Well, it’s been almost a year since I first went on my hunt for a new style of pointe shoe. Though perfection is always elusive, a few months ago, I finally found something close. Actually, looking back at it, I think a certain pointe shoe found me.
Sitting on the bench in my go-to dance supply boutique with my jeans rolled up to my knees, pantyhose “footies” on my feet, and a scowl on my face, I looked up at the wall of stacks and stacks of different pointe shoes with frustration. I had tried on several, and all of them felt wrong. There’s really no other way to describe it. They were just wrong. They either pinched my toes, slipped off my heels, or just plain hurt … I couldn’t imagine dancing in any of them. I realize that it is the foot that dances, not the shoe; but wow does the wrong type of shoe make a difference. So there I sat, discouraged, trying to figure out my options.
And then something happened. The young lady that was helping me suddenly said, “Wait, let me check in the back. I know we have a bunch of older shoes in a box. Maybe there’s something in there that will work.”
I allowed myself to feel a sliver of hope. Maybe they’ll have an old pair of Coppelia’s!
But they had something else. The Pietra. A beautiful French pointe shoe, with a lovely beige-pink satin vamp and a canvas heel. As soon as she held them up, I knew I’d like them. They had the right shape for my foot; a long vamp with a smoothly tapered toe and a tall box. The probability of a random shoe (that had been sitting in a cardboard box in a storeroom for a few years) actually being the right size for me was rather low. But luck must have been on my side that day, because shockingly enough, they fit!
I slipped on the shoes and walked over to the barre; I went up on pointe, and a smile crawled across my face. They felt magnificent. I said to the salesperson, “Now this is what it’s supposed to feel like!” I kept smiling, prancing around a bit, not wanting to take them off.
I bought the “cardboard box” pair, thrilled that I finally had something to dance in that felt right. I was a tad nervous that I was simply postponing the inevitable reality that there wasn’t a current pair of pointe shoes that worked for me. Yes, I had a pair in my hands that were wonderful, but that pair would only last a month or two. Then what?
After the store did some research, I was happy to find out that these shoes are still in production. They need to be special ordered, but they are available. Hallelujah!!
So the search for a new pointe shoe has come to an end. It turns out, a pair of shoes was waiting patiently in a box in a storeroom for years. For me.