Decided to remove my toenail polish this morning. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Not a sleigh and 8 tiny reindeer, but this:
That, my friends, is what we in the ballet world call a big-ass pointe bruise (“we” meaning “me” and to be honest I called it a lot of things which were far more colorful… just like that bruise).
WT… H (trying to keep it clean). Oh, and don’t be alarmed, the errant red around the edge of my nail is not blood, just evidence of my slap-dash polish removal job.
Okay, it’s been a few months now… and with this development I’m really thinking that the Russian Pointes (at least in their Rubin form) just aren’t the shoe for me. I have never in my life gotten a bruised toenail from pointe. Walking half a marathon (two years in a row)? Yes. Lost both big toenails. But pointe? Nope. Never happened. And I used to be en pointe for 80 minutes three times a week, not 30-40 minutes once a week. I don’t even recall doing anything since I last painted my toenails (all of 2-3 weeks ago) that would have caused it to bruise. No real pain. Nothing.
If you’ve been following my posts over the past few months you know the ups and downs I’ve been experiencing with these shoes. Having been away from pointe for so many years I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if it’s just my technique. Then again, if I’ve been experiencing this conundrum since I started dancing in them and I’m not feeling a whole lot better, I’m a-kinda thinkin’ it may be the shoe. Might at least be worthwhile to go try some other shoes for comparison sake, yes?
The thing is that I do like my RPs… so many things to love about them. They’re Russian! And the prettiest pale pink. And no pleats on the box! But I feel like every attempt at dancing in them turns into a battle of wills. The shoe is fighting against me every step of the way. I don’t recall having this struggle in the past. I’m sure some of the issue boils down to my older age, need for more outside-class work on stretching & strengthening (so sorry Lisa Howell, but I have had no time to squeeze in the Perfect Pointe stuff even though I know it would help tremendously), and there’s certainly a degree of two steps forward, one step back in anyone’s progress. And yet… the bruising. The not getting over the box. The fact that my feet look sickled no matter how much I fight to keep them straight. The shoes even look weird on my feet when I’m on flat… crooked, somehow. My feet will be parallel but the platforms are pointing inward.
I was talking to a woman at the studio today and she said that she’s known a few people who have worn Russian Pointes who have had the same experience with bruising. Not cool, man.
Sigh. I so wanted to love these shoes. But I think it’s time to get back out there, test the waters at another dance store with a larger pointe shoe selection, and see if I can find The One.
“Somewhere out there, if love can see us through, then we’ll be together, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.” I’m dreaming of you, Perfect Pointe Shoe!