En Pointe

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Will pointe shoes damage my feet?

Posted by jenrenrut@hotmail.co.uk on August 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Pointe shoes are designed to support the feet. It is not a natural position to be en pointe, but a well fitted pointe shoe will support all the correct areas, allowing a trained dancer to balance en pointe. Pointe work can look effortless, but alot goes on for a dancer to acheive this. They have usually trained for more than 4 years, to build up their strength and flexibility as a dancer.

A dancer must have the proper control of the small muscles in the feet and toes as well as the larger muscles in the legs, hips and central core.  In particular the strength should be built up in the metatarsal , this is the muscle under the ball of the foot.  These muscles are used when going through demi pointe and raising en pointe. More specificly a dancer has to have the discipline required to maintain attention to technique, she must have the technical skill, and she must have the maturity to be aware of herself and her body.

Preparation is crucial to successfully dancing en pointe.  If not ready a dancer not only risks injury, but she may also learn and form bad habits that put her at risk for more serious issues later.  Dancers are cautioned to not purchase or use pointe shoes before a trained instructor or teacher has determined her readiness for pointe work.


By factoring in the above you are far less likely to damage your feet when you are dancing. There are also ways of protecting your feet, but if you have any of the following, then it is best to improve these before you begin pointe work as they can make your dancing en pointe more difficult.

  • Lowered arches
  • Rolling ankles (either rolling out or in)
  • Developing bunions
  • Bad alignment of the joints
  • Inflexible joints
  • Fixed toe joint
  • High arches
  • Incorrect point

For information on how to improve these areas, please refer to the information page provided.


Categories: Pointe Shoes & Info

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