My feet: long and bony, like my hands. Strangely, my big toes were angled inward at birth— maybe proto-dancer’s toes, since so many of us wind up with bunions anyway. (It was my parents’ choice not to have them broken and reset while I was a baby.) I have what is termed a high instep (that is, the lateral arch is situated closer to the ankle than the toes), which makes the dancing foot look nicely pointed, even though I don’t have a high arch. My toes and ankles, like all my joints, are very flexible: good for plasticity in movement, bad with regard to making me prone to injury. (The downside of flexibility is lack of strength.) Early on I was made aware of the stereotypes around black feet: Big, flat, and inarticulate were frequent descriptors. Growing up I was too black, too tall, and my feet were too big—and, ooooh, those crooked toes!
KeywordsBallet Dancer Dance Teacher Percussion Instrument Middle Passage Modern Dancer
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