En Pointe

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Am I Ready To Go En Pointe?

Posted by [email protected] on October 31, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Going up en pointe is what thousands of young ballerina’s aspire to.  Watching senior girls dancing gracefully and effortlessly across the floor inspires many, just watching them put on their pointe shoes is magical. 

It shows delicate strength and beauty that only ballet can exude.  Getting to go en pointe though, requires years of work, hours of training and plenty of stretching.  It truly is something that many dancers have been preparing for since they were very young, and once they start they know they have achieved a great standard of ballet and they are a true ballerina.

Can you simply put an age on being ready for pointework? Are all girls at the age of 12 at the same ability and development? No. Being ready means a lot of different things.  An age doesn't reflect any reference to their ability and maturity. So what do you really need to know before you go en pointe?


Part of being ready for pointe work is physical strength, part is flexibility, part is body shape and size.  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.  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.

The amount of physical strength required to go on pointe is often underestimated, in part because trained, skilled dancers make it look effortless and beautiful.  Pointe work requires more than strong legs, which are decidedly important.  Strength and ability in controlling small muscles of the feet and toes is important.  In particular the strength should be built up in the metatarsal , this is the muscle under the ball of the foot.  This muscle is used when going through demi pointe and raising en pointe.

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.


If you want to prepare for Pointe work then you can look at being fitted for Demi Pointe Shoes, these help in many key areas, including building up strength, balance and becoming more familiar with how a Pointe Shoe will feel.

 


 

Categories: Pointe Shoes & Info

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