(Los Angeles, CA)
Ballet Pointe Shoes - Beginning Ballet
Hi, I really want to be en pointe but I am sixteen and only took one ballet class when I was three. I have taken jazz and tap for several years but haven't been in a dance class for 5 years.
However, I am very flexible to the point where I have some joint issues (voluntary shoulder dislocation) and my doctor has advice me to take a break with stretching! I have all three of my splits but my ankles are not very flexible due to some past minor injuries (this could easily be problematic, could you suggest some ankle stretches?) I also have been a cheerleader for 4 years(which involves jazzy-hip hop dancing) and used to ice skate for 6 years. I also used to be in musicals for 7 years and was a featured dancer. I'm not sure if any of those experiences would be helpful en pointe but I guess I could say I do have some dance experience... just not in ballet.
So I am wondering if I should even begin ballet. My real goal is to be en pointe but I am not sure when I go to college after two more years of high school that I will have time for ballet. How long would it take for someone in my situation to get en pointe?
Also is there anything I could do (stretches/exercises ex.) to move the process along more quickly?
Thanks so much!
Ballet Pointe Shoes - Beginning Ballet
Reply by Odette
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.
To progress along more quickly for pointe work, the video above is very useful. It gives extra guidance to get you prepared for pointe, so even though you aren't able to start yet, it is valuable to have knowledge so you are well ready when you begin. In this video, Australian dancer, Lisa Howell has made a video which explains how pre-point strengthening works.
It sounds like you are a very active person, so the fitness and stamina aspect of ballet would not be a problem for you. Your physical experiences and flexible body will definitely help you progress through your ballet classes. However, despite your many experiences, ballet has a particular technique that has to be taught from scratch to grasp the methods of ballet. Especially to be on pointe, you will have to become secure within the technique until you are strong enough to start pointe work.
I definitely advise you to begin ballet. It is hard to say how long it would be before you start pointe, as it depends on the strength of your ankles and how you progress in your classes. Even still, ballet is such a beautiful art form and you will find your whole grace and elegance enhance as you begin to progress with your lessons. I certainly suggest you go for it!
Try pilates or yoga which are very popular exercises for dancers to do aside of their ballet classes. Pilates is great for core strengthening and toning the muscles. Many dancers like to have a pilates session before ballet class because it engages your core stability.
The secret to success in ballet is mental discipline as well as physical ability. I can give you the information that you need to progress to the next level. Along with the three physical secrets, the Seven Secrets, on the 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page, will give you the key answers of how to thrive in the ballet world.
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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