A Canvas Rant

So you know I got some nice canvas shoes…

I’m still wearing my battered and laddered and grimy satin slippers.

This is why:

I CAN’T SEW MY CANVAS SHOES.

The backs keep slipping off my heels, which is a pain in the arse and also makes me feel like I’m going to go flying every time I attempt any turn. I have to pull them down when I’m waiting to go across the floor which is about as elegant as picking your leotard out of your bum.

This problem could be rectified if canvas slippers, like satin ones, came with elastics you could sew on yourself.

WHY DON’T THEY?

Do people really hate sewing that much? Do they retain it on satin slippers cos it’s somehow olde worlde dainty ballerina? I would have thought people were used to having to sew elastics and anyway everyone needs to do it for pointe shoes. So why just bang them on canvas slippers when everyone needs to adjust their shoes slightly for their own feet?

I’m going to have a go at unpicking and re-stitching, but I’m afraid that this may kill it rather than cure it…

Sorry for all the CAPS but it’s driving me mad. I love sewing and I love the fact I can fit my shoes to my feet perfectly. I also loved the line the canvas shoes, which were Bloch’s fancy-fancy stretch ones, gave my feet.

Back to lovely satin slippers. I’m well overdue for a shiny new pair!

A Canvas Conversion; and on Being the New Girl Again.

I went Bloch shopping this week! If you’ve been in London, maybe you’ll know about the conglomeration of lovely dance shops around a couple of streets in Covent Garden. I could easily spend hours cooing over them all. But a quick visit for new flatties is a Bloch stop.

Y’all know I love my satin. But I decided to try on some canvas just to see what it felt like. My problems with canvas include the fact  that canvas shoes on my feet just look like bags and don’t make me feel elegant at all; the line is just rubbish and just no no no. Part of the problem is the shape of my feet and toes. Whilst I have naturally very high arches, this means that over the years the pressure exerted on my toes has made them kind of crunch up – if I say I have curly toes, does that make sense? I don’t want to show you a picture of them!

However Bloch have brought out a new canvas shoes with ultra-stretch canvas. This means that instead of there being a huge bag over my toes where my toes don’t reach the end, the fabric forms to my shape! Here they are, they are the Synchrony :

Oh and trust me to choose the most expensive Bloch flat...

Oh and trust me to choose the most expensive Bloch flat…

They also have the elastic binding which is maybe not so important for the amateur dancer – I know my teacher has callouses from his binding and drawstrings over the years! – but it is very comfy.

So new shoes, I went straight into a new class! Double scary.

My plan at the moment is to mix up classes as much as I can. I have mega love for Fab Teacher, but his classes are so popular that it’s very hard to get specific, personal corrections. I work on the general class corrections of course, but I’m finding it difficult to get a good idea of where I’m going right and wrong.

Also I do tend to hang back from challenging myself, and will often push myself to get familiar combinations perfect before trying to do a faster or more complex class.

So along I went to a beginner/general class, and I’m already terrified at the “general” bit. I’m happy to report that I had a great time, that I knew most of the individual steps, but the barre was much faster and the centre a lot more “joined up” and complex. I have to laugh at myself attempting what I think of as a proper ballerina dance with balletic walking and everything. Also my new shoes felt great on the floor! I love a good floor-feel!

A new step for me was the pas de basque. I struggle with attempting to mimic during class and do need stuff breaking down, so along I went at the end of class and asked the teacher to demonstrate. I’m now trying to find an adequate video break-down online as I struggle visualising how to link it together!

It’s a big change for me being a new girl in a new class, as usually in my regular class I’m confident enough to go first in a group exercise. Just recently a girl taking our improvers class for the first time had hung back until the end of a centre exercise and the sub teacher expected her to go across the floor by herself. She asked me to go in front to lead her across, and I was happy to go across again, although I’m definitely not the best technique-wise for a new person to copy. I suppose the part of me that loves performance won’t pass up a chance to pretend to be Fonteyn either!

So new shoes, new steps, and a new mind-set to get to grips with. Any pas de basque tips gratefully received!

 

 

Satin slippers

I’ve always chosen satin flats since I’ve started dancing. Actually, when I went to (a very few) ballet classes as a little girl my mum put me in gorgeous little satin slippers and not the creaky leather ones everyone else in my class wore. Divaahh…

At the moment I have Bloch’s split-sole satin shoes. They’re actually due for replacement very soon – the ball of my big toe is rubbing through on both sides. I KNOW canvas lasts longer! I know you can pop your canvas shoes in the wash! I may even try on some canvas ones in the shop! But I know I’ll buy some little satin beauties.  My reasoning is that –

a) they’re cheaper

b) on my amateur class schedule they’re not going to wear out anytime soon

c) they keep their shape fine and my feet are very comfortable

d) I absolutely love the lustre of satin. I love how it feels to the touch and on the floor. I love the precise colour of Bloch’s pale salmon-y nude-y pink.

Maybe I’m buying into the mystique of the satin-and-tulle ballerina -but satin slippers just look SO GOOD. Why does nobody wear them?