Enough with the Pointe Shoes

pointe

If you don’t know, then you don’t know.


 
Ciara’s newest music video, “I Bet,” premiered last week and went viral across the web. This video features Ciara alone in various costumes, with the singer looking as beautiful as ever. The video opens with a shot of a music box ballerina, and then pans out to reveal Ciara replicating this with a similar costume and rotating platform.
 
But what I immediately noticed and cringed over so much was to see pointe shoes on her feet. And to make matters worse, the singer attempted to stand on the box, balance in them, and flail her legs while still having those sacred ribbons wrapped around her ankles. It was brief and a small part of the video, but it was enough to make my inner dancer scream with frustration.
 

Enough is Enough

Seriously? Can we stop with using pointe shoes in videos wear they are not meant to be? We have already seen Rihanna rock them in her trademark music video for “Umbrella,” and witnessed an uproar in the dance world when Free People launched their dance wear campaign
 
Every dancer can remember the horrible technique demonstrated and poor representation of the grace and beauty of pointe shoes in ballet. All three of these videos show people standing in pointe shoes that obviously have little to no training to do so, when dancers around the world spend years working to be able to roll up on to their toes correctly and as gracefully as possible.
 

Poor Representation of Ballet

My major pet peeve with this is that putting an artist or a model in pointe shoes robs the video of a moment that could really show how beautiful pointe is. The actresses/models/singers that put these shoes on their feet like they are just some other high heel are completely ruining the lines of there legs and their feet.
 
There is a whole technique behind pointe shoes, and you must be proficient in ballet on demi-pointe (on the balls of your feet, not toes) to be able to even consider moving up to pointe shoes. Pointe requires intricate articulation of the feet, and a heavy knowledge of the weight distribution that must be placed on certain toes.
 
Just like a stiletto heel, it is ideal for the weight of the foot to be forward enough to bring the heel up and over the ball of the foot, creating a long, extended line from the hip all the way to the big toe. These women, while beautiful and talented, are cutting this line and barely getting up onto the box of the shoe. Pointe may be painful, but it is gorgeous when done correctly. Ciara’s foot isn’t even fully extended.
 

The Dangerous Aspect of Casual Pointe Shoe Usage

And what’s even more alarming is the high risk of injury. Not only is wearing pointe shoes as an inexperienced dancer unpleasing to the eye, it’s down right dangerous.
 
There is a reason young girls are told to wait to begin pointe training. There is a reason different dancers wear different pointe shoe brands and begin training at a barre.
 
You must have the ankle strength to hold yourself up, and without proper technique and strength, you risk rolling off the box and injuring your ankle. If you fall epically, the list of possible injuries will go up. Putting these shoes on artists for aesthetic reasons or storyline reasons may seenmlike a good idea, but pointe shoes should only be touched by a trained dancer’s smelly feet.

Make It Stop

I get what Ciara was trying to do, and it was a good video over all. Her body looked incredible, and the simplicity of the video was lovely to watch. I even understand how closely they wanted Ciara to represent a ballerina like the one in the box.
 
But the pointe shoes were a bad move. After all the heat given to Rihanna and Free People, I’m not sure why it was decided to include the shoes in this video. Not just because it wasn’t a good representation of ballet and the beauty of being on pointe, but because it wasn’t safe for the artist. Good song, beautiful girl, poor choice of footwear.

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Rachel Jimenez

An Exercise Science major at USF with a love for dance, food, and sarcastic banter. Oh, and she was gluten free before it was cool. instagram: @sassycalves twitter: @itsraayy

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