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re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By hannicamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Sep 05, 2009 02:32 PM
Awww your legs are way nicer than mine and im 19! I hope you keep dancing pointe!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By hummingbird
On Sat Sep 05, 2009 06:29 PM
Congratulations, and here's to us more mature dancers who, like let's face it like fine wines.
I joined in my first advanced class for about twenty years at a teacher convention a couple of weeks ago and I watched all of these young things drop out halfway through whilst this old arthritic kept going :) ok I marked the brise vole's and the grand jete's as my knees can't cope with them any more but I managed everything else.
I'm not sure if anyone could convince me to don the pointe's ever again though, so well done to you.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Sep 06, 2009 03:53 PM
hannica wrote:

Awww your legs are way nicer than mine and im 19! I hope you keep dancing pointe!


hannica -

Okay, I seriously doubt that!

It's very sweet of you to say so though. I think a mark of a up-and-coming prima ballerina is the ability to be kind and generous.

I guess this puts you right at the front of that line!

Congratulations, and here's to us more mature dancers who, like let's face it like fine wines.
I joined in my first advanced class for about twenty years at a teacher convention a couple of weeks ago and I watched all of these young things drop out halfway through whilst this old arthritic kept going :) ok I marked the brise vole's and the grand jete's as my knees can't cope with them any more but I managed everything else.
I'm not sure if anyone could convince me to don the pointe's ever again though, so well done to you.


hummingbird -

And congratulations to you also because I can't even say brise vole's let alone dance them! I think this particular bottle of wine turned rancid about twenty years ago!

And I wouldn't exactly call what I'm doing dancing on pointe. I may be technically since I do have pointe shoes on and I am in a dance studio ... but I'm giving it a try! That's all you can do sometimes!

Still resting my ankle. Feels better and I'm hoping this week I can go again.

XOXOXOXXOXOXOOOXO to you both for stopping by!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 05:19 PM
Hope your ankle is feeling better! Listen to your own common sense here, and work within your ability right now. And cheer up: I'm back after a week and a half layoff (school recess,) and now my dang shoes are too short!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 07:46 PM
AArrrgh! Today my ballet teacher - the one I love - decided that Wednesdays we would do the whole class en pointe. She didn't give a very tough barre, but usually does. I really pouted but in the end actually am glad of it. Although I couldn't do it all - too weak as yet - I did about 70% which is pretty good. That includes a pirouette or two and a reasonable attack at Bluebird variation as well! (And I really do mean "attack!")

My toes are not in agony....yet.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Wed Sep 09, 2009 08:13 PM
Hey Nycsylph, I'm sorry for not posting again sooner! I meant to, but I don't know what happened... Does a big *HUG* make up for it? You are such a sweet person and I want you to know I've been thinking of you! :)

I hope your ankle is feeling better so you can go to class again. I'm thinking healing thoughts for you!

Did you get Freeds yet or are you still using the Grishko's? Remember that if they're too wide, you can buy the Gaynor-Minden Fitting Kit and use the box liners as a great remedy. Also, if your toes are crossing over, PLEASE use spacers!

I'm also curious to know what you meant about the bottom balance point being different... Which one do you think holds you further over, that is, supports your foot in a more stretched/arched position without knuckling?

Oh, and to Serendipity42 -- I like Bluebird! I learned the version with hops only on the right foot (good for me since I can only hop on the right foot!). Take care of your toes. ;)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 08:47 AM
Hope your ankle is feeling better! Listen to your own common sense here, and work within your ability right now. And cheer up: I'm back after a week and a half layoff (school recess,) and now my dang shoes are too short!


Odile53 -

Oh, I hate when that happens! It's like the shoes shrunk in the dryer or something! By the way, I use that excuse when my leotards start getting a little too tight!

Thanks for your advice. I am listening to my body ... and obeying it! I really have no choice. It's been kind to me over the years - allowing me to do these crazy kinds of things so now it's time I return the favor and give it a little TLC!!!

By the way, I'm just dying to see a picture of you on pointe! I really do have to start that picture thread for us "mature" dancers!

AArrrgh! Today my ballet teacher - the one I love - decided that Wednesdays we would do the whole class en pointe. She didn't give a very tough barre, but usually does. I really pouted but in the end actually am glad of it. Although I couldn't do it all - too weak as yet - I did about 70% which is pretty good. That includes a pirouette or two and a reasonable attack at Bluebird variation as well! (And I really do mean "attack!")

My toes are not in agony....yet.


Serendipity42 -

The Bluebird variation? Oh, good for you!!! I used to be able to hop all over the place and now? No way, no how! It's so depressing!

Plus the fact, the teacher I take from seems to have taken leave of her senses. The "students" (and I use this word very loosely) at this particular ballet school have had something against me ever since I started taking class there. I really could care less and have managed to ignore this very, very nasty clique. I just put on that ballet expression, shun them and do my thing. Anyway, they are the mainstay of her class and when she was paying attention to me, they stopped taking her class. Soooooo I guess she's trying to get them back and to do this, she's started bashing me ... and praising them!

Let's see, in the last regular class I took, she made a federal case out of me doing a promenade turn in attitude the wrong way. I have a hard time learning combinations (always have - not an age thing!). Therefore, I tend to follow people I observe remembering them correctly. I started to turn the right way (towards the supporting leg), but saw this one girl (not in the clique and usually doing things correctly) going the other way sooooo I followed her and started the promenade in the other direction. Well! You would have thought I was caught cheating on my SAT's or something! She called me out and went on and on about how I took the easy way out by turning in that direction and that it's harder to do it the other way and I can't do things the easy way just because they're easier (yes, she actually said this!) and yada yada yada. I was thinking that she didn't know what she was talking about because promenading "away" from your supporting leg in attitude is actually much harder! She should know this and obviously it was just a chance to lambaste me! Meanwhile, the little clique is all turned around looking at me and smiling - enjoying it! I just pointed to the girl that I followed and said, "I don't know what you're talking about. I was only following her!" The funny thing is the main ringleader of the clique was in the next group. We'll call her "Carole" (not her real name), and Carole IMMEDIATELY started messing up the ENTIRE combination! Not to mention doing only a 90 degree developpe ala seconde - while sitting in her hip and gripping and using her hip flexor to maintain this height! She is not very talented - and I'm being kind. She was standing around trying to catch up and falling over, but when the combination ended (mercifully), the teacher did not give her any correction and said nothing about her screwing everything up! Then the entire class was spent giving "Carole" corrections (not nasty corrections like she gave me - praise corrections as if she was priming her to dance Odette/Odile) and having her try things over and over again that she clearly can't do, hasn't improved in executing, and things she will never be able to do! In other words, it was Carole's class!

Now this is the teacher that was giving the pointe class and she did the same thing in the last pointe class. She was saying the stupidest things to me like my legs weren't strong? What? I could kick over a brick wall with my legs! They are not the problem - everything else is and hello? And I'm only hating on Carol because Carole can't do anything, but nonetheless I've heard her in the dressing room making fun of other students and actually laughing at them! She is so rude! I've bitten my tongue not to say anything and I've been successful so if this teacher wants this little rude snippy person in her class and not me, you know what? There are other teachers! In fact, I see another teacher listed for a different pointe class and guess who's going to take from them? That would be right! I already took somebody else's Intermediate class the other day and Carole saw me in through the window and passed by a couple of times to make sure it was me!

Hey Nycsylph, I'm sorry for not posting again sooner! I meant to, but I don't know what happened... Does a big *HUG* make up for it? You are such a sweet person and I want you to know I've been thinking of you! :)

I hope your ankle is feeling better so you can go to class again. I'm thinking healing thoughts for you!

Did you get Freeds yet or are you still using the Grishko's? Remember that if they're too wide, you can buy the Gaynor-Minden Fitting Kit and use the box liners as a great remedy. Also, if your toes are crossing over, PLEASE use spacers!

I'm also curious to know what you meant about the bottom balance point being different... Which one do you think holds you further over, that is, supports your foot in a more stretched/arched position without knuckling?


Attitude1407 -

Aw hon! [gives big ballet hug] You're a sweetheart! I appreciate the good thoughts and I think those vibes are helping.

It's curious you ask about the balance point on shoes. I noticed everyone has a different spot. Even with Freed, the spot will vary depending on the shoemaker. I'll try to explain.

On Freed, there's a slight variation between the right and left foot. In other words, the shoemaker will 'tend' to make one shoe slightly different than the other so when you try them on, you find one working better on one foot than the other. Also, the box was very squared. it gave a very wide base to balance. The other thing was, the box gave way immediately. I'd put them on, wet around where the glue was on the box. Go the barre go up on releve and push over and I'd hear that soft ripping sound of the box being torn away. I'd then take class and the box would reglue in the position best for me. That was it.

Now back in the day, I did buy this pair of Gamba's which had more of a "spot" to balance on. It wasn't across the box, it was a sweet spot that I would aim for and just hang up in the air seemingly forever. The rest of the Gamba shoes were not as pronounced and I can only think that it was because the pair was made by a 'master' sort of shoemaker or shoemaker that made pointe shoes the way I liked them.

With the Grishko's, there are differences. For one thing, there is a 'strong' side. Now I had the strong side to the outside, but realized it didn't work so I switched feet. By 'strong' side, I mean the inside of the shoe seems more reinforced in strength. I suppose there's a reason for doing this, but I don't like it. I have to fight it and it makes the box so that I can't roll up and down easily. Then the balance pointe is strange. It seems way too far over for my comfort. Add to that, it's difficult for my foot to push the box that far forward, and you have a very uncomfortable position. It feels as if my foot is going too far over, but if I don't go over that far, I'm not on the balance point for that particular shoe.

I hope I'm explaining this well. It's really more intuitive than anything else. Like trying on a leotard or costume, and knowing it's difficult to move in. You can't quite explain it other than it's tight across your arms or something, but you can feel it. It's like that with pointe shoes. I'm feeling all sorts of things when I'm in them - always have. I also have - or at least had - a very good sense of what were "good" shoes because I picked out the same pointe shoemaker as Gelsey Kirkland and Natalia Markarova. He made shoes that were miraculously broken-in and oh, my gosh that balance point! You just floated up in them and could stay there all day and all night! No noise. No problems. You know how comfortable your shoes are just before they die and you can't use them? Well, that's how they felt ... only they were brand new! And no, they didn't wear out any faster being this soft. Waaaahhh!!!! Now I'm missing those shoes!

Even if I found a pair like that I would never be able to do the things I used to be able to do anyway. At least not now! I'm the eternal optimist!

Take care and I will keep you all posted on my quest for shoes and trying to dance on my toes!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 07:52 PM
Nycsylph, first I want to say... I'm giving you a BIG HUG right now! I'm so sorry about all those nasty people you're dealing with. Boy, I can relate more than you know. This whole nonsense...
they are the mainstay of her class and when she was paying attention to me, they stopped taking her class. Soooooo I guess she's trying to get them back and to do this, she's started bashing me ... and praising them!

... is WAY too familiar! Same thing happened to me. My teacher invited me to his intermediate class at another studio, early in my first year. It was a small class, loosely filled by girls of varying skill levels, but the two regulars were these fifth- or sixth-year ballet students who really weren't as advanced as they should have been by then. They had come to the school about half a semester before I did and they started becoming increasingly jealous of the attention the teacher was giving me. To make matters worse, a new person came along who set in the permanent poison... She was semi-pro, had danced in a two-bit company run by a non-dancer, but I've seen her performance videos on YouTube and she hardly danced en pointe at all. She tried taking the pointe classes with me but couldn't keep up. So, to artificially elevate her status, she began manipulating everyone... Playing up to the teacher and convincing him that she's so insecure and needs to be coddled to get her confidence back... Criticizing and insulting everyone who's a threat to her... Constantly filling the studio owner's ears with lies and half-truths about the teacher to turn her against him... It was endless. Within a few months of her arrival, my teacher's attitude had started changing towards me. Those two girls started acting worse towards me and they started pulling tantrums in class to get attention (they were late teens, way too old to be acting like that), threatening to drop out, etc. The teacher started coddling, sweet-talking, and showering praise on them along with the new woman, while looking for every excuse to criticize me and refusing to acknowledge when I did something correctly. He promised me a special partnering role in the recital, and then took it away with no explanation and at first gave it to one of the aforementioned girls. When she couldn't handle the choreography and her partner got so frustrated that he quit, my teacher took over the role and danced with that "insecure" woman. After the recital, he promised to partner me this year, but no, he felt so bad for this woman he thinks is so "insecure" that he danced a whole special pas de deux with her while STILL snubbing me, treating me badly, and refusing to even teach me some partnering in my private classes when I asked for help with that before summer intensive. All this to stay in favor, apparently. Didn't matter how much he hurt me to do it. As it turned out, he just contacted me recently and told me, FINALLY, that he realizes how this woman has been out to get his job and he resents her for it now. So perhaps there is hope... But there is no reason to stay in a bad situation being subjected to such ill treatment. I got out, and I'm very happily dancing at an infinitely better school. I feel that you should get out too. Move on to a better place where you will be treated positively and fairly.

Thank you for your explanation about the shoes -- that was very helpful to me and I appreciate the time and thought you put into it. It's interesting that you mention Grishko's having a stronger side... I haven't noticed that, but all I know is that I broke the inner side of the box on a 2007 once, so I wonder if I had them "reversed" and didn't know it. If I end up buying Grishko's again, I'll definitely try to figure out the right and left on them. Grishko's have been my BEST shoes for balancing until they wore out too much, which unfortunately didn't take very long to happen. I do like being pretty far over, in fact what annoys me most about Blochs is that the balance point usually seems to be pretty far back on them. I tried on Freed Studios recently and they felt weird to me... Can't quite place my finger on the problem. I think if I ever wore Freeds, it would be Classic Pro's with their forward-pitched platform. Mirella's Advanced shoe seems pretty nice -- it felt light and flexible when I tried it on, and I hear they're stronger than one would expect, so that's probably what I'll try next. I can let you know how they work out, if you're interested.

An eternal optimist is a great thing to be!! Always stay that way, my friend. :)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By odile53
On Thu Sep 10, 2009 09:25 PM
Man, it always amazes me when I hear about cliques erupting, certain students coddled, and certain students grilled. It sucks.

My current teacher, and my first teacher, rest her soul, would have wrung their collective little necks! We did have a disruptive student for awhile, and my current teacher had a couple of private discussions with her. On the third such discussion, she was invited to leave the studio. She did.

It's great that there is a different teacher at your studio whose class you can take. Ballet class isn't supposed to be a snakepit.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:16 PM
Attitude1407 wrote:

Nycsylph, first I want to say... I'm giving you a BIG HUG right now! I'm so sorry about all those nasty people you're dealing with. Boy, I can relate more than you know. This whole nonsense...
convincing him that she's so insecure and needs to be coddled to get her confidence back... Criticizing and insulting everyone who's a threat to her... Constantly filling the studio owner's ears with lies and half-truths about the teacher to turn her against him... It was endless. Within a few months of her arrival, my teacher's attitude had started changing towards me. Those two girls started acting worse towards me and they started pulling tantrums in class to get attention ...


Attitude1407 -

Oh my gosh!!!! You go to my school!!!! You must because this is EXACTLY what's happening!!!

Little Miss Carole does this all the time!!! She does the, "Poor me thing!" And there's always some excuse for her lousy dancing skills. Last week, she pulled something in her back at the barre and couldn't do anything! Now I'm 59 years old, and every morning I wake-up I feel like something is pulled, missing or stetched out of shape! Forget about in class! I constantly feel I'm doing this or that. When I hear her talking like this, I just want to stick my fingers in my ears! I do make faces. Sorry, but I can't help it. And she says these things in this mewling little girl kind of voice and the teacher just eats it up! Yuck!

I guess there must be some kind of school they go to to learn these kind of skills.

So funny!

And yes, the Grishko's do have a strong and weak side. You are so amazingly strong, my dear, that you probably don't even notice!

Man, it always amazes me when I hear about cliques erupting, certain students coddled, and certain students grilled. It sucks.

My current teacher, and my first teacher, rest her soul, would have wrung their collective little necks! We did have a disruptive student for awhile, and my current teacher had a couple of private discussions with her. On the third such discussion, she was invited to leave the studio. She did.

It's great that there is a different teacher at your studio whose class you can take. Ballet class isn't supposed to be a snakepit.


Odile53 -

Yes, but it often is. And to think going through it at this age ... it's astonishing! I really want to get back in shape and dance ballet. That's all. Just there to learn. The rest of this nonsense is just that.

I definitely had teachers like the one you describe. My old teacher Bobby Blankshine would have done the same thing. He had no problem with throwing someone that was being disruptive out of his class and banishing them from darkening his doorway again! He saw right through things! Melissa Hayden also. She saw right through things. As well as Celia Marino. They always respected the students that were there to learn.

Ah well! I agree with you and I will continue seeking out other teachers. I think I should be able to find another teacher in NY! Most of the time, it's force of habit. The ability to get myself into habits is a plus as it prompts me to stick to a regular schedule of exercise/dance, but it's a minus because once I get into it, I tend to want to stick to it. I'll just have to float around and see what's out there, but first I'll investigate that same school.

I KNOW they stick to certain teachers (like this one and the one that just left. They had that one wrapped around their little finger!) But other ones, uh-uh! They seem to leave those classes alone! I'm thinking that maybe these teachers would kick their little behinds if they started acting up in their classes so I'll investigate and find out for myself!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 01:49 PM
Tee hee! This really is thread drift, isn't it!?! I have to deal with two little teenage "oiks" in a few of my classes. We now have a new teacher on two nights a week who is actually stricter than the one that we had over the summer. He put one girl in her place quite quickly when that brat decided to tell me to move up to practically the mirror. The girl hogs all the space - no matter where she and I stand, she moves into my space. He told her off good and proper about how she was dancing and how it affects movement.

I have a feeling that while they do like the teacher's class (the teacher has a great sense of humor), they won't get away with the garbage they got away with over the summer and in other teachers' classes. I almost quit most of those classes because of those two little brats (one's not as much of a brat as the other). If the teacher can keep them under thumb then perhaps things will be okay. :)

I have them in a half hour pointe class, as well, but they don't play up for THAT teacher, either.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 03:10 PM
Serendipity42 wrote:

Tee hee! This really is thread drift, isn't it!?! I have to deal with two little teenage "oiks" in a few of my classes. We now have a new teacher on two nights a week who is actually stricter than the one that we had over the summer. He put one girl in her place quite quickly when that brat decided to tell me to move up to practically the mirror. The girl hogs all the space - no matter where she and I stand, she moves into my space. He told her off good and proper about how she was dancing and how it affects movement.


Yes, well even a river that's worthy of being called a river meanders now and again!

Hallelujah for that teacher! It would make things so much easier if these things were just nipped in the bud. Everyone would know the rules and ... voile' .... they'd either move on (what a good idea!) or just succumb the the will of the teacher and behave.

And I have no idea what's going on with some people's concept of space! You would think after awhile they'd get the hang of spacing themselves properly, but their idea of proper spacing is when they're encroaching on YOUR space!!! It's so funny ... and annoying!

If the teacher can keep them under thumb then perhaps things will be okay. :)

I have them in a half hour pointe class, as well, but they don't play up for THAT teacher, either.


Yes, I will keep my fingers crossed and hope this happens!

And your point about them not doing it so much in the pointe class seems to support my theory that they only try this stuff with teachers willing to put up with it!

And speaking of pointe, I think I've worked out an interim solution for my shoes!

Bought a pair of double-thick foam Dr. Scholl insoles. I cut two sort of strangely lopsided rectangles and put them in the inner corners of my pointe shoe. They wrap around the side of my big toe, come over the top of it and prevent the accursed, hard box from pressing on my now delicate skin! It also cushions the toe when I go up. I tried it out in my living room and kitchen and my back actually started getting into the swing of things and before you know it I was rising up and down on my shoes properly! It felt really good!

Also the added bulk in there prevents my toes from shifting around by taking up the extra space in the box!

Good ole Dr. Scholl's!!!! I think way back when they actually had foam pads that fit over the entire cap of the foot. They weren't Ouch Pouches, but if memory serves me correctly, when I went back to pointe the first time, I used this foam pads for a couple of months. Once I got my strength and my skin thickened, I went back to the lamb's wool and stayed there.

Why'd they get rid of those? I didn't see them underneath the case at Capezio's. Have no idea what they were called. Maybe Freed sells them.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 07:17 PM
Chapter twelve ... or whatever number it is in the continuing saga of NYCSylph taking pointe!

Went to pointe class tonight armed with my Dr. Scholl's!

Yes, it was with the teacher I had the problem with, but who cares? I'm there for class and I have a really big mouth so if I have a problem, let me say something instead of being an idiot.

I paid my money and sat down and stuffed those newly cut rectangular squares into the tips of my pointe shoes, swathed some lamb's wool over the tops of my feet so no skin would rip and went on in!

Did better, BUT, and it's really an important BUT, I know what I'm doing wrong!

1. I am not using my back to take pressure off my legs
2. I am not using my little (pronounced "whittle") toe
3. I am tucking under so badly that I don't know why the heck I didn't notice this sooner
4. Because of this tucking, I am sinking my pelvis down onto my thigh which in turn
a. Causes me not to only work from the thigh down and not even touch the leg as it goes into my hip socket
b. Causes me to bend my leg in very classic Dolly Dinkle positions! So flattering!

I was finished the class and was happy with that, but extremely not happy with the way I worked. I improved tons though from the first time. At least now I'm extending my upper body and moving my arms and head and am no longer a solid block of granite.

Attitude or anyone else, what happens when you take that nail out of the Grishko's? I remember I heard Tutu2u writing about doing that. I'm tempted since I hate them anyway and I can't roll-up through the shoe because it seems to really be preventing me. It could just be me. Probably is, but let's say it's the nail.

If you remove the nail, do the shoes become loosey goosey?

Even if they did, it might finally prompt me to go and get some Freed's!!!!

So yeah! Another pointe class checked off and completed! I just need to keep doing this. Maybe put the shoes on and do releves everyday ... or every other day. At least there's progress and I really can feel how I'm not using my inner thighs at all! It's cause I'm tucking. Ooops add that to the list.

5. Not using inner thigh at all! It's why mine are so flabby.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 08:34 PM
Hey, the great thing is that you finished the class and learned a lot from it! It was very productive then. Now that you know what the problems are, you have a sense of direction about what you have to work on.

EEK! I would not, repeat NOT, remove the nail from Grishko's. :O They keel over and knuckle way too easily as it is. I've had the shanks actually crumple and fold over on themselves. I don't know what strength shank you have, but *usually* Grishko's are easy to roll up on unless the vamp is too long (quite possible with 2007) and hitting your instep OR the shank is dead and too limp to provide any help. I suspect you're just having trouble because the shoes are too big, and perhaps not the right shape and style for your feet to begin with. Truly, you may just need to go get those Freeds! Once you have those as a back-up, then I suppose you could experiment with the Grishko's, but be careful... The last time I tried to wear my last pair of Mayas (which were Medium shank, had two pieces of elastic sewn across the vamp for support, and hadn't had a great deal of use), I did a pique arabesque and the shoe buckled so badly that I nearly sprained my ankle.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 09:16 PM
Yep! NycSylph, I feel your pain re what you need to work on. Noticed the same thing in my class tonight (pointe). BUT....I'm rather excited about this....I found what works with my pointe shoes for both feet!!!! YAY!

I use Gaynors. For my left foot, the one with the issues, the extraflex size 9 box 4 works beautifully. For the stronger right foot (the metal ankle), the supple 9.5 box 4 seems to work well. In other words, two different shank strengths and two different sizes and I actually felt like my feet were doing the work they were required to do, with less pain than normal. I was kinda hoping I wouldn't have to have two separate sizes, but now that I do know it for sure, I'll just have to get two pairs each time I buy new shoes. As it is, I don't have a size 9.5 extra-flex, for times when I need extra support, so I'll have to order those. I have supple and extraflex in size 9, though.

I'm pleased to feel like my shoes are working, finally. I've broken practically every other pair fitted on me over the last year - within a few weeks. I may not have "good feet for pointe" as one alleged fitter (not one who personally fitted me) said, but they are VERY strong!
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 09:59 PM
Attitude1407 wrote:

Hey, the great thing is that you finished the class and learned a lot from it! It was very productive then. Now that you know what the problems are, you have a sense of direction about what you have to work on.


Exactly! I do feel good about that part of things. I could really feel that the tucking was causing my ankle problems because my feet are WAY too far forward and not underneath me. Hence my ankle is not locked all the way and guess what happens when your ankle is not locked when you're working on pointe? Yes, very, very bad things!

I kept shoving my butt back all night and doing big long plie' tendus to feel where my hips are supposed to be.

Note to self: They're supposed to be under you, you big yutz! Not forward of your body!

EEK! I would not, repeat NOT, remove the nail from Grishko's. :O They keel over and knuckle way too easily as it is. I've had the shanks actually crumple and fold over on themselves.


Alrightee then! I'll take that as a no.

I'll just leave that nail right where it is because I do not need any pointe shoes folding over on themselves ... or me!

I'm pleased to feel like my shoes are working, finally. I've broken practically every other pair fitted on me over the last year - within a few weeks. I may not have "good feet for pointe" as one alleged fitter (not one who personally fitted me) said, but they are VERY strong!


Serendipity42 -

Woo-hoo!!!!!

That's a pretty clever solution ... and it works! Even better.

And what do fitters know? There's a reason their name rhymes with "pitters." I mean, what does "dancer" rhyme with? "Fancier!!!" Get what I'm saying?

As for having strong feet, even the mere mention of you having strong feet brought on a crying jag.

[sniffles pitifully]
[starts going into a Giselle-like delirium]

I remember! Ah, yes, I remember when I used to have strong feet! I could releve' on one foot til the cows came home all for Albrecht and oh, how he'd watch me hop on pointe and ...

[breaks out of it]

Who the heck is Albrecht?

Anyway, I have what I have. They're fine feet, just in the wrong shoes. They need toughening up and help from me using that thing called "technique."

Drats!!! Now if only I could remember some.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By enlair89
On Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:31 PM
Kudos to all of you, especially you, nycsylph. I have always been amazed watching ladies en point, especially adults. I'm even more impressed after going to a partnering class tonight.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Sep 12, 2009 06:46 PM
enlair89 wrote:

Kudos to all of you, especially you, nycsylph. I have always been amazed watching ladies en point, especially adults. I'm even more impressed after going to a partnering class tonight.


enlair89 -

Oh, you'd be amazed alright! You'd be amazed, confounded and probably more than a little frightened at the sight of me lurching up there on point!

Nothing impressive left anymore.

Just scaring the horses.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Sep 14, 2009 08:20 PM
Chapter 128 - NYCSylph finds shoes!!!!

Oh my gosh!!! I'm so excited. I got up early and made the trek out to Queens!!! Yes, I went to Freed's!!!!

Let me tell you, I don't know whose decision it was to move from Seventh Avenue (quite a prestigious address), but they should be made to dance on pointe for a few days without stopping! It's horrible out there. In the middle of nowhere. Just factories with no addresses on them. It made it fairly impossible for me to find Freed's, but as luck would have it I saw a mail truck. I ran up to it and pleaded with the nice mail carrier for him to help me find it. He did ... and I did ... and I'm glad I didn't give up!!!

Found a super salesperson named Julie (I think) and she knew the old pointe shoemakers from back in the day. I told her my tale of woe and said I had not a clue as to my size was, but that I needed something cause I bought Grishko's that were killing my feet. She just pursed her lips and said coolly, "Well, my they're a heavy shoe."

No kidding!!! I told her, yes, they were and that's why I was looking elsewhere. She brought an old favorite out ... Taurus the bull is his mark. I remember him from twenty years ago. The shoes were not quite right, but we got the size down. I'm wearing quite a bit of padding so I need a bigger/wider size than I normally wear. Anyway, I told her I used to wear Rabbit's Tooth and she knew him and said he'd just retired. I was under the impression he retired years ago, but what the heck do I know? Then I mentioned an "O" shoemaker and said there was still an "O," but a different guy. She brought me out the new "O," a "C" for Charlie and a "Bell." She said that she'd heard from a few dancers that Charlie and the Bell guy make super soft comfortable shoes.

I tried on "O." Not quite right. Tried "C" and it felt good - really good. I put them to the side because I was contemplating getting them. I then tried on the Bell shoes and "Ding, ding ding!!!" we had a winner.

His shoes are super soft and I went right up in them. I can't tell you what a difference. Even with the first pair, they felt so light and wonderful - like bedroom slippers compared to the GRishko's. So I bought them, ran home, took some pictures to post of my beautiful new shoes!!!! Oh, I took a class in-between with a fantastic new teacher so things are looking up!!! She's just what I need to get in shape. Her class is Intermediate and I think that's where I belong. I'm not that strong yet, but it's forcing me to work at a pace where I'll improve.

Remember that the shoe heel is a little baggy because I got a wider (XXX instead of an XX) and bigger size (3 instead of a 2 1/2 like I normally wear) to accommodate the extra padding in my toe. Remember also that I haven't done anything to them. No elastics and no ribbons sewn in. No water on the box. No crushing the box, nothing. Just put them and voile'!!! They feel terrific!!!!

I'm so thrilled!!!!

[claps and jumps up and down!!!]

Oh, and please ignore the cat hair on the carpet. I haven't given up cleaning, it's just that my vacuum broke.
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Mon Sep 14, 2009 08:49 PM
Congratulations on your new Freeds! Ahh, you look so much more comfortable en pointe already -- you REALLY look like a ballerina in that first picture where I can see you better. :)

Aww, don't diss my Grishko's, though! ;) Maybe "heavy" is referring to the hardness and loudness, but I WISH they were stronger shoes than they are! Now Blochs are what I consider heavy. I've always had a curiosity about Freeds, but I'm afraid they would die instantaneously if I wore them.

Oh, I'm SO GLAD to hear that you have a much better new teacher!! I can't wait to hear more about your classes with her and with your new Freeds. :)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Serendipity42Premium member
On Tue Sep 15, 2009 04:52 AM
Congrats on finding the right shoe! Let us know how it goes. BTW, can't see any cat hair in these photos.... ;0)
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By hummingbird
On Tue Sep 15, 2009 08:08 AM
/turns green with envy....
I love those shoes on your feet, I always liked Freeds when I danced, I used Studio's
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By nycsylphmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Sep 15, 2009 08:45 AM
Attitude1407 wrote:

Congratulations on your new Freeds! Ahh, you look so much more comfortable en pointe already -- you REALLY look like a ballerina in that first picture where I can see you better. :)


Oh, you are such a sweetie pie to say that!!!

XOXOXOXOXOXXOXO

Now that I look at them, I should have done more than stand like a lump in a quasi-first-second something! I just wanted to show the shoes, but next time .... I will try to actually hit a position!

Aww, don't diss my Grishko's, though! ;)


No dissin' goin' on here, hon!!!! They were just the wrong shoes for my feet! However, I did get to experience, why you ... and many, many other dancers ... love them so much. In the last class I took, I had broken them in enough to actually get up over the box. Because of that, I made it up to the balance point on the shoe and man, was I balancing! One and two-footed ones! Piques and releve' passes I was hitting and just holding forever!

They do have quite a nice balance to them - provided your foot is strong enough to find it!

[q[]Maybe "heavy" is referring to the hardness and loudness, but I WISH they were stronger shoes than they are! Now Blochs are what I consider heavy. I've always had a curiosity about Freeds, but I'm afraid they would die instantaneously if I wore them.

Hmmmm.... about this "heavy" thing, there's more to it than that. The loudness may be connected to the hardness, but the "heavy" is something different. There's a weight there that differs from Freed's. If you try on Grishko's and (well, you already know what they feel like!) and then put on a pair of Freed's, there's a lightness in the latter. It's just the word that comes to mind when they're on your feet. I really hope you try on a pair on of the Freed Classics. I respect your opinion and would be interested if you don't experience the exact same thing.

As for the issue of how long they'd last you ... suspect you're right! From what you told me about what you did to those Grishko's, don't think the Freed's would stand a chance! I know you would love them though! I also remember what you told me about liking a soft shoe and these are the softest imaginable. Especially now that you know the names of a couple of shoemakers that really do them up right! I tell you, if you find a Freed made by Rabbit's Tooth still floating around out there, just grab it! He's the Michaelangelo or making pointe shoes or something!

Maybe you'll just have to wait until you're a famous prima ballerina and then let the company pick up the tab for all the Freed's you go through!

Oh, I'm SO GLAD to hear that you have a much better new teacher!! I can't wait to hear more about your classes with her and with your new Freeds. :)


Yes, she's really, really good. And speaking of feet, hers are amazing! Well, her whole body is! It looks so different when people are working correctly and she does. She's one of those dancers that is very fully articulated. It's beautiful to watch her demonstrate. I was just standing there thinking, "Nice!" and then she'd stop and have us do it and I was like "Yikes! I'm never going to do it that well!"

She doesn't give a pointe class. There is another teacher giving a pointe class, but I understand it's much more advanced than the one I'm taking. That's the other reason I wanted a pair of shoes that were better for me. I've got to catch-up and get better so I feel confident enough to go into the more advanced class!!!

Oh, the other thing I found ... or re-found because I've noticed this at other schools ... the girls in the Intermediate class were non-cliqueish. I've often discovered that the better someone is, the kinder, more compassion, and less likely for them to act like jerks in terms of squashing others to build themselves up.

The other thing is - and this is really important - those shoes I bought do not seem to bother my ankle! Remember I was talking about my ankle and how I was concerned about it? Well, I just realized that I hadn't thought about it - I mean at all! - when I was trying on the Freed's and then when I came home, threw on some tights and shorts and took pictures!!! Nothing!!!! No pain!!!! It must have something to do with the Grishko's not letting my foot roll-up and down properly. I'm not really sure. All I know is that I am very happy I got these shoes and that if dancers have a problem, it may be their shoes. They should really check another brand out and see if the problem they think they have is them or the shoe they're wearing!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXOXO

Congrats on finding the right shoe! Let us know how it goes. BTW, can't see any cat hair in these photos.... ;0)


Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

I'm so happy that it was all in my imagination! I mean, the part about the Freed's being comfy. It's been a long time and I was hoping that they'd help and that the reason for my having so much trouble wasn't entirely me! I would say a lot of it does have to do with my being so weak and out of condition (techniquewise), but these are just a better match for me!!!!

I can't wait to get to the next pointe class!!! You have no idea!!! I'm actually chomping at the bit!!!!!!!

/turns green with envy....
I love those shoes on your feet, I always liked Freeds when I danced, I used Studio's


Hummingbird -

Awwww , thanks!!! You're too kind!!!!

I've never really tried the Studio's. Always have been in love with the Classics ... although back in the day they weren't Classics, they were just Freed's!!!

I did try on a pair when I was first looking around. I put them on and they seemed a little heavier than the Classics. I don't know if it was just the maker of the shoe (they really do differ based on the shoemaker that made them), or whether it was the that brand of Freed's.

If they're made for class, perhaps they are a little more tough or have more bite to them so they'll last longer?

Anyway, hugs to my fellow Freed girl!!!

Oh, and they had rehearsal tutus in the store!!! I resisted the temptation to buy something that is totally out of the realm to my needing, but it was soooo pretty!!!

[sighs]
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By Attitude1407
On Tue Sep 15, 2009 09:33 PM
OOH, that's so great that you found that perfect balance point on the Grishko's!! Isn't it a wonderful feeling?? :]

Actually, I think I do know what you mean about the lightness vs. heaviness... I still don't really consider Grishko's heavy compared to the Blochs I've worn, but I did recently try on those Mirella shoes that immediately struck me with how light they felt.

As for Freeds, I've only tried on Studio and Studio II so far and both of them just felt too funky and painful for me to notice anything else. :? I'm not sure what the problem was with them, although I suspect they were a bit "boxy" and perhaps too large a size as well.

I'm going to try to go for a fitting sometime this weekend... I can let you know if I try on anything you might be interested to know about.

Oh, I'm so glad to hear about your ankle!! There may have been nothing wrong with your ankle at all, just the shoes. Since I've had Bloch B-Morphs, I've developed a tendency for a painful "snapping" in some tendon in front of the outer ankle bone... I don't remember that happening before and now it occasionally happens on flat too. I do find the shoes quite heavy and hard to move in, which is why they're also aggravating to my Achilles tendonitis.

Now, THIS I have to point out...
nycsylph wrote:

I've often discovered that the better someone is, the kinder, more compassion, and less likely for them to act like jerks in terms of squashing others to build themselves up.

SO TRUE!! I moved from a little hole-in-the-wall studio to a pre-pro school and finally to a professional school, and found that the most horrible, destructive people are the ones who can't dance and the nicest, friendliest people are the most amazing dancers!

I hope you feel confident enough to move up to your new teacher's pointe class soon. I wish you lots of good luck and happy dancing with your Freeds! :D

*Hugs*
re: Ouch! Took first pointe class in 20 years tonight!
By hummingbird
On Wed Sep 16, 2009 09:24 AM
I think the Freeds shoes tend to fit a blockier foot :) I know mine are very wide across the toes so I always needed a broader shoe, they can be a bit clumpy to start off with but are really nice when they're broken in.
I always killed Freeds Classics in a day, they would go from unbroken clog like things to mush with no in between :(
Attitude1407 wrote:

There may have been nothing wrong with your ankle at all, just the shoes.
You are so right, if the shoe is the wrong type for your foot it'll cause all types of problems.
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