Famous ballerinas, such as Marie Taglioni and Fanny Elssler, are difficult to place in this lose-lose situation. They seem to straddle middle-class respectability (no pun intended), with one foot in the base world of carnal physicality and the other the spirit world of incorporeal fantasy. The pointe shoe, which permitted the hovering techniques that fueled the illusion of the latter, simultaneously spotlighted the body parts that aroused desire for the former. The figure of the dancer as flesh and body backstage was effaced and purged by the ethereal dancer on stage. In this way, middle-class men could rationalize their exploitation of these women while appeasing their guilty conscience. Ballerinas seemingly underwent a baptism with each performance, her soiled character purified as soon as she glided onto the stage, lighter than air, no longer a creature of this world.