Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Blogs

ballet pointe shoes

Making the move to pointe is every ballet dancer’s dream; however, this step is a big one and should not be taken before the dancer is ready. Wondering if your child is ready? Read on to learn what it takes to go en pointe.

Physical Maturity

Starting pointe doesn’t only rely on having the necessary skill. The bones in the feet sometimes do not finish developing until a child’s late teens or early twenties. It’s important that a dancer doesn’t start pointe work when their bones are too soft, as doing so can result in long term damage. That said, a young dancer may look at starting pointe as long as the introduction is gradual and supervised by a knowledgeable instructor.

Strength & Technique

Pointe work requires a lot of strength. Often studios will offer pointe preparation classes to help ease the transition and build strength in a dancer’s feet, ankles and legs. Core strength is also incredibly important to help lift and stabilize while en pointe.

Proper technique and good habits are also a must before your child starts pointe. Your child should be able to:

  • Hold a turnout
  • Keep their body in line
  • Demonstrate correct use of a plié
  • Relevé and piqué up to a balance

Commitment & Attitude

Most instructors  require a dancer to have at least two to four years of ballet training before they’ll allow them to move onto pointe. This is because pointe should only be added on once a dancer has a strong foundation of classical ballet technique to minimize the risk of injury. Dancers that start en pointe have generally been enrolled in several ballet classes a week. Don’t expect this rigorous schedule to change once pointe starts – student’s in their first year of pointe are usually expected to practice at least five hours a week.

Attitude also plays a large part in the decision to move to pointe. Pointe requires your child to be attentive, diligent, and reliable. If they aren’t ready to put in the work, they risk injuring themselves.

If you’re worried about your child starting pointe too early, it’s always better to wait. If you have questions, chat with your dance instructor! They’ll be able to pull from experience and help determine if your child is ready.

Elite Dance Studio offers a range of children’s dance classes. Check out our class selection or give us a call for more information!