For some dancers, earning their first pair of pointe shoes is a dream they have had since diapers. When our pointe class performs at recital and dress rehearsal, young dancers in the room always sit in awe and marvel at “the big girls dancing on their toes”. I mean, these dancers are performing artfully while on the tips of their toes! What’s not to love?! Dancing en pointe is undeniably beautiful, impressive, and prestigious- but what does it take to actually get there?
Pointe takes an incredible amount of strength, balance, and commitment to execute it properly and to avoid injury. Ballet technique is mastered by years of repetition and building and re-enforcing muscle memory in class. Pointe is extremely difficult and can be very damaging to a dancer who is not old enough, strong enough, or without the proper technique. Because of this, dancers are hand selected for pointe class based on teacher recommendation. Dancers need to demonstrate technique, experience, proper alignment, turn out, excellent strength in the feet, ankles, legs and core, and commitment to ballet in order to be considered.
It’s important to mention that pointe is not a right, but a privilege that is reserved for students who are ready. Though we love and adore all of our movers, it is important to protect them from avoidable injury and set them up for success. The reality of the situation is that not everyone will get to dance on pointe, but the good news is that there are ways to increase the likelihood!
So you want to commit to the goal of earning your pointe shoes? Here is where you should start:
-Multiple Ballet Classes a week
-Great Attendance in Class
-Share your goals with your teacher early
-Perform strengthen exercises recommended by your teacher at home
-Repetition, Repetition, Repetition!
-Dedicate yourself to this beautiful art form!
If you have the passion and are willing to put the work in, the most important thing to do is to follow the advice of your teachers as they have the knowledge and expertise to guide you in your dance training!