FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Big Feet . Ballerina Dreams

 

 

I started dancing when I was 4 years old. Tap and Ballet were my first and then Jazz. My love for dancing has really enabled me to rock out on any dance floor or living room. Interpretive dances are a must – at a party, at a cottage, in the comfort of your own home (or others). My body does things. As a matter of fact, breaking into creative dance moves in a store, down an aisle, on a stage (especially with a banana) or in the street is my kinda my thing. Weather its dancing to “Saturday Night Fever” or Classical Music I let the music take me where no man has gone before. Er- 

When I was 6 years old my ballet teacher, **Rita (** Rita wasn’t her real name) told my mother that I would never be a ballerina. To put it gently (as I later cried and still hold it with me till this day) I didn’t have the proper legs ala turn out. Wow. That was a smack in the face. Especially when you, the little girl with probably the biggest feet in the class had a dream. I absolutely adored ballet and was secretly jealous of those girls who moved so flawlessly on the stage and excelled in the advanced program. Desperately trying to prove her wrong I stuck it out until I was 16,  just when I was about to go on point shoes. I absolutely loved point. But I knew that I wouldn’t advance further. You’re probably thinking, “Christina, No girlfriend! You should have stuck with it. Seriously, dreams do come true. You are the ballerina that could! You could have been a ballet star! YOU could have been Natalie Portman in The Black Swan”!!!!!!! Or something like that. But your gut knows best and your body knows it even more. I stopped out of  insecurity. Why put myself through the torture of trying to be someone I wasn’t? You can’t fit a square in a circle. Or can you? Instead I’ll have you know I was Vice President of Student Council that year which occupied my time. You’re probably thinking, “Wow Christina you are a jack of all trades”. Yes my friends, I am.  Skipping math class to “do council work” was a priority. And stepping out of science class to “take care of an important matter” (free Oh Henry Bars were coming in by the case for the Much Music dance party that night) I needed to be there for my peers. So instead I did what any responsible councilman would do, I decided to prioritize. I chose the only dance class I had time for and made time for. This was Tap. So that little girl who clung to the back row in ballet class, self-conscious of legs and feet, who always looked ahead to the “favoured” girls in the front row returned her point shoes. Another girl with a ballet dream would scoop them up. And plus I was really important that year in high school, so….  Alright. The truth: I knew my dream (and there are lots) to be a ballerina would not come true. I gave up. Something I do not like doing. Ever. Was it my big feet that I was self-conscious of? Maybe it was a turnout. My feet aren’t perfectly arched either. They are, as the boys would tease me in grade school, “flat as a board”.  Well guess what boys! My feet grew faster than my boobs. So take that. You know what they say about a gal with big feet?

ME: What?

ME: I dunno.

I have size 8 flippers, sometimes they range to a 9.5 (insanity). For a 5’4 gals with a tiny frame that is just uncalled for! I constantly trip UP stairs, on the sidewalk and religiously stub my toes on furniture. My guy won’t touch my feet. As a matter of fact he cringes at them. Saying things like, “look at those”, “get them away from me” or even, “go get orthotics, we have coverage!!!”. I would say this is verbal abuse. I have feelings too you know. I think I may be a hobbit. Come to think of it, If Bilbo Baggins had a sister I would be she. I am a klutz. To say I have grace, well others would argue I walk like an elephant. That’s when I knew my instincts were right about sticking with tap.  I never felt insecure about my foot size, nor my form. And there was a rhythm in my feet. It’s like they would come alive! Yeah, that’s right. I was fast. There was nothing more joyous than the banging sensation of my feet stomping to the ground. I tapped to the rhythm of the music and challenged myself within the beats. I love to tap.  Not to mention, I was the strongest out of all three. Maybe my natural talent for stomping really did come in handy. It excited me in a way that gave me the freedom to move my body loosely while staying in control of my feet. I am like a bag of microwave popcorn ready to explode all over the microwave when I tap. I didn’t even have to wear a bun. Instead, I sported a headband. All this and I looked cool at the same time. Yes I always think I’m cool when I tap. Like when I played soccer as a kid we had to take pictures and I thought I was cool by pushing my tongue against my bottom lip (try it. You’ll feel cool). Don’t ask me why but I have proof in the pictures. I even had the honour of tapping with Gregory Hines in Theatre School. Yep! I’m gloating and I name dropped. You will have to just deal with it. Jazz on the other hand well, I am definitely a white girl. Watching me do Hip Hop will cheer anyone up when they are feeling blue. It’s a comedy show in itself. I still got my tappers and have come to terms with my 87-year-old looking feet. Correction – My 87-year-old grandfather has prettier feet than mine. I have no idea where these came from. I’ve also come to terms with the fact that this shy timid little ballerina girl (who secretly glides across the bedroom floor to “Swan Lake” in a Swan costume (I exaggerated the part of the costume) has her ballet slippers tucked underneath her bed. I may have a tiny bunion or two. And I may not be so graceful. But I got rhythm and I got music….Who could ask for anything more?  

Ballet classes please? – CS xx

No one ever told me I could’t sport a tutu and heels.

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