You need to have been studying ballet for some time to be successful on pointe. Pointe is an extension of your ballet technique. If a student does not fully understand how to work correctly in ballet slippers, she is not ready for pointe. She must have mastered essential leg and ankle strength and proper body alignment. Students must also demonstrate the commitment and maturity necessary to handle the demands of pointe work.
Approval from our Director or your ballet teacher is required to start pointe. Please check in if you are interested in adding pointe to your dance training. Pointe dancers at Needham Dance Theatre are required to be in 6th grade or above and to dance at least twice a week. Ballet and pointe class should be taken in combination to create 1.5 hours of dance. These classes cannot be taken on separate days. Pointe work is specifically for girls only.
The following is a check list of what we look for in a pointe candidate:
*Student needs to understand the working of the foot in tendu- the foot should lengthen out and stretch. The ankle must be lifted to the ceiling.
*Student must not rolling when standing. The foot must not sickle (or round in) when in tendu.
*How is the student’s turn out (rotation from the hips). Does she understand how to work her turn out from the top of the legs.
Has the student mastered the concept of “pulling up” from the center. Does she rely on the pointe shoe to hold her up or does she have the strength to lift up through the shoes and up the legs.
Here are some helpful exercise to prepare for pointe:
CHOOSING THE SHOE FOR YOU!
It is extremely difficult for a fist time pointe student to know how a pointe shoe should feel. Therefore it is equally as difficult to know when a shoe is filling correctly. Here are some guidelines:
*Wear the same leg wear to the fitting as you will wear in class like tights or very thin socks.
*Try on several pairs of shoes. You are looking for a shoe with the proper look and a certain degree of comfort. The show should not feel incredible comfortable. It should fit like a glove.
*When you pointe your foot the shoe should pointe with your toes.
*If the shoe is too big, it will not respond to the movement of the foot. If the show is too small, it will constrict the foot and prohibit it from moving properly. Proper fitting pointe shoes takes trial and error.
*Be sure to have your teacher check your new shoes before you sew them. Remember you will need ribbons, elastics and padding along with the shoes.
Spots to purchase shoes – Capezios, Wellesley Pattersons, Burlington Dancer’s Image, Newton
An interesting look into how pointe shoes are made: