to know how it feels to go back on pointe after so much time off. What was the hardest? What surprised you? I'm just interested in all of it! Everytime I've been off pointe for a while, I kind of freak out a little and worry that I won't be able to have the strength to do anything anymore. Anyway, good for you!


What surprised me? How weak I am! While in the back of my mind, I know how long I've been away from ballet, there's a bit of a disconnect because I remember how easy pointe was for me. I just went up and could dance on pointe from the beginning and now ....??? Oh, yikes, I'm bad!

To begin with the ease of pulling up underneath to go onto pointe is a problem. I'm either jumping, or more accurately go up on one foot and sort of place the other behind. I'm speaking of standing in fifth and pulling up into a sous-sus. It's hard for me to get those legs together. It's weak feet and weak inner thighs. Then the whole idea of rolling down. I'm going to have to relearn it. It's why I'm having trouble. If I step out, say in a pique to the right. The idea of rolling down on my right foot into a plie freaks me out as does springing up and getting that toe underneath me.

The center was a huge problem for this reason. Also I did something to my left ankle when I brought the shoes home. I put them on and was trying to do something and went down in a plie and felt a bit of a "crunch" in my left ankle. I probbably ripped something, but it doesn't hurt nor does it interfere with anything on flat foot. On pointe, it feels weak and it 'gives out.' It made everything more difficult as I was protecting the area and aware it wasn't 100 percent.

It's strange even piques are ridiculously hard for me. On flat foot, they're so easy! I mean, what's hard about them? Nothing. But I tried doing them on pointe and that extra bit of getting up and over and on top of my leg seemed possible.

On the positive side, we went into fourth, did two releves and then just did a preparation for a pirouette by bringing that back leg up to a passe and holding on pointe - without turning. The first one, leg went up to the knee, but couldn't hold it. The second time, bam! I held that position for more than a few seconds. I mean, I was solidly up there and could have spun around more than a few times. Very happy about that.

It's just basically going to take time. I need strength and to relearn things. First thing is to have confidence that I can roll down on one foot. It'll take the fear factor out of getting down from being up there. It's why I was comfortable with doing releves from first and second - have no problems rolling down on two feet. But fifth, I've got to draw my legs up under me and really any serious ballet move you need to be able to on one foot or the other.

Much work ahead, but don't mind in the least! As I said, I love pointe, I'm grateful to still be able to try and I just really love being in class. At times I feel like an old fool when I see those beautiful young dancers, but I'm doing something different than they are. They are reaching their peaks and can have careers, and that's behind me. I'm just doing things I love and it is super good exercise if I look at it strictly as a physical activity! It's gotten me in terrific shape - I mean for me. For someone else, not so much!

I look forward to the day when I can do those one-footed releves in arabesque or what's that fouette I used to do? You swing up into second and then whip around into attitude? Used to LOVE doing that!!! It was actually fun!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By YellowFairy
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 10:19 AM
It's very interesting to read about your new struggles with pointe. It kind of gives us an idea of what to work on since you have been on pointe before and can identify specifically what parts of your body and pointe technique have changed and have to be strengthened. I have a huge problem with pirouette on pointe, so I understand the hang up with pique en tournant. I do love renverse into attitude en pointe too though!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By shinenfade
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:24 AM
wow...congrats on your class and pointe! Actually hearing you guys talk about if you dont dance for awhile you are nervous if you can still do it etc. that makes me feel better because even though never mde it to pointe since sprains I have been afraid to dance period because of injuries...so I guess I will never know unless I try it huh?
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By BlackTights
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:39 AM
What nice legs and feet you have! Wow! Legs a twenty year old would be envious of!

When you danced before, how long had you been on pointe and how comfortable were you? I don't recall if you danced professionally, or what....did you?

Exciting to be back in the pointe shoes, I'm sure! Making it through that first class must have felt great, despite the uncertainty after your extended hiatus.

I hope you'll keep us updated on your progress with pointe and dance in general!

Best wishes,

BT
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Tyterope
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 01:42 PM
First of all Congratulations! OMGoodness that must have been a terrific event in your life... I am so proud of you... And yes... you have beautiful legs...When you said senior citizen I thought you were joking... Nonetheless... it has been inspiring to read this post because it tells me anything is still possible... And... even though your strength isn't where it used to be... Since you love pointe, you know you'll work on it to get it there... Hallelujah! I really am glad for you and now I kinda want to be back on pointe myself... even though I've told myself I never wanted to try again... and I'm happy in flats.. One day maybe though, if my teacher tells me I'm ready... : ). Keep going and let us know how you're doing, I'd love to read! Cheers! K.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By ChristinePremium member
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 02:28 PM
This is wonderful news. Thanks for the pictures.

You are a true inspiration to everyone.

Three years ago I went back "up" after too, too, many years away. At first I thought...ah...like riding a bicycle or having sex...it comes right back in no time. Hum...then, as you so wisely noted...piques. Ouch. Old knees... tough toenails...literally!

When I got home I had throbbing feet and six broken toe nails. And in an extreme moment of vanity, (having survived the drive home)I said..."Wow..look at that...all those toes hitting the floor at the same time.!" It took 6 months for the two black nails to grow out.

I'm so happy you went back. Don't give up. Just take it all really slow and remember how long it took to get good at this when you were 14. The silver lining to the cloud of growing older...times passes so much more quickly. Two years when you're 14 is a life time. When you're "a certain age" two years is just a blink of the eye.

Congratulations.

and ps...you have some BEAUTIFUL legs!
Keep On Dancing!
xoxo
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 03:30 PM
You guys are so nice!! This is just the kind of encouragement I needed and here it is! And thanks for all the kind remarks also.

It's very interesting to read about your new struggles with pointe. It kind of gives us an idea of what to work on since you have been on pointe before and can identify specifically what parts of your body and pointe technique have changed and have to be strengthened.


Yellowfairy -

Yes, it's so strange how you remember what you did, but you just can't quite do it anymore. Like a bad dream! Then there are things I don't remember that come back. Like today in my pseudo-ballet class, I felt my chest muscle. I was just dancing around with my shoulders, chest, arms, neck and head as if they were carved out of a solid piece of granite and not individually articulated. I felt that outside chest muscle. My shoulders were separate from it and I was like, "Well, no wonder I couldn't turn or do anything!" I remember now I used to use this for turning - and lots of other things, but totally forgot the feeling!

I have been afraid to dance period because of injuries...so I guess I will never know unless I try it huh?


shinenfade -

Exactly! I figured if I just take a few minutes of pointe per week, I'll still be closer to my goal at the end of the year than if I didn't do anything at all!

And injuries have to be respected - especially at this age! Yes, I ignore some aches and pain, but injuries, nope! They need downtime to heal.

I hope you get a chance to follow through on this and if you do, the very best of luck to you! I know you'll love it - after your body recovers from shock!

When you danced before, how long had you been on pointe and how comfortable were you? I don't recall if you danced professionally, or what....did you?

Exciting to be back in the pointe shoes, I'm sure! Making it through that first class must have felt great, despite the uncertainty after your extended hiatus.

I hope you'll keep us updated on your progress with pointe and dance in general!


BlackTights -

Oh, thank you! And I will try to post pics. In the back of my mind is a crazy idea of taking a video, but ONLY if I acquire a little more skill in the old dancing department!

In terms of how long I was on pointe, I started when I was young, didn't take anything and then went back when I was about 30. I guess about 12 years all together. I was entirely comfortable on pointe and could do anything on them. No problems. No discomfort. I also was better on pointe than on flat-foot. Dancing on pointe clicked in me more and I obviously was way more enthusiastic when dancing on pointe than in a regular old canvas slipper!

Since you love pointe, you know you'll work on it to get it there... Hallelujah! I really am glad for you and now I kinda want to be back on pointe myself... even though I've told myself I never wanted to try again... and I'm happy in flats.. One day maybe though, if my teacher tells me I'm ready... : ). Keep going and let us know how you're doing, I'd love to read! Cheers! K.


Thank you so much!

You just never know! I NEVER thought I would do this again and here I am! I never even thought I'd try flat footed ballet again! And for 20 years, I didn't! What's the old saying, "Never say never?" You think I'd know that by now.

If you do decide to take again, please post some pics. I should probably start a thread in the Photo Member's section of us older gals up and doing our thing!

Three years ago I went back "up" after too, too, many years away. At first I thought...ah...like riding a bicycle or having sex...it comes right back in no time. Hum...then, as you so wisely noted...piques. Ouch. Old knees... tough toenails...literally!

When I got home I had throbbing feet and six broken toe nails. And in an extreme moment of vanity, (having survived the drive home)I said..."Wow..look at that...all those toes hitting the floor at the same time.!" It took 6 months for the two black nails to grow out.

I'm so happy you went back. Don't give up. Just take it all really slow and remember how long it took to get good at this when you were 14. The silver lining to the cloud of growing older...times passes so much more quickly. Two years when you're 14 is a life time. When you're "a certain age" two years is just a blink of the eye.

Congratulations.


topphilly -

Thanks! And congratulations to you also! Yes, the day after! So far nothing's fallen off or swollen up or turned black! I had so much lamb's wool in those shoes! I just kept breaking off these huge pieces and wrapping them around my toes! I had to push it back in cause it was fluffing out from the vamp!

Yes, when you're older you take a much more relaxed view of things. You can work slowly on things. When younger if someone told me I had to wait a week for something, it was like what? Forget about a month or a year! Now a year isn't so long to wait for something you want.

Thanks again for all your kind comments and nice compliments. I really do appreciate it and hope your kindness comes back to you ten-fold!

XOXOXOXOXOXXOXO
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Sat Aug 08, 2009 07:48 PM
CONGRATULATIONS on your return to pointe!! I'm so happy for you!! ((HUGS)) I agree, you have beautiful legs! Even if you don't feel like it at the moment, you still look like a ballerina. :D Twenty years is a long time away! Of course the first class is going to be hard, but don't be discouraged. Just think, you have all those years of experience to draw from... Even if your toes aren't as tough and your ankles not as strong as they used to be, you can focus on things like musicality, port de bras, epaulement, and so forth, all those details that take ballet from mere execution of steps to the art form that is truly beautiful... And in no time, you'll be whipping those youngsters' patooties! ;)

Can't wait to see updated pictures of your Grishko's! What model and shank do you have and what aren't you happy with?
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By sandyr999
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 04:56 AM
Hi 20 years away from Ballet or you have been in class and just wente up enpointe after 20 years
[you said "Not every day a senior citizen walks "]
you all i can see is the legs of a ballerina not a Not every senior citizen gosh I took my first Ballet class at 43
and I think i am smart and I could not remember my what was my left from right lol talk about nerv.....
but you said your teacher was shocked seeing you come in for pointe class did she not give the ok to start en pointe?
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 07:31 AM
YEEE--HA!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

And it's great to see someone else here who is my age who is just as insane as I am!

Seriously, though! I'm so proud of you! And I hope you continue to study, and eventually audition for even a small performance.

Ignore the snide remarks--one little (bleep) asked me if I studied under Vaganova! Then she saw me dance.

If you really want to mess with the kiddies, do what I did once during rehearsal--I wore an AARP tee shirt right over my leotard. And the next day I wore one that says "Senior Citizen--give me my damn discount!"

Okay. Here's a couple of things I did. Good stuff for us superannuated ballerinas. It's more about your "biologic age" than your chronological age.

My school insists on bone density scans for any dancer over age 40. Pointe is bad enough without having your foot bones crumbling under you. If your nutritional status is okay, you should be fine. Keep an eye out for any tendency towards diabetes as well, because you will get foot injuries en pointe and they can be disastrous (life threatening) for diabetics. The test you want to ask for is a HbA1c.

Get those parameters checked out by your doctor. I get them done annually. Bad results on either, I will quit pointe permanently (but NOT ballet!)

The big stuff taken care of, the next thing is core strength workouts, at least three times a week in addition to dance.

Now, ice those feet, pour yourself a big glass of champagne, and drink a toast to yourself!

Stay safe, stay fit, and welcome to the "dance en pointe forever" club!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:02 AM
Edited by nycsylph (206174) on 2009-08-09 11:29:38 edit
Even if you don't feel like it at the moment, you still look like a ballerina. :D


Attitude1407 -

Oh, my gosh! How sweet are you? Did I ever tell you how happy I am that I came upon this site and met a very sweet person like you? Well, if I haven't said that, consider it done! [virtual hug returned]

Twenty years is a long time away! Of course the first class is going to be hard, but don't be discouraged. Just think, you have all those years of experience to draw from... Even if your toes aren't as tough and your ankles not as strong as they used to be, you can focus on things like musicality, port de bras, epaulement, and so forth, all those details that take ballet from mere execution of steps to the art form that is truly beautiful... And in no time, you'll be whipping those youngsters' patooties! ;)


Yes, next time I will try to put more artistry into things than standing there with bent knees, grimacing and exclaiming "Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!" when I took a step! I swear, I couldn't even bouree! I mean, bourees are nothing! I was mincing along and every time I took a little step, my toe would feel the ground and I'd slump down a little more which only intensified the pain because I know you have to pull up! I looked a little like Cruella da Ville if she ever took a pointe class!

Can't wait to see updated pictures of your Grishko's! What model and shank do you have and what aren't you happy with?


Yes, they look quite different all beat-up. As for what I don't like about them, "Let me count the ways!" First, second, third and fourth, they are too hard!!! I hate hard shoes! I don't care if I came back after 20 years or not, my feet just don't like them and neither do I! Then the arch doesn't hit me in my metatarsal correctly, the box is slightly too big (now that I wet it and distorted it - it melted!), and the bottom balance point is different than where I remember it on Freeds. Oh, and then I bought them while wearing an Ouch Pouch cause I figured I needed them, but then I found out trying them on that I hate the OUch Pouch and so I bought lamb's wool. That means the shoe is now slightly too big for me and the toes on my left foot are crossing over one another. Can there be more wrong with this shoe?

They are Grishko's 2000 and don't know the shank. I asked for soft (they are full shanks and not 3/4), but I don't know what they gave me. In NYC, they didn't have a huge selection which is slightly mind boggling. This week I'm taking a trip out to Freed's and buying a pair of them. I loved Freeds and only wore them. There was one pair of Gamba's that I had that were amazing )I don't know who made those shoes, but it must have been the same man that made the Red Shoes! They just allowed you to balance forever!) Of course, when I was buying Freeds (again, 20 years ago), I was buying the shoes from the same maker (Rabbit's tooth) that made shoes for Gelsey Kirkland and Natalia Markarova! In Gelsey's book, she mentions taking a trip to Freeds in England to talk to a shoemaker and this was the shoemaker she was trying to talk to! They wouldn't let her naturally, but he was amazing! I don't know if I loved Freeds as much as I loved the way he made shoes! You just bought them broken in, balanced and you just needed to slide your foot in them. The most I'd do is wet around the box, go up on pointe and roll my foot over past the proper balance pointe and I'd hear a small sound that would mean the box would tear away from the glue. That's it. No noise, no sound, no problems. The Grishko's? It sounds like a herd of thundering elephants crossing the floor! I hate making noise.

Okay, you can see after 20 years I'm still slightly obsessed (okay, a lot obsessed) and at hearts - a perfectionist. I don't know how much I'm blaming the shoes when it's really my drastically diminished skills that are the source of the problem. I think I'll find out when I try on the Freeds. [sighs wistfully] Can't wait!

I took my first Ballet class at 43
and I think i am smart and I could not remember my what was my left from right lol talk about nerv.....
but you said your teacher was shocked seeing you come in for pointe class did she not give the ok to start en pointe?


Sandy999 -

Oh, you posted here too? Well, I'll repeat my answers to you so everyone can see.

First, congratulations on taking your first class at 43!!! Amazing accomplishment! Yeah, for you!!!

As for permission, I never asked. It's an open class. This school is the school where I took my first regular ballet class after 20 years so they know my story. They looked pretty nervous when I was in regular class, but they are surprised and I am equally surprised that my body has accepted and changed so much. My first ballet class I was so nervous I was going to rip something - even doing a simple plie! Now? I'm fine. Even with the big jumps. I men, I can't do them, but I don't feel like my body can't handle them!

The other thing is this teacher would have absolutely no problems telling someone to stand at the barre if she thought you weren't going up correctly or weren't exhibiting proper technique.

Ignore the snide remarks--one little (bleep) asked me if I studied under Vaganova! Then she saw me dance.

If you really want to mess with the kiddies, do what I did once during rehearsal--I wore an AARP tee shirt right over my leotard. And the next day I wore one that says "Senior Citizen--give me my damn discount!"


Odile53 -

You are so funny! Love your posts! I don't think I have any funny t-shirts. Maybe I should just get one that says, "Timber!!!!" If someone gets in my way after reading that, well, then it'll be entirely they'll fault!!!

My school insists on bone density scans for any dancer over age 40. Pointe is bad enough without having your foot bones crumbling under you. If your nutritional status is okay, you should be fine. Keep an eye out for any tendency towards diabetes as well, because you will get foot injuries en pointe and they can be disastrous (life threatening) for diabetics. The test you want to ask for is a HbA1c.

Get those parameters checked out by your doctor. I get them done annually. Bad results on either, I will quit pointe permanently (but NOT ballet!)

The big stuff taken care of, the next thing is core strength workouts, at least three times a week in addition to dance.

Now, ice those feet, pour yourself a big glass of champagne, and drink a toast to yourself!

Stay safe, stay fit, and welcome to the "dance en pointe forever" club!


Wow, your school is proactive! In NY, anything goes!

Actually the bone density issue is why I started exercising and taking ballet again. Weight bearing exercises (like running, ballet jumping, weights) actually helps build bone density. Of course, weight bearing things like that can damage bones also if the bones are thin so it's a double-edge sword. All I can say is I'm healthy for this age and would like to keep it that way! Part of it is exercising regularly which I do. I also think yoga is amazing! I stopped doing it for a few years, and man, did everything go downhill! You don't even have to do a lot. Just some back flexibility exercises and twisting. Think you accomplish so much in just a few movements.

Anyway, I intend to be a member in your club!!!! You sound absolutely fantastic and I would love to meet you one of these days!!! As for a performance ... hmmmm... probably not going to happen!!! At this age, I never say never because I've been reversing myself a lot these days! So if Peter Martin begs me ... who knows???

I really am going to post pics in the Photo members section with my broken-in Grishko's and hopefully my brand new Freeds. I hope all you lovely, "seasoned" ballerinas will post your pictures also!

And please proudly wear your AARP t-shirts!!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By pointeballerinomember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 11:29 AM
1. you're a fabulous narrator
2. your feet look fabulous!
3. congrats on taking a class after all those years and showing that you've still got it!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 02:04 PM
pointeballerino wrote:

1. you're a fabulous narrator
2. your feet look fabulous!
3. congrats on taking a class after all those years and showing that you've still got it!!


Pointeballerino -

Again, you're way too kind!!! I thank you for your generous comments.

As for the "you've still got it" remark, whatever I've got, people are standing ten feet away so they don't catch it!
I don't know how I look in the photos. It's hard to be objective about yourself, but in class I stank up the place.

I really was dreadful, but I'm not giving up until I get better and can just be considered "bad"!!!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Sun Aug 09, 2009 02:48 PM
I know darn well you didn't stink. You haven't messed with the stupid things for twenty years, and even if you had to kind of climb up rather than roll or pop up, you GOT up without having to do what I call the "boost yourself out of the pool" move so many pointe novices do.

You're right: Our school is proactive. My teacher is working on her dance ed masters, and used the adults in my pointe class for her thesis. Another studio in my area that teaches adult pointe (more accurately, open pointe,) had a sixty-some year old former principal dancer from some company down south who fell in a pirouette and broke her hip, thus needing surgery (slippery floor.) After that incident, our teacher wants medical clearance annually for anyone over forty for pointework.

I nearly died laughing in solidarity when I saw you abandoned the various pouches in favor of good old lambswool. Go grab a wad of that and stuff it between those overlappers and tape it in place until your Freeds get here. The kids nowadays really need to rediscover the infinite malleability and supreme disposability of good old lambswool!

I admire you. I didn't move off the barre for about six weeks when I first went back up, until my teacher threatened to pry my fingers off it!

Once again, my friend, congratulations and welcome back!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Sarah_Dances
On Wed Aug 12, 2009 08:25 AM
Very Pretty pictures.
Thanks for posting them
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Flashnflakymember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Aug 12, 2009 08:49 AM
More pictures! More pictures!

(please)

:D
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:03 AM
Very Pretty pictures.
Thanks for posting them


Sarah_Dances -

Well, you're very kind to say that.

And you're very welcome!



Flashnflaky wrote:

More pictures! More pictures!

(please)

:D


What?!!!!

On one hand I wonder why anyone would want to see an old fool tottering around on pointe, but on the other hand, I LOVE to see pictures of ALL the members of DDN - no matter the age or proficiency level! It's just fun for me to see the people I talk to and keep track of how they're doing!

So on that level I fully understand. I will take some. Right now the vacuum is busted and I'm being overrun with cat hair (getting down on my knees and picking it up with my hands!), so as soon as I buy a new vacuum (bagless please!!!!), and as soon as I can stand-up for more than a second without falling over, I'll take some!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Sun Aug 16, 2009 08:12 PM
Must admit to not having read all the replies before mine, but I've been dancing on and off now for about 30+ years, sometimes on pointe, sometimes not, mostly not, until this year.

I have similar issues you're describing. The muscle memory is gone and has to be re-started. I got mine back almost at the end of the summer, but the weaknesses are still there (real weakness from not doing it for so long) so while the fear is now gone, and the will is back, the muscles are saying something like, "You've got to be crazy!" And, I hate the say it, the older I get, the more wimpy I am about pain. Forget lambs wool - I'm into full gel pads now! LOL!

If you're truly going to go back, take it slowly. Do the strengthening stuff. Also, a theraband helped me work my foot immensely when not on pointe. I have real ankle issues (injuries - not dance-related but affecting the dance stuff) so the PT I took also has helped me work back to pointe.

Just do it for the enjoyment and don't worry about any particular goal. Let the teachers' eyes bug out and don't let anyone say you can't do it because.... (unless it's going to be something like you've broken your toes, or summat like that!). I was told by one person that I shouldn't ever be on pointe because of the way my ankles are (tight-ish) but my teacher said that that person never saw me dance, and never saw me work my feet, so really didn't have a clue apart from a couple of photos. Even the fitter in the store commented on how strong my foot was despite the structural issues.

So go for it and *grit teeth* enjoy the pain! *tease* Keep us posted on how it goes!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By taps2much
On Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:14 AM
#1 HOOORAY for you on your great accomplishment! You are an inspiration for all dancers and although I do not know you personally, my heart swells with joy and pride for you.

#2 be vary careful. we don't heal at the speed we used to when we were 14. according to Wolfs Law (a law according to which biologic systems such as hard and soft tissues become distorted in direct correlation to the amount of stress imposed upon them.) In layman's terms work in a slow and steady manner and the muscles and bone will adapt to the stress.

#3 don't wear the pointe shoes you wore 20 years ago. Our feet are changing based on our own weight transition and the spread of the metatarsals. the sructure can change a great deal just based on walking over a long period of time

I am so looking forward to living vicariously through you!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Aug 29, 2009 06:49 PM
taps2much -

Sorry it took so long to reply. Been having computer troubles - so much so that I doubt I'll be doing an interview this month. Waaahhh!!! I love to do those!

Anyway, thank you so much for the sound, sage advice! I take seriously everything you said and will try to stay safe, sound and in one piece! Does lamb's wool count as extra pieces? Well, if they do then three pieces! As for healing, I've already taken a couple weeks off from this class because my ankle/foot was bothering me (not from class but from initially trying them on and coming down and hearing a "crunch"). The class was exacerbating whatever the heck I did, so I gave it healing time. Feels better and I'm geared up to try next week.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXOXXO
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