This past monday, since there was no school (ballet class or otherwise) for me, I took the opportunity to make the long-anticipated 2-hour-plus drive to the Big City to check out a dancewear store. So much to see! 3 hours of rummaging and trying things on later I came out with 2 pairs of shoes, some leotards, and a few other goodies. This post will focus on the shoes; more to come on my other finds later.
For a while now, I’ve been thinking about trying out split-sole shoes. On the day that I forgot my shoes for evening class I had the opportunity to try out some cloth split-sole shoes and I really liked how the arch is way more apparent. When I got my first pair of ballet shoes back when I started ballet I knew nothing about ballet shoes – or ballet, for that matter – so I had just gone with the first thing that fit. Actually, I have a confession: my first ballet shoes came from Payless Shoes, not a real dance store! To be fair, at the time I had no idea that I would still be doing ballet this much time later.
It’s about time that I got some “official” ballet shoes (tangent: is it pretentious or just plain innacurate to refer to them as “shoes” rather than “slippers”? Is the term “shoes” reserved for pointe shoes? Are both terms actually interchangeable?). Also, for a while now I’ve been wondering, is it me or is it the shoes. (Answer: A little from column A, a little from column B)
Anyway, at the dance store I picked up 2 pairs of these shoes, by Sansha. The store had a pair of each size to try on, so I didn’t open the pairs I actually got until I was home.
The first thing I was struck by – besides how pristine and clean and pink they were – was the fact that the elastics were not sewed (sewn?).
I told Boyfriend “Look! The elastics, you have to sew them yourself! These shoes are legit!”
And he’s says, “Wait, it’s a good thing that the elastics are not sewn? Isn’t that, like, bad craftmanship or something?”
“No! It means they’re real ballet shoes! These shoes are for reals!” I seriously couldn’t get over the fact that I now own some real ballet shoes from a real dance shoe manufacturer (which looking back now seems kind of a dumb thing to get over-excited about. Ballet tends to make me giddy and regress my age by about 25 years. Whatever.).
So while I was thrilled with the new shoes, then came the challenge of actually sewing the elastics.
I used safety pins to pin where I thought the elastics should go, all the while hoping that I wouldn’t stab my foot or something. Boyfriend suggested I use a Sharpie to mark off on the elastic where I need to sew, but I didn’t want to risk staining the shoes before I’d even worn them. That would’ve majorly sucked.
My final sewing job was not perfect, but I was really eager to get these on my feet and practice in them. So I may have rushed it a bit. It did not help that even though I was all “Yay, I’m sewing elastics like a “real” ballet student! LOL, at the same time I was in a hurry since rather than responsibly sewing them the night before I forgot and and had to rush through it before practicing time. I’m still not sure if I sewed them right, and Boyfriend said they look lopsided. But they are staying on my feet, so that’s the important part, I think (I hope?).
I wore the shoes to wednesday evening class. Compared to the thick leather (possibly pleather?) material of my last shoes, it felt like there was nothing between my foot and the floor. But not the same as being barefoot, either. So odd at first, but then I’ve just grown so used to my last shoes, and will probably continue to use them as well. For now I’m mostly going to use the new ones and see how I’m feeling about it by next class on monday.
Even if I decide that I prefer my original slippers, at least now I can say that I’ve tried them and sometimes it’s the opportunity that matters. The choice.
And I really like how they came with this little mesh bag for storing them, or taking them to class! Super cute and convenient.