Finding Neverland; myths, superstitions, and pointe shoe padding

So I’ve thought about it, and I will be making the call regarding my ‘scholarship’ tomorrow. From all I’ve seen and felt around the director, she seems very kind and reasonable and I think that if I let her know that I really want to be involved but I have another audition coming up and that I’m hoping for a paying job (I swear they exist!) and could I have a little more time, I’m hoping I’ll get a positive response.

"I run this ballet company!"

In any case, I will have done what I thought was professional and that’s the best you can do when hoping to negotiate a situation with someone you don’t know very well- particularly an artistic director who may or may not (I’m guessing not) have an ‘artistic temperament’.

Oddly enough, I looked at the website, and I auditioned under the premise of ‘hiring 12-14 dancers’ and there are 5 listed on the site- two of which were the demonstrators and therefore already hired, two I did not recognize (maybe from a Chicago audition?) and the other has already been dancing for the artist in residence since 2005- so no surprise that she got hired (she was good though, I don’t think this was a purely connections-based selection). Either they are having more auditions or they’ve decided that 5 dancers is enough for a company- or the other dancers are the lost boys and have not yet returned from neverland.

the missing dancers

Wore my new pointe shoes in class tonight without my feet bleeding! You all know how superstitious I am- even with stupid stuff like, ‘if your nose itches someone is talking about you’. I’m making a new superstition and saying that if your feet don’t bleed in ballet class it means that job opportunities are coming your way! Finances aren’t bleeding you dry….ok bad pun. Really it just means that I’ve finally bought a shoe with more width that allows for better padding. I’m wearing the junior ouch pouches which have a squishy jelly inside and a fabric outside that allows your feet to slip into the shoes. When I started pointe, I was eight about to turn nine, and I had to buy the smallest shoe they made in America (I think it was a capezio) and stuff it with both lambswool and cotton toe pads. My poor shoes had more stuffing than a turkey at Thanksgiving. I then switched to just the thin cotton toe pads (which are kind of like the toes off a sock). I started wearing a narrow Capezio my senior year of college because they were good for running on pointe which I did a lot of that year in Nutcracker and when I got my contract with Louisville Ballet, that was the shoe that I was wearing, and that they therefore ordered. Since I had lots of free pairs, I wasn’t about to throw out 75 dollar shoes even if they weren’t a good fit for my feet. So I kept wearing them, and when my feet were swollen, I just cut down on padding. Smart move! Not really. I ended up with blood poisoning from terrible blisters on my pinky toes that were infected. I ended up having to take weeks off, and almost, my pinky toes off. It was the kind of conversation with the podiatrist where I would voice my concerns, “are you going to have to amputate?’ and he would say something like, ‘well, we’ll do the best we can to not have to…’. very comforting. I finally gave away three pairs of those too-narrow shoes and bought something more fitting- because what’s financially comfortable isn’t always best and I’ll probably be more comfortable with all ten toes. What I’m counting as a good omen is likely just good preparation, but hey- call it what you will- all I know is that I am currently blood-poisoning free and will take any (even if made up in my head) opportunity to build my self-confidence and belief in myself before heading into an audition. As Peter Pan said, ‘If you believe, clap your hands”…just do it at the end of my next performance.

One thought on “Finding Neverland; myths, superstitions, and pointe shoe padding

  1. I liked the product placement in this one. That would be a way to improve your financial comfort…get money from Ouch Pouch, Capezio, Disney and Peter Pan PB.

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