The Freed report

Had a couple good pointe classes recently. Not sure if it’s the shoes or my skill or my confidence or what, but I’ll take it! Our teacher’s been giving us some more involved combinations and has been adding in some new steps. I’m loving the added challenge, particularly when I find new things I can do!

I am feeling way more confident on pirouettes. Haven’t tried for multiples en pointe yet, but had a few good singles en dehors to the left the other day. I could feel my foot scoop up right underneath me and had a slow, but controlled turn with a neat landing. Hurrah! Those flummoxed me even in my pre-hiatus days… just got scared up there. So it’s been nice to find the fun in them!

Then we’ve started working on fouettes. No, not fouette TURNS! As much as I’d love to someday get there en pointe (or hell, even on demi-pointe) I’ve got a few things I need to conquer first! These were the type where you grand battement devant while going into a rélevé on the standing leg and then keep the working leg in place while you flip your body to face the other direction. Those are fun. Although on one side I do have a tendency of hopping up onto pointe instead of rolling up. So far I’ve been lucky and always landed squarely on the box, but I see some opportunity for danger there if I don’t start rolling up properly! Yay for fun pointe.

Also noticed that I’m managing to keep my port de bras relatively under control. Sometimes you get so focused on what your feet are doing that the upper body gets all wonky and makes the whole thing look terrible. So it was nice to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I went by and saw that I was keeping good posture and nice rounded arms… for the most part. Sometimes it all goes to pot.

Anyway, the shoes! The new shoes! I’m liking them more than I expected. I was a little sad to veer away from the Russian shoes, but I can totally see why Freeds are so popular. For one thing they require, like, zero break-in time. Ridiculous! All I did was bend the shank at the arch and the demi-pointe area after I got the ribbons and elastics sewn on and they were good to go! It was pretty spectacular to not have to spend weeks working in the shoes. Although it does make me a little worried about how long they’ll last. Just have to wait and see on that one. And they’re quiet! Ever so quiet! I know a lot of the pointe noise is related to strength and control, but there are some shoes that just feel the need to be heard no matter what. The Grishkos definitely qualify. I’ve had a few ungraceful clomps in the Freeds, but for the most part they are super quiet. My bourrées were nearly silent the other day! And my feet look… almost pretty. No hope for banana feet, but my ankles are finally articulating the way they should (usually… the left one can be a bit daft at times) and my foot has a much nicer line than they’ve had in any other shoe to date. Also, I haven’t noticed the heel slippage issues and my bunions haven’t made a peep of complaint!

Nice to feel like I’m making some progress in both the shoes and the technique! I definitely need to figure out a way to work more pointe time into my week since the one class isn’t nearly enough. I should ask my teacher what she thinks on that, maybe I can sneak out of work early once a week or so and get into the teen class. As for the shoes, I need to post the pictures to BT4D and get some input on those, see if it’s time to start getting a custom pair worked up or what. Eep!

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