Ballet is one of the most difficult and beautiful sports known to man. The physical strength and exertion ballet requires means it’s not for the faint hearted. I have been a ballet dancer for the past fifteen years and it has taken a serious toll on my body. As an adolescent, I was obviously going through a period of significant physical and emotional change when I was training to be a professional ballerina. Emotionally, ballet has definitely changed me, but that can’t be seen by the people around me. On the other hand, the physical changes to my body, especially my feet are very obvious and irreversible.
For years I’ve been wearing bunion splints to try and ease the pain ballet has caused me. They have definitely helped, but when you’ve put this much strain on yourself for so many years, nothing will ever truly fix it. I was so proud of becoming an en pointe ballet dancer that I would do it every chance I got. I would be spending time around the house and be en pointe just for the fun of it. Looking back now, it was probably a bad decision…
I have no doubt that in the future I’ll need a significant number of foot care treatments. Cheltenham, the suburb where I studied ballet for many years, is where I’ll be going to get any treatments done. It seems almost symbolic that I would return to the place that caused me so much pain, to fix my pain. It probably seems a bit morbid too, but I’m clearly a bit of a morbid person if I was willing to put myself through so much anguish for fifteen years.
I no longer dance competitively as I am now too old to be cast in the major parts that I deserve to be in. I now spend my days incorporating ballet into other types of dance that is less strenuous on the human body.
I will always love ballet, but that’s where it has to end for me.