Would a strappy red leotard distract the eye from my puffer-fish face or accentuate it? The many thin straps of the garment crisscrossed my back in a pleasing design. It was different. It was daring. I wore it.
The above quote is from TENDU, the first book of A Dancer’s Journey, a romantic-suspense series. The main character, Amalphia, has just been through some relationship turmoil, again, and is returning to class after injury caused by an inappropriate level of pointe work. The red leotard gets her into a surprising amount of trouble.
Her injury came from being asked to perform every exercise in class en pointe. This is something that I took from my own life.
Memories of Pointe Work
One week at college, our usual morning-class teacher – the late great Imogen Claire – was absent and a substitute put in place. This new teacher decided I needed to be stretched and pushed, and had me do everything en pointe. Just me. Nobody else. This singling-out drew a few nasty looks from the other dancers. But really, there was nothing to be jealous about.
Because it really was everything. Every bend. Every jump. I love jumping en pointe. I still do it sometimes. But as a training method in morning class, this excessive pointe work made no sense. It removed the benefit of many of the exercises, and I limped off to the other lessons of the day improperly warmed-up.
After two days of this, my feet were sore. After a week, they were a mess. But then Imogen returned with her no-nonsense approach to teaching and ballet, and I healed.
There was no need for extra pointe work, as we were blessed with a specialist teacher for that. At first I was surprised to learn that the class was taught by a man, but Gary Harris was a true expert on the subject, performing all the steps en pointe himself in his soft trainers at the front of the studio.
So, dance-school memories indulged, it’s time to head back into the next manuscripts. There’s a connected series coming…
A Dancer’s Journey Series on Amazon UK
Series on Amazon worldwide
More Posts with Dance Content
- Chosen Sisters: Friendship and Dance
- Dance Research in the Dungeon
- London, Baby!
- Blues Skies, Crashing Waves and Ballet Terms
- A Ballet Novel and a Tale of Publishing Woes
- There’s also this strange little post about what the characters of A Dancer’s Journey get up to when I’m away from the keyboard.
Sisters at the Edge of the World
When Morragh speaks to another person for the very first time, she has no idea that he is an invader in her land…
Set in 1st century Scotland, SISTERS AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD includes the battle of Mons Graupius between the Romans and the Caledonian tribes. The book features a neurodivergent main character and some rather complicated romance!
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