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When can I dance en pointe (Instagram Post).png

I'm asked this question a lot.  It's every little ballerina's dream to have the "special shoes" that enable you to dance right on the tips of your toes And every single one of them gasp when I tell them exactly how much time & effort go into earning your first pair of pointe shoes.

Yes, I said "earn".  Because graduating to pointe shoes is NOT a right of passage simply because you've reached a particular age or level of ballet.  Beginning too early without the proper preparation can cause serious injuries & long term damage (I am living proof ).  There is a large amount of load going through very delicate bones.

Contrary to popular belief (thanks to stories from '90s ballerinas who received poor training plus a lot of "Dance" movies) dancing en pointe should NOT be painful.  It should NOT give you blisters or bunions or make your toes bleed.  If this is happening, you have been incorrectly prepared or are wearing ill-fitting/unsuitable-for-your-feet pointe shoes.

When done safely & progressively, dancers can easily dance en pointe for 10 years+ without any issues.

SO WHAT IS INVOLVED?

I tell my dancers that once they have been training in ballet & conditioning twice per week with ME for a minimum of 7 years (from school age), they can begin my pre-pointe program.  They must attend their first pre-pointe assessment with a dance physiotherapist at least 12 months before they are expected to begin dancing en pointe.

 

The dance physio will look at your:

 

*Basic ballet technique

*Foot & ankle strength

*Pointe range

*Plie range

*Anatomical structure of your foot

*Turn out range & control

*Core control

*Maturity & physical development

The dance physio will prescribe you exercises tailored to your specific needs to help you prepare your body for pointe shoes for the next 12 months.

When the time comes to purchase your first pair of pointe shoes, an appointment will be made with a pointe shoe specialist to find you the best fitting, most suitable style of pointe shoes for YOUR feet. It appalls me that pointe shoes can be purchased by anyone on eBay.

Yes, preparing for pointe shoes IS a lot of hard work. Yes, it DOES involve a lot of commitment. This is to be expected when it comes to a difficult craft. This is why I instill strong classical technique & good training habits in ALL of my dancers, from the earliest age.

And if anyone ever tells you that earning pointe shoes does NOT involve any of the above....RUN, don't walk.

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