Ballet Pointe Shoes - Arch and Ankle Strength

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Arch and Ankle Strength

My teacher says my arch isnt high enough and my ankles arent strong enough to be on pointe. What should i do? Will i ever get on pointe?


Reply by Odette

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Arch and Ankle Strength

ballet pre-pointe
Remember, just like I did before I went en pointe, ballet students MUST take responsibility for their own strengthening prior to beginning pointe work.

Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.

Don't leave it to your teacher!

You can watch this pre-pointe video
yourself here
(just wait for the page to load up then the video is on the top right of the page).


Thank you for contacting me, it is a pleasure to hear from you.

For extra guidance to get you prepared for pointe, the video above is very useful. In this video, Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.

Firstly, do not let this worry you as it does take time and endurance to build up the strength for pointe work. Don't forget, dancing on pointe is not easy or natural so you need to allow yourself time to improve and get stronger in your feet.

To improve both your arch and ankles, I greatly advise you looking into getting a latex resistance exercise band (also known as a thera band). To improve your arches, you can do some great exercises with a latex resistance band. By just simply pointing and stretching your feet against the band, it can build strength and help you for pointe work. Look at my Physical Therapy Equipment for more guidance.

These bands are excellent, I am a great fan myself. They are specifically beneficial for young dancers trying to strengthen their feet for pointe work. These bands come in different sizes of strength suited to your needs.

You can do several different exercises but here's an example of one foot exercise -
- Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you
- Wrap the band around one flexed foot and hold the two ends with your hands
- Simply pointe your foot going through the demi-pinte and your metatarsals.
- Roll the foot back up to the starting flexed position
- Repeat on both feet. To benefit from this exercises I'd say to do it continually on one foot for about 5 or 10 minutes... your foot should start to ache!

I would advise you to focus on strengthening your demi-pointe work in all you next ballet classes, as this is the basis of pointe work. The stronger your demi-pointe, the stronger your pointe work will be.

Try doing some plain rises in first at the barre on demi-pointe. This is a very simple exercise that can build strength in your feet and ankles for pointe work. With the support of the barre, you can really concentrate on being secure in your ankles.

Do not feel you should rush into pointe work, it is crucial to be ready. Take a look at, Pointe Ballet Shoes - Are You Ready?, which will give you some extra tips on being ready for pointe.

Best Wishes,


ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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