Ballet Pointe Shoes - How to do Dance well

by Nicole
(New York City)

Ballet Pointe Shoes - How to do Dance well

Hi Odette!
I have been dancing since the age of 2, but I've been off and on pointe from 12. at 13 I went off it, and got back on this summer, at 15. I love it and love being on it, but I'm just not good! I can't seem to stand confidently and peers tell me that after a dance for a little, I stand a little off the box, even though I don't feel it. I feel like there is some secret to pointe that only the world's most amazing dancers know, and I'd really like to get in on it. I really love ballet but the fact that I am so awful on pointe shoes really depresses me ,and now, at 16, I feel like I should be able to do at least double pirroutes, where I can barely do singles. I especially suck on doing things off of plie, like lets say standing in arabasque form and going up and down point or fondues. If there's anything you know that can help me, please let me know!
P.S. I'm sorry I don't have a picture!


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - How to do Dance well

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).

Hi Nicole,
Thanks for your message, it is great to hear from you. Don't worry, pointe work is not easy so don't be too hard on yourself. It takes a lot of practice to be able to dance effortlessly on pointe, so don't feel like you have be to perfect all the time.

The first thing that springs to mind for me to advise, is the Perfect Pointe eBook from the video above. Only because you are right that there are a lot of secret tips and tricks for pointe, which expert Lisa Howell gives all the information for in her eBook. You don't have to be a beginner to read it either, it is handy for all ballet dancers who want to get more out of their pointe work.

Even as a professional, I still get wobbles and doubts on my own pointe work in class. Nothing is ever perfect all the time, so allow yourself to make mistakes but focus on how you can fix it. Think about your technique and see which areas you could strengthen to improve your pointe work.

Also, check your pointe shoes as that can have a lot to do with how you feel on pointe. Are they the right size, fit and brand for your foot shape? When I wore the wrong fitting pointe shoes it made everything twice as had as it should be!

Mainly, keep trying your best and be patient with seeing an improvement. As long as you keep working, you will progress little by little.

Keep active in all your muscles and don't just rely on your feet to do all the work in your pointe shoes. Think about your glutes, abdominals and leg muscles to help you onto pointe.

Best wishes,

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