It's the day every little ballerina dreams of, getting her first pair of toe shoes. Saturday was Grace's special day. The fun actually began on Thursday afternoon at the local dance store. Grace's teacher, Miss Laura, was there to help each student get fitted for her shoes.
Having no dance background myself, I was amazed at how they have toe shoe fittings down to a science, based on the shape of the girls' feet. Grace tried on half a dozen pairs of shoes, with Miss Laura saying the toe was too square, it wasn't long enough, it was too wide, and so on. Finally, the perfect pair was found. The shoes were left at the shop to get the ribbons sewn on.
Saturday morning we picked up the shoes on the way to the ballet studio. Grace had regular class in the morning, then her first toe class immediately following. Parents were encouraged to attend with cameras, of course. The first order of business was to learn how to put on the shoes. Ribbons are to be tied on the inside of the legs. Apparently, it's not that easy!
Once the ribbons were tied it was time to line up for their first inspection and to get the ribbons trimmed. Silly me, I thought the bows looked cute, but the only reason they tied the ribbons in bows was to make sure they didn't get them cut too short. From here on out they tie them in knots and then tuck the ends under the ribbons, because having the ends showing (or worse, bows) is the equivalent of having your underwear showing.
Following another inspection to make sure their ribbons were properly tucked, it was time to try out those shoes at the barre. The excitement quickly turned into pained expressions. But the smiles were never gone for long.
Finally it was time for each girl to take her first steps across the room. Grace looked a little frightened when she was told to go first, but she did a wonderful job, making it all the way across the room with no stumbles or flat feet.
All too quickly it was time to put away the shoes and rub those sore toes. From what I understand, she can say goodbye to pretty toes from now on, but she doesn't care. This was a dream come true.
The girls were encouraged to spend their summer break walking around the house in their toe shoes so it won't hurt as bad when classes resume in July. But we still have one BIG week before the summer break starts. This is performance week! Friday and Saturday the entire ballet company and school will be performing Cinderella. It will be a week full of rehearsals and preparations.
Anna also starts her summer school session this week, taking Art and Music Appreciation. So my mission this week is to simply make sure everyone gets where they need to be at the right time. Laundry can (mostly) wait and Quiznos will probably be my best friend this week, but I'm going to try hard not to flip out when it gets too crazy. It seems it was just yesterday she was taking her first ballet lesson, so I'm going to enjoy every crazy moment while I can.
More pictures to come, I'm sure. : )