5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Pointe Work

7:12 PM

Are you ready for pointe? You might be ready physically, but are you ready emotionally and mentally? It's just as important to be mentally prepared for the challenge of pointe as it is to be strong.

Everything you need to know before you start pointe
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1. Everyone’s body is different. Everyone’s feet are different. Everyone’s flexibility and muscle development rate is different. Dancers who go en pointe too soon can injure their feet, knees, joints, back, and bone development. If you teacher says you’re not ready for pointe, it’s not because they don’t like you, it’s because they don’t want you to ruin your feet and never be able to walk again. This is not an insult to you as a dancer, it only means your body isn’t ready yet.

2. Don’t miss class. One missed class results in putting you back three days physically.

3. Pointe is a joy, but it isn’t fun. It is very uncomfortable at first, it means no more pedicures until you’re done dancing (like, forever), and you will be sore for a few weeks until you gain more strength and stretch your tendons out and develop callouses. You will probably get blisters. Every pointe student bleeds through a pair of shoes at least once in their lives. It does get better! But it is uncomfortable.

4. Pointe is expensive. Pointe shoes range from $40-$100 per pair retail, and a pointe student should be re-fitted in a store for the first two or three pairs, or until your feet stop growing (usually six months after your first menstrual cycle). Brand new pointe student’s shoes usually last for 12-20 hours’ worth of dancing. Once the dancer is stronger, they last 6-10 hours. Padding ranges from $10-$30 and lasts for about six months.

5. Pointe is a risk. Because pointe involves standing in a way that is not natural to the body, it is possible to injure yourself from pointe work. Even if your body is ready, it is still possible to hurt yourself.

What does this mean for you as a student?
    • No cheating! Do it the way you know you have to, even if it’s hard.
    • Try not to wear skirts or leg warmers, so your teacher can catch mistakes.
    • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
    • If something hurts, tell your teacher, just in case.
    • It’s okay to ice things if they’re sore.
Now, I'm not trying to scare you out of pointe work… but remember it's not a joy ride. Pointe is a serious commitment, and it takes as much mind strength as it does physical. Work through it—and don't forget to find the joy in it!

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  1. I start pointe in January. I would be starting it tuesday but I have court for my mom to get custody back and thats their only opening til January due to the nutcracker.


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