"I hate double tours."
Roberto Vega picked up a pair of pointe shoes after 1 year of ballet. And although we wouldn't normally recommend this to the average dancer, Roberto isn't. He has toured and traveled for Los Trockaderos de Monte Carlo, the famous drag-ballet company that features men en pointe in renditions of the most famous ballets.
We have never seen feet like these before. During the fitting, it was clear that he has been through every pointe shoe on the block, and he experienced injuries and mis-training as a result. The amazing part is that despite all of these moving variables, Roberto is crazy strong, demonstrating control and articulation through his ankles and metatarsals that we rarely see. Talk about #feetgoals.
Roberto was in a Freed that was not wide enough, so the shoe started to bubble and bevel after use. While it isn't an unflattering line, 'the Pavlova,' as he calls it, it's not the most stable. Josephine found a Capezio shoe that was much wider and the correct length so that his foot wasn't jammed into a shoe.
The difference is beautiful: before on the left; after on the right -
This new shoe will allow Roberto to continue to train his foot more comfortably in a shoe that actually fits him, and will provide a stability that he is ready for. His old shoe looked like a demi pointe shoe - a testament to his strength!
The most impactful part of meeting and fitting Roberto was hearing his story as a male dancer. He pointed out the fact that for male dancers, there are really only two accepted spaces: 1, as a more masculine partner for females in traditional roles at large companies; or 2, as a more feminized, over-the-top character in drag ballet (as in the Trocks).
However, Roberto didn't want to exist just in one world. He felt like he was part of both, and furthermore, didn't understand why that dancing en pointe automatically pushed him over to a more exaggerated feminine form. Why not be masculine and dance en pointe?
At the end of the day, Roberto realized he needed to create a third option - another space for male dancers to exist. That's why he created @MaleBallerinas, a platform on Instagram to provide ballet and pointe classes to all dancers - but specifically for male dancers searching for similar community. We think it's amazing that Roberto is trailblazing a new way for male dancers to exist in our community.
Also, his feet are GORGEOUS! Anyone else feeling like they need to take pointe from Roberto?! 🙋🏻♀️