Dirty Old Shoes

For all the times I’ve written about art, I haven’t ever (I don’t think) shown you why it is that I care about art so much.
So for the next few weeks I want to show you my art.  It’s mostly going to be dancing stuff, or dance-related stuff, but really I love most art forms (I just connect with dance the most).
So to start out, here’s a wall from my high school bedroom (sorry for the picture quality… I’m lacking in photography skills):
A lot of my friends would display their old pointe shoes on their wall, but I ran through shoes like nobody’s business (about 3-4 pairs every semester, sometimes 5 or 6 depending on what type of dances we were performing and how much I was doing en pointe.  This is nothing compared to many professional ballet dancers, but at $50-60/pair it was plenty), so my mom and I decided this would be the best way to hold onto my shoes and put them to use. 
It’s basically a heavy duty decorative curtain rod.  Anytime a pair of shoes “died”  I would tie the ribbons together and then hang them over the rod.
The dance art is eclectic.  The large painting is a print of Degas’ “The Rehearsal.”  
One of his lesser known ballet pieces, but one of my favorites.  The print on the right is something my parents bought locally.  
The long horizontal frame on the left holds a print which shows multiple sides of Degas’ sculpture entitled “Little Dancer of Fourteen Years”  The photo below it on the right shows one of my dancer friends’ feet in fifth position en pointe.  And the photo to the left of that is me!
Yes, those are all my shoes that I wore.  And that’s not all of them.  I don’t think I contributed to this little installment after I went to college.  I know there is a bag  of more shoes in the closet.  Most, as you can see are some shade of light pink, however, the red ones are from my role as the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, and the black pair are from my role as the Black Queen in a chess-themed ballet.
Basically, what happens is you wear and dance in pointe shoes for awhile you wear them down and they “die” and you can’t safely wear them anymore (at least not to dance in).  Because I have a prominent arch and a high instep, my feet would bend the shoes much more than most dancers at my age and level, this meant that I would go through shoes much faster.  This also meant that the rod soon became full and bent in the middle from the weight!
Do you have a passion that you display as artwork in your home?


7 thoughts on “Dirty Old Shoes

  1. I like to display all my trophies, which was a spelling bee trophy (1st place) and various 3rd place and 4th place little league baseball trophies. Impressive I know.

  2. I don't think I ever told you – I loved, loved this when I walked in your room! Easily one of the most creative decorating things I have seen, very cool.

    Passion/memento displayed as artwork: my grandpa made circuit boards all of the time, we would always play with them when we were little. My uncle gave me one my grandpa made for my birthday a few months after he died – and since then, I have used circuits in various forms for decoration. My favorite wedding gift – a circuit board wall candle holder that is currently in our dining room.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your artistic, beautiful, passionate ballet wall. I have been trying to decide how to display my daughter’s beloved shoes in her room. There are so many memories in those shoes for the child as well as the mother. Also, I love photography and will also shoot a close up black and white of my daughter’s feet en pointe. Love it!

    Are you still dancing?

    Thank you again for sharing!

    • Hi Judy,
      I’m glad you like this display! It’s such a great way to commemorate your daughter’s dance history if you will, plus it’s such an interesting focal point.

      I’m not dancing right now, but I miss it terribly. I hope to return to choreography and the occasional performance once I quit my current job, which takes me all over the world on a cruise ship. I have a great group of dancer friends in the area I plan to go back to, and am looking to collaborating with them and rejoining the dance scened there in a year or two.

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