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Can you remember your first ballet shoes?

My First Ballet Shoes

When it comes to memories of my childhood, there are certain days that spring to mind more readily than others. Like most people, family gatherings and parties provide a lot of happy memories from the early days of life but for me, one of my most memorable days came when I was 5 years old. I had started school and had already realised that this was not something that I was going to overly enjoy. This meant that I was keen to have as much fun outside of school as possible and thankfully, my mum and dad shared my interest for finding something that would keep me out of mischief.

Like most five year old girls, I was in love with the idea of being a princess, which to be fair, is something that I haven’t grown out of. While my parents couldn’t make it possible for me to become a five year old princess, my mum introduced me to the next best thing. There was something graceful and elegant about ballet dancing and I fell in love with it straight away. There was a local dance school five minutes down the road from our house and one Saturday morning my mum took me along. I can’t remember all of the different dance styles that were available to choose from but as soon as I saw the ballet class, I was hooked. The leotards, the tights, getting to dance with the bigger girls and the shoes all grabbed my attention and I couldn’t wait to begin. For the first couple of lessons, I fell about and developed slowly but within a few weeks, I started to get the hang of it. This obviously convinced my mum and dad that I was going to stick with it and one day after school, my mum took me into town to buy my first ballet shoes.

I adored my first ballet shoes

It was a surprise to me; the idea of going straight to town after school was a worry, because this was where the dentist could be found. You can imagine my relief when he headed past the dentists and into a store which had a wide range of dance clothes and accessories. My mum spoke to the shop girl and the next thing I knew, I was on a seat trying on different ballet shoes. Of course, I wanted a pink ballet shoe and I loved the lace finish on the edge. The older girls in the class had ballet shoes with ribbons that ran up their legs but my first pair were a pair of slip-on ballet pumps. Once I tried on the pair, I didn’t want to take them off and I think I was a bit cross with my mum when she told me to change back into my school shoes.

Given that it was raining outside and my mum still had to pay for my ballet shoes, she was perfectly entitled to tell me to change my shoes but as a child, you tend to overlook the reality of certain situations. You can imagine how excited I was for the class on Saturday morning and when 10 year old Gemma remarked on how pretty my shoes looked I was as happy as I had ever been. I was convinced I danced better that day than I had ever danced before and it was down to my new ballet shoes. They were a soft canvas, in glorious pink and they were the prettiest things I had ever seen. Even when my feet grew and I needed to replace them, I made sure that my mum bought the same style.

Now I’m grown up and taking my daughter to ballet classes. The day I bought her first ballet shoes was another very proud day and I can only hope she gets as much fun, enjoyment and pride out of her new ballet shoes that I got from mine.

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