Dreams

By , Atascadero, CA
Most children have this one dream of something they want to be when they are grown: a fireman, policeman, doctor, teacher, or a veterinarian. But I didn’t have those kinds of dreams; instead, I wanted to be a ballerina.

At an early age I began taking dance classes and hoped that this simple dream would actually come true. I was in a tap/ballet combo class where learning to tap my foot on the ground was the only thing that I accomplished, but it brought joy to me. In the dance studio there would be pictures of professional ballet dancers, and they looked like they were floating across the stage, like wind skimming over water. Those pictures hanging on the walls helped me develop an aspiration to be just like them. Everything about the pictures intrigued me, from the backgrounds, to the costumes, and especially the satin, pink point shoes elongating their feet with the ribbons crisscrossing on their ankles.

As I moved up into higher classes and became closer to getting those satin shoes with the ribbons, I realized that it wasn’t easy to make it look like I was floating across water. Then, I finally reached the level I needed in order to get my own point shoes. My dream became one step closer that day, a day I will never forget.

Principle Princesses size 38, XXX was my first pair of point shoes. With these new shoes, I soon learned that my feet did not like to go up on point. That’s because I had gone thirteen years of my life without dancing on the top of my toes. All of that changed the day I had my first lesson. I was the only one out of three people who felt like their toes were being stabbed with a knife. Not only was it painful to do, but it wasn’t easy to dance on my toes. I didn’t understand at the time how those dancers in the pictures I dreamed about could do the things they were doing, when I couldn’t even balance on two feet.

No one told me that when I went on point I would be giving up normal looking feet. That would have been very beneficial to know before I got a blister on my right pinky toe, and to this day I can still feel the pain of that specific blister. Another helpful piece of information people need to know is that they needed to keep their toe nails clipped short all the time, so that they can avoid having a piercing pain from their toe nails pushing back into their foot. Any ballet dancer, though, has gone through some type of pain. To add to the discomfort of it is the atrocious smell that comes from my feet. Most people would think, as they admire a dancer that there would be nothing unpleasant, but they are wrong. What I have observed and experienced is that the majority of ballet dancers do appear graceful, but once they take off their satin, pink point shoes it’s as if they’re taking off football cleats in a men’s locker room.

Even though I go through pain and discomfort, every time I do something and it’s beautiful, it’s graceful, and it feels amazing, all of the pain and discomfort goes away. In that moment, my childhood joy comes back to me and I remember those ballerina pictures. Unlike before instead of looking at the picture, I am the picture.





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