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To the Pointe

Pointe is a milestone of training in ballet for many. While not essential to a dancer's journey, it is an experience many seek and adult dancers are no exception. Can dancers start pointe as adults? The short answer is absolutely yes! The longer answer is yes, as long as the dancer demonstrates an adequate standard of full body and lower leg strength, as well as ankle mobility. Cross training and adding supplemental exercises to a ballet class can be beneficial in achieving some of the strength and power required.

The timeline towards pointe is different for each adult dancer. A dancer should have a solid understanding of ballet technique, coordination and posture before starting pointe.

A bone density test can offer useful information to menopausal dancers interested in pointe work.

Many studios, ours included, will ask the dancers to perform a Pointe Assessment for objective and tangible results. This helps ensure the dancers are ready for the demands of pointe work. Some exercises found include : grand plié in the center, fondus in parallel on one leg, 16 one leg rises at the barre, 1 minute rise in the center, 8 temps levés on each leg.

Steps to follow

  1. Take ballet classes and build technique

  2. Talk to your teacher about pointe work.

  3. Start doing some exercises to build strength.

  4. Ask for advice along the way if anything hurts, pinches or doesn't feel right.

  5. Book a pointe assessment (if appropriate. You'll find ours under the Private Lessons tab) and pass.

  6. Book a pointe shoe fitting.

  7. Sew on the ribbons and elastics, once your teacher has approved the shoes.

  8. Attend your first Beginner pointe class.

  9. Now the work begins!

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