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Pointe Classes

Dancing in pointe shoes is the dream and goal of many girls in ballet class. Dancing on pointe is quite different than dancing in flat ballet shoes. With proper training, correctly fitted pointe shoes, and the guidance and care of an experienced ballet teacher, we hope to make it a well-remembered and cherished experience.

Dancing on pointe must be done following certain criteria because it carries risk of injuries. We strive to make sure our students dance safely on pointe by following strict criteria, including age, years of ballet training, and a test for strength in the legs and torso that assesses readiness for pointe. Students learn proper care of their feet and toes and are required to tell us of any pain they are experiencing.

 

  • Pointe work readiness is determined for each student on an individual basis.

  • Pointe classes begin during the Level B2 or Level C year of ballet.

  • Students must be at least 11 years old and consistently taking ballet classes twice a week for 2-3 years (in Level A2 and Level B1)

  • Pointe class is by invitation only when the student demonstrates certain proficiency in strength, body awareness, and maturity. All girls wishing to begin point class will be tested at the beginning of Level B2 and Level C.

  • Pointe classes are given in addition to 2-3 technique classes a week.

If you would like a copy of our Criteria for Pointe Work, click here.


Dancers will start their first year on pointe in the fall with Pre-point and continue in the Spring with Basic Pointe. Dancers then continue into Beginner Pointe and when ready, Advanced Pointe.

Pointe shoes must be properly fitted by an experienced fitter who carries many different makes and models of shoes. A trip to a dance supply store will be necessary. Pointe shoes typically cost $75 – $100 a pair. If fitted properly, the first pair should last for the Basic Pointe class in the Spring. When your child is ready for pointe, all this information will be made available to you.

Ballerinas Sitting in a Circle

Pointe Classes

Pre-Pointe/Basic Pointe


This includes learning foot/ankle exercises, understanding basic anatomy of the foot, how a pointe shoe is constructed, and caring for the feet and how to avoid injuries and pain. During the Winter holiday break students will be directed to a pointe shoe fitter to begin wearing them in January.

- Pre-Pointe class introduces foot and ankle strengthening exercises, including the use of Therabands.
- Dancers practice steps and exercises in ballet shoes that they will need to know later when they perform in pointe shoes. Those dancers not ready for pointe in Level B2 may be asked to join the class because the extra exercises done in flat ballet shoes will help them develop their strength.

- Basic pointe class teaches all the beginner pointe movements designed to build a strong and confident feeling when dancing in the shoes. - There is slow repetition on rolling through the shoes to develop control of the foot and ankle. Focus is on proper alignment of the foot and ankle when moving up and down in the shoe (relevé) - Students spend most of their time at the barre, working relevé with both feet simultaneously and developing the feeling of the shoe as a natural part of their foot.




Beginner Pointe


With the foundations set in the feet and ankles, the dancer is ready to begin the study of pointe. Sissonne simple, assemble, glissade, pas de bourrée, and piqué are some of the beginning steps covered.

- Dancers continue to work on building strength and control in the pointe shoes while learning new movements.
- The syllabus continues with pointe exercises on one leg. Exercises performed at the barre are taken into the center. - Combinations are longer with different accents on the rhythm and holding a balance. - Chaîné turn and piqué turns are performed before beginning pirouettes. - Artistry of the arms when on pointe is important so that tension in the hands is not directed into them.




Advanced Pointe


- Dancers continue to increase their learning of new steps. - Combinations include multiple accent changes and directional changes. - Combinations from the regular technique class, including jumps are included. - Dancers may be allowed to take lower-level classes in their point shoes.