Monday, November 17, 2008

thE PoTatO BaLLeRinA

I spent the morning sewing ribbons onto my pointe shoes. The process is time-consuming. First, I cut the ribbons into correct lengths. Then, I make a marking on the pointe shoes where the ribbons should go. The ribbons need to be burnt at their edges to prevent fraying. And the sewing part is where it gets tricky, because the needle should only go through the canvas part of the pointe shoes and not the satin layer outside. Lastly, elastic bands are sewn on at the Achilles heel part of the shoes to allow for better fit.

Pointe shoes are actually very interesting creations. With just a hardened box at the top of the shoes, it allows a ballerina to stand on her tiptoes. And suddenly, even a short girl can look tall. In some inexplicable way, I find it easier to balance myself in pointe shoes rather than in soft shoes. The box evens out the centre of gravity, allowing each toe to have a hold on the ground. Of course, the toes go through a lot of wear and even more tear.

My teacher said I look like “a sack of potatoes” dancing… sigh.

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