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 Post subject: The Teacher and the Shoe - A True Story
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2000 11:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
THE TEACHER AND THE SHOE<P>As much as I loved every day that I danced, taught ballet, rehearsed and performed, I also loved to travel. But true to the mind-set of a dancer I always took my ballet bag with me on all vacations and gave myself a barre everyday almost without fail.<P> One year my husband I took a two-week cruise of the Caribbean and its islands. The ship proved to be the perfect place to practice. Everyday I carried my dance bag and tape player up on deck, used the ship’s rail as my barre while the wood deck made a perfect floor. The lack of privacy never bothered me. Some people would ignore me, some would stop to watch and comment in a pleasant manner, but there always seemed to be one or two old, fat, silly men who needed to make fun of what I was doing. I smiled at the first group and ignored the second. One day the captain happened by and after watching a while he asked if I would perform. Against all my better judgement I said yes. And, that’s where my problem began.<P>After speaking to the activities director the date for the performance was set for the following week so I had about seven days to prepare. I had with me a tape to which I had choreographed a solo and lots of toe shoes. I also had a swirly black skirt and a very attractive black leotard with a red rose for my hair. However, the ballroom floor in the ship’s theater was exceptionally slippery and my pink satin toe shoes were impossible to use. Capezio does make a felt tipped shoe, called Durotoe, which is not as slippery and is generally used only by beginners. I had never used them. My regular shoe size was a 6 ½ E and that always had to be specially ordered as the stores only carried up to D sizes. So there was no hope of finding a 6-½ E Durotoe shoe in the small islands of the Caribbean. But, I also had another problem.<P> Every dancer needs a teacher and especially for performance, a coach. Someone to critique the rehearsals and class. Good ballet teachers are rare gems, difficult to find even in a large city. <P>The next day as I was again at the ship’s rail giving myself a class an old pudgy blonde lady approached me and said she was a ballet teacher from Florida and she would like to work with me. Though I talked and smiled at her, inwardly I was very skeptical. What were the chances she was really knowledgeable? After all I was a professional, not a beginner. But, I thought having someone critique me would be better than having no one at all. As per agreement we met the next day for class and rehearsal. She was marvelous. I learned a great deal from her from the first moment. I was struck by how fortunate it was that she would be a passenger on this cruise and willing and able to help me.<P> The problem of the shoes, however, remained insurmountable. Neither she nor I could think of a solution. I made up my mind that I would wait till the day before the performance and if no solution presented itself I would have to turn down the captain’s invitation to perform. <P>The day before the performance the ship docked at Curacao. It’s a small Dutch island and was the cleanest of all the islands we had visited. After walking around for a while we bought some soft drinks and sought some shade in the doorway of a yardage store. I had really taken no notice of the yards of cloth; I was not shopping for such goods. But as I stood there and sipped my soda, I saw a gleam of pink tucked in the very back corner of the store’s display window. A pair of toe shoes!! I looked more closely at them and almost gasped when I saw they were tipped with felt; they were Capezio Durotoes without doubt.<P> I ran into the store and asked a sales clerk to show me the ballet shoes in the window. She looked at me in disbelief. “This is a yardage shop,” she carefully explained. I could see she thought I was a crazy woman from that crazy place called America. I literally dragged her over to the window. She was amazed to see toe shoes in amongst the rolls of yardage. Finding these shoes was a miracle, but they would do me no good unless they were my size, the size I always had to special order. With trembling hands I looked inside and there stamped on the inner lining was 6 ½ E.<P> No one in the store knew where the shoes came from. No one knew the price. There was no ballet school on the island. The owner and I arrived at a mutually agreed price and she contributed some satin ribbon and elastics. I carried my magic shoes back to the ship and the special lady who had volunteered to coach me. When she saw the shoes she was as amazed as I was. <P>The next night I danced and people said it was wonderful. But, I knew it wasn’t me, it was the teacher and the shoes. The magic couldn’t miss. <P>Copyright May 2000<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: The Teacher and the Shoe - A True Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 11:28 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
I just read this tale because the title was so appealing. You should turn it into a children's book and have it illustrated.


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 Post subject: Re: The Teacher and the Shoe - A True Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 1:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thank you Christina - my problem is I have no ambition, for the most part, for the marketing aspect of writing. <P>I do write and it is published - but I really haven't the energy to market it. Given the choice of how to spend my afternoon, I would just rather sit down and write something else........


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 Post subject: Re: The Teacher and the Shoe - A True Story
PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2000 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
What a cool story! That would be good illustrated and made into a book... it could also be fun to add some more detail to it. <BR>-zoe Ü


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 Post subject: Re: The Teacher and the Shoe - A True Story
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2000 7:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Thank you so much Zoe!! I especially treasure a compliment from someone your age. What further detail would you like to see? <P> Do you want to illustrate it? I like to paint, and sketch, but I don't have the talent for illustrating something like this.


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