Ballet Pointe Shoes - Asking My Teacher about Pointe Shoes
Hi Odette! It's me again and I have great news. I transferred to an amazing ballet school (that has trained professional ballet dancers and allowed them to get scholarships and training at prestigious ballet schools despite the fact that it's a very small school) in early November, where I am greatly improving. We also perform the Nutcracker ballet every year and a spring ballet every year which I can't wait to hopefully be a part of. In early November I took an assessment class at the ballet IV class where all the dancers (ages ranging from 11-17) are en pointe and all the ballet technique classes (2x a week) are followed by a 45 minute pointe class. At the assessment class I felt semi-confident. I am pretty flexible and the class consisted of arabesque ponchees, grand jetes, pirouettes, and double fouettes (just thought I would list some of the more "advanced" stuff we did in the class) My teacher for the assessment class called my mom one day later and told her for the time being I would probably fit in the ballet III class. So, I was kind of disappointed because I really wanted to get my pointe shoes. (I'll be 13 in mid-February.) The teacher told my mom that she thought I had the perfect ballerina body and very strong feet and that starting next semester (which starts first or second week of January), that I would probably be able to do ballet IV and Ballet III. Now after doing two hours of ballet III a week (the most they offer for my level) I have improved a lot especially on pique turns, grand jetes, and pirouttes. But, my teacher hasn't mentioned anything yet to my mom about her thinking I should do ballet IV and there's several dancers in my Ballet III class who also do the Ballet IV class. I think next Monday I will have my mom e-mail or call my teacher again and find out if I should double level classes and if I could start pointe. Does this sound like a good idea??? My mom is going to tell my ballet teacher how at my old school they were letting me double-level and do ballet 4hours a week versus 2 hours (which I know isn't NEARLY enough). My mom is also going to tell my ballet teacher how my old school was going to put me en pointe in December. If there's any other advice you can give me it would be much appreciated, like for example if you think I should ask for a 30 minute pointe private lesson a week on Saturdays. As you can see I'm soooo desperate to go en pointe and in like the next four weeks, hopefully. I feel so upset and lost. I thought by now I would be en pointe. I've been doing demi-pointe exercises given by my old dance teacher for a year and a half, now. And before I did a demi-pointe class for four months. I really want to get en pointe before my 13th birthday as stupid as that sounds. And as ridiculous as this sounds pretend I'm your daughter: what would you do for me?? I have strong feet, excellent, posture, great balance, great turnout, and overall I'm one of the best in my ballet III class. Thanks so much Odette and I'm so sorry this was so long.
Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Asking My Teacher about Pointe Shoes
Thank you for keeping in touch! It is absolutely super to hear your progress. It is great to keep updated to how you are getting on. Firstly, a big well done to you! Everything sounds very positive for you. Ambitious dancers always strive for more and more, they want the best, so it is natural for you to feel slightly disappointed from time to time. I was a very active person as a dancer and always wanted more too, but I had to learn to be patient as well and know the right moment is for me. You can’t go against time either, sometimes things fall into place when you least expect it. But always remember how far you have come and know that you will keep working hard no matter the circumstance. Never give up and keep determined!
Your teacher sounds like she has great belief in you and this is a crucial aspect to progress as a dancer. You always need that one person who is able to spot your potential and bring out the best in you. I would highly follow her guidance as she is your mentor at this moment in time, so a great influence to your dancing. Of course you are eager to do more ballet classes and your teacher said you can probably start next semester, which is very soon? – in January? If your teacher said this to you, but hasn’t mentioned it again, then perhaps it is worth asking if it is still possible. Ask for more feedback of your progress so you can understand what more you can work on and strengthen. As a dancer, there is always more to improve!
You sound confident in your ability which is very good, as without being over-confident, dancers always need to believe in themselves. You have to push yourself and know this is what you want. The determination and drive has to come from within yourself to make it as a professional dancer.
I would suggest you talk to your teacher so she understands you are serious about committing yourself as a dancer, as well as with your parents support. See what advice she can give you and I know you want to start pointe, but it has to be at the right time for you and your current teacher. It is great to have a goal to strive towards and even if you are not able to start pointe right now, then don’t be disappointed, but let it make you more determined to keep working hard. But it sounds as though you are on the right direction to begin pointe soon. It is always best to follow the advice of your teacher at this stage as a dancer.
Follow your heart and believe in yourself!
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