"You're too old"
"You'll hurt yourself"
"Why would you want to do that?"
Most dancers, including myself, are told that if you don't start point by the time you're 12 or 14, that it's too late, and not to bother. It will ruin your feet, or your knees or your hips. It is painful, and not worth it and it's not like you're going to be Misty Copeland.
But actually, none of this is true.
Pointe is beautiful, and I have always regretted missing the opportunity to try it...which is crazy. It is crazy that I regret choices I made (or didn't make) in early adolescence.
A few months ago, Suzi Winson added a once a week pointe class at Circus Warehouse, and encouraged me to join. All the above negative self talk went through my head... and then I realized... I have always wanted this. I have always wanted this. I am physically stronger than a 12 or 14 year old, and if I get the proper shoes, they won't hurt. Class wasn't cost prohibitive, and while shoes are expensive, I'm not going through a pair a day.
There was absolutely no reason to say no, and every reason to say yes. So I did.
And I love it and feel beautiful. I slip on my gold tinged pink satin shoes, tie the ribbons, tuck in the ends, and pop up on my toes. I feel graceful and beautiful, and as though I am getting to live a dream. Because, I am, a little.
Thank you Suzi.
A little background: Suzi is a former professional ballerina, the director of Circus Warehouse, and she teaches my favorite ballet barre in NYC. Most ballet instructors are super strict, and the nicest thing they will say "That wasn't awful" or "I'm not embarrassed to call you my student right now." Suzi is warm, and her barre is a complete joy. It's a mix of ex pro dancers, circus artists with no dance experience, and everything in between. She gives corrections, but also acknowledges hard work, and truly lifts her students up. I always leave class happier than I arrived.