Going on Pointe is probably the one image that everyone associates with ballet. It is the ultimate definition of grace and lightness, and every pupil looks forward to reaching this stage. At the Reigate School of Ballet and Commercial Dance, we specialize in ballet (with one official ballet examiner and two teachers who were trained to the highest level at the Royal Ballet School). With three teachers at Licentiate level also, we know all too well the dangers of pointework if it's not executed properly.
Choosing the right time to go on pointe is extremely important, and every teacher needs to ensure that their children are fully developed and their bones are hardened before attempting this skill. Trying pointework too early, and much damage can be inflicted on the child's feet.
Our Reigate Dance Schools offer the best advice in this area. We do not put children on pointe too early as we are all too aware of the dangers. There is absolutely no point introducing this skill too early. We have acquired children from other dance schools where they were introduced to pointework far before the child's feet were ready; being the first school to introduce pupils to this skill is not good practice, as it can be extremely painful and detrimental later in life.
This short video shows a releve on FULL POINTE. Please do NOT do this, but the same action applies to demi-pointe. See your class teacher for full instructions:
Please visit our blog page for exercises, for useful home exercises to try out and develop strength:
IDEAL AGE TO START POINTE?
There is no ideal age as every child is different - as a general rule, they should not be on pointe before the age of 11, and sometimes a little older if the foot is not quite fully developed.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I'M READY?
Using the releve action on demi-pointe is a good indication, as well as well as core and leg strength. To be certain, ask our highly trained dance staff at RSB - they will be able to ascertain whether the child is ready or not.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY POINTE SHOES?
Firstly, don't buy your first pair online! Pointe shoes should be fitted by a specialist pointe shoe fitter, and with so many makes and companies selling them, it is worth a special trip to a dedicated shop. Some of the most reputable makes include FREEDS OF LONDON and BLOCH.
Look after your feet!
RSB DANCE TEAM