Toe woe

You really have to keep your toenails trimmed for ballet, not just for pointe work (though obviously it is really crucial there), but also for regular class, because (1) slippers should be fairly tight in order to look good (not loose and floppy like this:

but, rather, snug, like this:

and, tangentially, I need to point out that pointe shoes are not ballet slippers, because, just now, image-searching for a typical badly fit ballet slipper by using the words "ballet slipper," all I got was thousands of pictures of pointe shoes. Dude, they are so different. A pointe shoe is a cruel, hard box of torture dressed up in pink satin; it’s not a cozy, comfortable protector of the foot, which is the meaning I give the word "slipper." No one who’s taken ballet ever calls pointe shoes "slippers." And, although it’s acceptable to call the leather or canvas flat shoes "slippers," they’re not cozy or comfortable either. They’re just "OK, I’ve got to have something on my feet." They’re there to make your foot look like one lovely, curved unit, so they should fit tightly, the drawstrings should be tucked in and the colour should match your socks or bare skin, basically.)

So, (1) the shoes are tight and (2) any kind of pointing derrière, especially if you are ronde-de-jambe-ing à terre, puts additional pressure on longish nails, and then, especially if you are pointing derrière on a floor that has patches of rosin where people have over-rosined their shoes, your toe will stutter and skitter along the floor during à terre stuff, and it will feel as if your toenail is being wrenched off with vice-grips…. as mine felt last night.

So uncomfortable.

And then the inflammation caused by that encourages lurking fungus infections to dive in and take hold, and then it’s no sandals for you again this summer.

top image: Karolina Koch,  Royal Opera House poster


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