Eva T. Made Vaudeville

Eva T. Made Vaudeville
New York, New York, USA
April 25
Reverend Mother (yes, for real!)
Interfaith Minister/Progressive Episcopal priest.Actress, poet, essayist; fitness freak/geek. Part time acting and dance teacher. Writer for various LGBTQ publications (from my bisexual perspective.) Bronze level competitive ballroom dancer.Extreme Cat Person.Native New Yorker who is madly in love with my city. Currently living in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn and missing Manhattan a lot. Married to my Beloved, the fair Lady Lucia, who works, with me, for the God Squad and for our feline employers, Alice and Gracie.Daughter of some-time OS blogger, Rosy Cheeks.

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SEPTEMBER 3, 2012 5:40PM

Fifty Year Old Feet: Twenty Year Old Toe Shoes

Rate: 3 Flag

It's Labor Day and I went to work, as did Lady Lucia, because we work in social services and don't automatically get holidays off. (She is paid much better than I but, in many ways, her job is also even more of a pain-in-the-tush than mine). Anyway...I went to work and now I'm home, trying not to go crazy. Typical Monday.

So...I looked up at the wall where my last pair of toe shoes were hung on a nail, being decorations, as they have been for the better part of the last twenty years (I think the shoes have moved about eight times with me and I've always found a place to hang them up).

hanging toe shoes 

Toe Shoes Hanging on a slatted door in our Dyker Heights apartment

I didn't buy this last pair for decoration. Even though I was thirty years old and had long since given up hope of a ballet career, I bought the shoes because I thought I would be wearing them while teaching ballet (a promised gig that never materialized when the ballet school's funding fell through; typical heartbreak for people in the arts). Still, I had paid a lot of money (about $40; God knows what they cost now!) for a pair of Grishko (Russian!) pointe shoes in the Vaganova model, size 4 1/2 (dance shoe sizes run smaller than street shoes). I decided I would practce in them once in a while to keep my feet strong and maintain the skill. Why not?

For some years I continued to do the occasional short practice session en pointe in my living room. Also, a couple of years after I bought the shoes, I was cast as a "Drunken Sugar Plum Fairy" in a comedy sketch, so I actually got to dance in them (albeit "drunkenly") on stage a few times. And...then they became wall-hangings. Why? Because pointe shoes (or toe shoes, if we're being American) are beautiful things. I know very few former ballet dancers who don't keep a pair around, years after they've stopped using them, just because they're so cool to look at.

With that in mind, I decided to share mine with you. 'Though I can still stand en pointe in the shoes (for a couple of seconds, before excruciating pain forces me back down) it was not possible to stand en pointe and photograph my feet at the same time (yes, I tried). So, I just posed my feet prettily in the shoes and took pictures that way:

One toe shoe 

Goody One Shoe


two toe shoes 

Goody Two Shoes

Now my shoes can go back on the wall and I can go back off the wall.

Blessings, well-wishes and curtsey-with-a-kiss,

Eva T.

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They are lovely indeed, and how cool that you can still stand in them "en pointe" for a few seconds! I love objects that are not only beautiful, but that have memories tied to them, and can still bring us joy. Thank you for sharing this with us.
I always wanted to take dance lessons and learn to dance en pointe. Alas, it was never to be. I love hearing that you got the chance and could! I'd keep them on the wall just because they are beautiful!
Alysa and Madhuri: I'm glad that you, too, appreciate my two shoes!
My mom was a dance teacher for 30 years and I loved toe class! Never thought about using the shoes for decorations but they are very artful.
asia: Do you still have some old toe shoes? If so, they probably contain magic...
You came right to the pointe and yes, they really are very beautiful even just as wall decorations.......
RosyMama: You always get the pointe!
Yes, I still own both of my pairs of pointes! (And even play around in them , too;-) Loved your piece!:-))
Sphinx365: I knew I wasn't the only one. Wish I could still "play around." I no longer have my pointe shoe callouses, so it just hurts too much to do more than stand en pointe, and that only very briefly.