by primaballerina17 aka Jacqueline
Ballet Pointe Shoes - Preparing for Pointe
Hi Odette just wanted to say thanks for the helpful info you gave me on the age to start pointe if a dancer wants to become a professional. Oh, and by the way I should say that from now on my "name" is going to be Jacqueline so, you'll know who I am. Anyways, so about a month ago my mom talked to my ballet teacher about if I was ready to start pointe because over the summer I went to a really good pre-professional ballet school and they told me that if I danced with them during the school year they would put me en pointe in the winter because that's when all of their dancers in the level I would be in get their pointe shoes. But, my current ballet teacher at my local dance studio said she wouldn't put me en pointe because my foot wouldn't stand "straight" en pointe. My mom and I were both guessing that this was because my arches are so low, but I'm not flat-footed by any means. Is this true what my dance tacher is telling me that my arch is too low, because I read on some sites and found some info and I was wondering if you could teel me what you think. This was one of the sites and the comments were interesting &gave me hope.
And I think I make all the requirements for this site.
But, for all I know maybe when my foot wouldn't stand straight enough en pointe she meant I wouldn't have enough ankle strength to go up ento full pointe, but I highly doubt that. Thank you SOO MUCH and I'm sorry this is soooo long!
Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - Preparing for 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.
I can give you my tips for pointe work and the Australian dancer, Lisa Howell, can give you the top advice for preparing for pointe. Remind yourself of the video above, Lisa Howell has explains how pre-point strengthening works.
It sounds like you would be able to begin pointe at the pre-professional ballet school, because you would join the level with the other dancers and follow the same progress. The lesson plans of a pre-professional ballet school tends to be quite structured throughout the year, so it is expected that they have a set term to when the dancer's begin pointe.
At your local dance school I would say the progress is more individual, as everyone is at different levels. Therefore, your teacher is probably looking at you on an individual basis, as oppose to the whole level of a class. I would listen to your teacher's advice, but ask her when you would be able to start pointe work.
When she says your foot wouldn't stand "straight" en pointe, ask more of what she means. It could be the alignment of your foot on pointe, as there must be no favoring towards the big or little toe but right in the middle on the box of the shoe.
Or, it could also be you are not getting over enough on the shoe so your foot is holding back in the shoe. Your foot and your instep must be fully stretched when rising up on pointe. Focus on your demi-pointe work, as the stronger your demi-pointe is the stronger your pointe work will be. So practice doing a really high demi-pointe and maintain it throughout your work in ballet class.
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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