Aiming higher

Sometimes, miracles do happen. Sometimes things accidentally go the way you wanted. It doesn’t happen often at all, but exceptions exist! A few weeks ago, I found the exact right shoes. I had a specific sort in mind, and I found shoes so close to them that I could barely believe it. Thankfully, my cool mother told me to just buy them, because she knew I really wanted them. That made me so happy, so very happy that I knew I would regret not buying them.

So, I bought them. And I’m still in love with them – because I can really love objects such as shoes and bags. This means I will use them as much as possible, so no fear, I don’t just put them somewhere to look at them.

The thing with these shoes is that they have heels.

Laarsjes met imitatiebont van s.Oliver

Here they are! It’s fake fur. S. Oliver. Via this site

I’m a quite tall girl, 12 cm taller than the average Belgian woman according to this site. In my hometown, I don’t feel extraordinary tall, but in my university town, I often feel as if I can overlook everything. I don’t want this to keep me from wearing heels though, so I just continue lengthening myself. You see, there is something about heels that just appeals to me. They make me feel elegant. They make me feel strong. Even a bit intimidating sometimes, because after all they make me even taller than the average Belgian man. There is nothing wrong with having some effect, right?

A lot of women know how the attraction of heels feels like. Though they’re often not the most comfortable shoes, you still want to wear them for the good feeling they give you. And hey, I’m a dancer, I stand on top of my toes for fun – wearing heels isn’t even that strange for us. It’s even more than that. We have this teacher, a young woman, who nearly always wears heels and walks around in them like it’s a piece of cake. I admire that. For real. I’m not sure why, I mean, it’s okay to wear whatever shoes you want, but I always admire those who wear heels as if they are the comfiest shoes ever. Maybe because I believe that you shouldn’t only care about what is comfortable. Of course, comfortable shoes and clothes are nice, but that should never rule out the look they have. I hate it when people give up on elegance and just go for the ‘oh they are so comfy’.

But where do heels come from? Who came up with the idea of lifting the heel? According to the Wikipedia site on this matter, the first ones to wear heels were Persian horse riders, who used shoes with heels to not slip of the stirrups. Since then something happened and then everyone started wearing heels – men included. Apparently, European royalty started wearing them in the 16th century to look taller or larger-than-life. Wikipedia adds that nowadays, women probably wear heels as a sexual prop.

I’m not sure about that though. I’m more likely to scare away the guys because of my length when wearing heels.

Wikipedia also gives a nice list of pro’s and cons – in which the cons are all about the damage they do, and the pro’s circle around the aesthetics. One of the pro’s is that they make your arch more defined, and as a dancer, I do admire a good arch as well. The other thing about heels my inner dancer adores, is the fact that your line isn’t broken. When your foot is flat, the line of your body suddenly gets broken by your foot with a 90° angle. But when you lift your heel, your line doesn’t get broken, it goes on with some deviation. Much more elegant, my inner dancer says.

We all know that wearing heels every day is not healthy and will hurt, but it has to be said that they give you this feeling of elegance and strength and that is worth something as well. I don’t feel the need to be taller, but I can imagine that being interesting for some girls as well. As longs as you don’t aim too high, it can even be more comfortable than a really flat shoe, like ballerina’s. Though Wikipedia has this last piece of wisdom for you:

“Extremely high-heeled shoes, such as those higher than 5 inches (13 cm), are normally worn only for aesthetic reasons and are not considered practical.”

Who could have guessed.

So, what do you think of high heels? Do you like wearing them? Do you like seeing them? Or are you against the high aim?

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The World’s a Stage

With the exams currently happening and a lack of sleep, my emotional balance is a bit off sometimes. Mostly I’m just tired and sick of learning, but I know from experience that everything can become a huge drama if you don’t hold yourself back. And often, mostly before an oral exam I worry for, I tell myself one should always maintain one’s dignity and self-control. Like the exam is a stage, you’re going up, smile and wave, and if you need to breakdown, do it backstage.

If there’s one thing you learn from dancing, it’s to keep going no matter what’s hurting, no matter how tired you are. Unfortunately this virtue mostly only exists in me when I’m in a dance class, and not so much when I’m studying. Though I must say I have become pretty good at smiling and waving when I actually really want to cry. I used to take the test when I was really angry, then I’d go to a mirror and smile as charming as possible.

But the same counts for physical pain. I remember hitting someone during my last show and it hurt like hell even weeks later on (poor me). What to do what to do? Easy – you smile and that’s it. The world is a stage and even when you hit someone, or someone hits you, you have to smile and keep going. I know it’s easier when you’re really on stage and there’s music playing, but in the end you’ll be the one curtsying elegantly, so you win.

Ballet has this really good tool to help you train this ability. They’re called pointe shoes and make you dance on your toes. Really on them? Yes, on top of your toes. Is that uncomfortable? What do you think, darling? It’s not the most comfortable thing ever, no, but when you have the right shoes and they have been molded a bit, it’s actually not as bad as you might imagine. I had my first pair of pointe shoes when I was 13, but I didn’t have class, so I trained a bit by myself. They got too small, but I still kept using them. This year though, my teacher decided we would have pointe class, so now I’ve got a new pair which really supports my feet and look great.

Me is happy!

015

Am I a ballerina now?

Getting pointe shoes is a big step for every dancer. It’s like a dream coming through – even if that dream kills your toes. It’s the cherry on the cake. Because really, pointes give a kind of magic you can never really get without them. They make you look so light you can just dance on your toes like it’s nothing, while in fact it needs year of training. Also, in ballet lines are very important. When you’re not on pointe, your line always gets broken by your toes sticking out. Eech.

020 - kopieFor those wondering, it are Blochs serenades. For others wondering, that’s the door to my room. I don’t think the floor is real wood, but it is very cosy.
Now, where was I? As you can see lines keep going in these. Together with the ribbons showing off how small and nice your ankles are – I must admit I like slender ankles – it makes you look very elegant, perhaps fragile, while in fact you are really strong, especially in the legs, and your toes probably look bruised and battered. But you know, it’s all about illusions, as you might remember.

002It might be due to the many years of practice in the too small pointe shoes, but I’m actually quite okay in them. I managed to do a double pirouette already, I am able to do some rather inelegant fouettés, and the hops Giselle does across the stage (hops on pointe indeed!), I should be able to do those too. Though of course I only practised everything in my room. In our dance class we’re doing the obligatory exercises to strengthen your feet and ankles, but I’m not patient enough – I actually want to dance in them!

Now the only thing left to do for me, is to be ‘discovered’ by a ballet company and become the ruling star there. I feel like I’m getting closer already… But above all I get to learn to stand on my toes and smile though they feel a bit crushed. However much they get to hurt, you just keep going because it looks good and is fun somehow, and in the end you will get to curtsy, just like you deserve.

018If you’re wondering now whether it was all just an excuse to show you my feet in pointe shoes, well, it totally was.

A Perfect Woman

A perfect woman should be …

1. Elegant, like a dancer.

This is a picture of Gelsey Kirkland, and to me it shows the ultimate elegance a ballerina can have. The long neck, the neat hair, the attitude… Dancers have a specific way of moving. Every tiny step is filled with a kind of attitude that you barely see anywhere else.

In this video, you can see the extremely graceful Altynai Asylmuratova dancing one of the most beautiful variations in ballet history. And yes, enthusiasm sort of takes over… What I mean to say though, is that she is so elegant though she is standing on her toes – which isn’t quite what toes are meant for. Dancers know how to move their body, there is some kind of harmony in their movements which requires ages of training. But in the end, they rock this elegance like no one else.

 

2. Somewhat cheeky, like Anne Boleyn.

Because, admit it, she’s got fire. The look in her eyes, the way she moves, what man could resist that? But it’s something you can’t really fake. If you do so, you will look a bit ridiculous, unfortunately. I guess it’s something you either have or don’t have. She’s got it, and every woman wants it too. And it’s not about being really brutal or saying ‘let’s skip the conversation, where’s your bed?’. This is about something in your movements that is subtle and at the same obvious enough. After all, you want someone to get your message while not looking like a slut.

 

3. Dignified, like Queen Elizabeth.

Apparently the Tudors-era is a good source of inspiration if you’re looking for virtues. Like Queen Elizabeth, I consider it to be a good thing to have this poker face and majestic behaviour. She’s not controlled by emotions, she’s not embarrassed, she is the Queen and she knows it. It demands a kind of strength, a kind of view on the world to establish this. But I think it’s really important to sometimes feel this majestic. You should always have this sense of dignity, otherwise you’ll just become a woman who doesn’t care about what she looks like and how she behaves. But that won’t get you much respect… Just don’t be afraid to have class. It’s totally okay.

 

4. Able to party well, like a Gatsby Girl.

Because seriously, those parties over at Gatsby’s looked amazing! All glittery and glamorous, good-looking people and dancing until the sun comes up again. Isn’t that the most wonderful party you can imagine? Those people knew how to throw a party and have fun. The fact that there’s a tragic story behind all these wild events isn’t important. What matters is that from time to time, you’d better have a drink and fun. You can’t be a pokerfacing queen all the time…

 

5. Intriguing, like a mermaid.

This video is from the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It’s probably not very hard to be intriguing when you’re in fact just swimming around naked, but still, these mermaids have something that makes you interested. Especially with that voice… Hypnotic to say at least. They could make you do everything, and you will never fathom them. Which makes them all the more attractive I guess.

 

6. Real, like you and me.

The best part of great women is the fact that they exist. Perfection is nowhere to be found, but I still believe it’s better to find/be a nearly perfect real woman than a non-existing perfect woman. Being real is a big deal. Rhyme not intended.

So, this is my view on what a perfect woman would more or less look like. This is mainly meant as a source of inspiration (and an excuse to share some great videos). I’m not even close to perfect, no one is, but everyone’s got something that makes him/her great, right? Which doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by some good examples. Therefore this post.

Feel free to add something, or to disagree!