Pointe Policy

The ultimate question asked by every aspiring young ballerina: “When can I start pointe ?”

At MHDS we welcome this question because it provides us with an opportunity to educate our dancers and parents. Dancing en pointe maybe the dream, but there are a few factors to be considered first…

  • Pointe work is not an automatic right and is not necessarily for everyone. The physical demands of Pointe are huge and should not be taken lightly. The number one priority at MHDS is safe dance training and injury prevention. If we decide that your daughter is not ready or that Pointe is inappropriate for her, it is because we deem this an unsafe option.
  • Readiness for Pointe is not determined by: your age, the number of years you have been dancing, your friends being put en pointe or your desire to be en pointe. Rather, we assess the following:
  1. Your work ethic (pointe may look easy… but it is hard work !)
  2. Your attendance in ballet class and how many classes you attend on a weekly basis
  3. Do you have good posture and alignment ?
  4. How flexible are your feet ? … How high is your demi-pointe ?
  5. How strong are your feet ?
  6. How strong are your calves ?
  7. How well can you use your metatarsals ?
  8. Do you engage your turnout muscles properly ? (ie: from inside the hip joint and not the feet !)
  9. How good is your balance ?
  10. Do you have strong technique ?
  11. Do you have any injuries ?
  • All students are individually assessed by Miss Abigail and/or another teacher before progressing onto pointe
  • Prior to pointe work it is expected that every student will have successfully complete a course of pre-pointe exercises
  • Prior your first pointe shoe fitting you should communicate with your teacher in regards to the most appropriate pointe shoe brands, fittings, etc for you

Further Reading

Lisa Howell – pysiotherapist specialising in the education and treatment of dancers: http://www.theperfectpointebook.com http://www.theballetblog.com/

http://allaboutpointe.weebly.com/uploads/4/7/0/3/470325/perfectpointeparentsmanual.pdf

International Association for Dance Medicine and Science: “When can I start Pointe Work ?” Resource Paper: https://www.iadms.org/page/185

Gaynor Minden website: “When to start Pointe ?” http://dancer.com/ballet-info/in-the-studio/when-to-start-pointe