Once upon a time, I danced ballet. Mama used to dance, so she naturally wanted to pass down the tradition to me and my sister. I began dancing at four years old, and continued on until I was 12. Its sad because I used to hate ballet. Saturday mornings were always a struggle as my yaya would try her best to put on my tights and leotard while I was sleeping. And if I’d wake up, I would start crying while violently kicking away my costume (what a brat). I remember I would be half asleep in morning class, and would never put any effort into what I was doing. I didn’t even bother to memorize the steps, I simply imitated the girl in front of me.
Its funny, but I remember the reason why didn’t like ballet. It was because I was missing out on Saturday morning cartoons, which was at that time my favorite thing. I discovered it during those days when I didn’t have class and thought it was the greatest thing ever (hello, I was missing out on Jem & the Holograms, Beverly Hills Teens, Carebears, Rainbow Brite and Garfield & Friends!!) It was the sort of thing my classmates would talk about, and I felt left out because I could never watch them.
In time, things changed. I started realizing the benefits I got from dancing, and all of a sudden I knew what the steps were called, how to do it and eventually, I wanted to be better at it. I started to love classical music, and to this day I still know all the symphonies I danced to by heart. My sister and I eventually got ballet fever, and began to buy ballet everything–notebooks, stationary, books and magazines, you name it. From perusing my sister’s Dance Magazine, I learned about Repetto. The brand had just come out with the split-sole ballet shoes, which I thought was just beautiful. I actually believed I could be better at dancing if I wore it, so I asked my grandparents to buy it for me when they went to the States.
I loved those shoes. When I got them, I wanted to go to ballet class every Saturday. It was something I looked forward to, and at some point I believed they were magical. Unfortunately, my ballet years were numbered. As I sought other interests, my love for dance was forgotten. It was not until last year when I rediscovered the same shoe brand I obsessed about as a child/tween that I started appreciating ballet, and ballet-inspired fashion.
The first time I stepped into the Repetto store in Greenbelt 3, I saw/heard all the familiar things I grew up with: a barre, soft ballet and toe shoes, tutus, tights and leotards, and classical music. It was like being transported to the early 90’s, to a time when I loved ballet. But instead of going crazy over split-sole soft shoes, this time it was the ballet flats that caught my interest.
I really love Repetto, not only because they make amazing ballet flats, but because it is clear they still uphold the same philosophy. They cater to the dancer first, then to the stylish woman. Everything they design has a purpose, and they always have the dancer in mind. This carries over beautifully, because we non-dancers get the most comfortable items with the most functional designs.
It was such a treat to learn all about the brand through its owner, Mr. Jean Marc Gaucher at Repetto’s event last week. Daphne Osena-Paez did an amazing job interviewing him. Scroll down to view the photos.
The event began with lunch at Sala Bistro. As we had dessert, Ballet Philippines Principal Dancer Carissa Adea performed.
She was lithe and graceful, as a ballerina should be.