Friday, October 15, 2010

Something's not right about this . . .

So the sunny girl loves to dance. From the time she could toddle, she twirled her way through life; a two-year-old in a tutu can dance anywhere she wants to, has always been my motto. She used to spin along in the frozen foods section of the grocery store, and has been known to fling her arms out gracefully as she takes her seat in church. To this day, she gives off a very Isadora Duncan air, except without the free love (the sunny girl is only thirteen) and also without the part about being strangled to death by her own flowy scarf.

Well, a lifetime of dancing means that we buy a lot of dance shoes. It was fabulous back in the good old days, when I could pick up a pair of ballet slippers and some tap shoes for twenty bucks at Walmart -- but those days are long gone. The sunny girl has grown-up feet, so we get to trek over to Heather's Dance Boutique.

Let me just say that a dancer who walks into Heather's for the first time feels a little like Harry Potter the first time he entered Ollivander's Wand Shop. Stacks and stacks of dance shoes surround the famous Heather herself, as she kneels at a dancer's feet. She is unwilling to pronounce herself satisfied with a pair of pointe shoes until the ballerina has tried on multiple sizes of multiple styles by multiple makers: Blochs, Capezios, or Russians? Serenades or Supremas? Size 6B or 7A? I know that she would nod her head in complete agreement with Mr. Ollivander: "The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter." Substitute a couple of words in that sentence and you'll understand why the sunny girl tried on 37 pairs of pointe shoes before Heather would sell us a single pair.

But here's the thing about ballet slippers and pointe shoes: while each pair costs approximately the same as a good pair of basketball or running shoes (ballerinas are athletes, no joke), unlike other athletic shoes, they do not come ready to wear. No, no! The ballerina mom must pay close to one hundred dollars for these airy confections of silk and glue, and then take them home and sew on the ribbons and elastic that are required for them to function at all.

Do I strike any of you as someone who enjoys sewing?

This is my sewing box; it consists solely of the items necessary to sew 1) ballet shoes and 2) merit badges. People, I have made many a kick-ass Halloween costume, but you can bet your Aunt Pat that I used glue and staples, and a little smidge of duct tape. I have made a kitty-cat, Sacajawea (with papoose, thank you), and several versions of Neil Armstrong, and never once did I so much as thread a needle -- much less put on a thimble.

I mean, come on! A thimble?

I do love my ballerina, though . . . .

And those shoes look pretty damned good.


  1. They may be a pain in the butt, but they are beautiful ballet slippers!

  2. Omigosh...who knew?? not me...wish I did have a dance background...your daughter sounds very graceful...I can totally see her at church and I envy that grace...I am taking a spanish dance class and I was doing fine til they added the friend said if I had some ballet it would be easier...oh look great! Good job, Mom...

  3. Yet another reason I'm grateful none of my girls have become enamored of ballet!

  4. This was such a sad posting ... for isn't Sunny Girl warming the bench this ballet season?

    Oh, and on a lighter note, you may have needle and thread for merit badges, but those must be BS badges, not GS badges because I've made note of your excellent double-staple method of attaching Sunny Girl's badges to her GS sash.

  5. My Bethany had to enter a similar shop for theatrical stage/dance shoes. It really was quite the experience! I enjoyed this post very much.

  6. Oh Im feeling nostalgic. I was a Bloch girl and buying new ballet shoes was like buying a little peice of magic. I miss dancing so much. Your little girl looks beautiful. I absolutely love the leotard.

  7. Tall boy here -- I recall several BS merit badges (no pun intended...I think) that were held together with a mixture of staples and that lovely iron on stuff. Tacky glue perchance?

    PS -- aren't you glad I never took ballet?