This morning (as I write this), I went for an appointment to be fitted for my first pair of pointe shoes as an adult dancer. I have not been fitted for pointe shoes since I was probably about 10, but I thought if I’m going to put my body through dancing en pointe, I’m definitely going to make sure I’m getting the right support I need for my now-creakier joints!
It was a lovely experience – I went to ‘A Dancer’s World’ in Northampton and there was absolutely no judgement that I’m a plus size lady in her mid twenties who clearly isn’t a professional dancer, they spent plenty of time helping me try lots of shoes and explaining why the ones I ended up getting were the best ones for me.
And they even had lots of options of leotards for me to try! Online, I have found one brand that stock leotards in my size and since I bought one back in the Spring, they’ve stopped doing my size, but having four to choose from felt so amazing (though trying them on in a 30 degree heatwave wasn’t quite so amazing 😂).
Although I’m not a professional dancer and buying this point shoes isn’t for the sake of training or taking exams or anything like that, I’m actually excited to starting dancing in them, getting stronger and pushing myself to improve at something I love!
Over the last month or two whilst I’ve been thinking about this investment, I’ve wondered if there was any point (ba dum tsh) – I’m not training to be a dancer, I’m not even very good at ballet; why would I spend so much money not just on the shoes but the extra class and the time commitment when there won’t be much of a reward in the long term?
Because life is too short not to do things you love! I’m never going to be a prima ballerina and realistically, there’s a huge chance that I’m not really ready for pointe yet, but I’ve been back at dance for a year now and I want to push myself! Is it any different to trying something new at the gym?
I feel like as we get older, trying new things becomes harder not just because of the time, the money and the availability, but because of the social stigma associated with it.
Want to try a new sport? Well there’s a beginner class every other Thursday or England trials are in October. Want to try a new hobby? There’s a children’s sewing class, or a knitting group with mostly elderly ladies who don’t really like change and will look at you like you just stepped on a kitten for even daring to show up to their group.
I can’t think of anymore examples, but I’ve found it’s really difficult to try new things as an adult! But life’s too short to say ‘I’m too old for that’ – if you want to try something, isn’t it better to have tried and looked a bit silly than not tried and always wondered what it was like?
Maybe I’m projecting my own insecurities and no one actually thinks this, but it’s definitely a mental barrier I’ve had to overcome – pushing myself to be a better dancer, doesn’t have to be ‘for’ anything, it can just be to be a better dancer! To get fitter and stronger and to relax in a way that I enjoy.
It’s never too late to try something new, and life’s too short to feel too old!
Thank you for reading,