Pointe & Pre-Pointe
Requirements for Pointe
Our team of pointe teachers evaluate each student individually to go on pointe. Below we have listed some criteria we are looking for. If your dancer meets some of the basic requirements and wants to be evaluated for pointe they must attend the Pre-Pointe class during our school year session, where they will receive an evaluation in May. You do not have to be in the Training program to qualify for pointe. It is an extra class and does not count as a ballet technique class, so students in the recreational division need to come to ballet class 2x a week and then their pointe or pre-pointe class would be in addition to that.
- Student must be 12 or older
- Must have 3 consecutive years of ballet training
- Must come to ballet technique classes 2x a week
- Must have taken pre-pointe
- Must have sufficient strength to do the following:
- Be able to hold their turn-out while dancing. The most basic concept of ballet is turnout. Holding turnout and using turnout muscles while dancing is a good sign of strength. If the student does not have the strength to maintain their turnout, they are not strong enough for pointe, since it is much more difficult to hold turnout on pointe.
- Proper alignment, foot/leg strength, and flexibility in feet
- Use Plie while dancing. Students must use their plies while dancing because this is how they get up en pointe. If they don’t use their plies, they will have to bend the leg incorrectly in order to get en pointe. Plies should be done with the knees pointing straight over their toes and with the heels down.
- Keep the heels forward toward the big toe (no sickling). The most stable position for pointe work is to have the weight slightly forward over the big toe. If the weight is over the little toe, it will increase the chances of strain and injury.
- Point their feet while dancing (without being reminded!) Students must point their feet while dancing in order to strengthen the muscles that pointe-work requires. If the student is not in the habit of using these foot muscles then they will not be able to support their body weight on pointe.
- Pique Passe with a straight leg. Student should have enough strength to push themselves onto half-pointe. This step is harder to do en pointe and a bent leg is usually a sign of weakness.
- Be able to do 32 releves in the center without ankles wiggling. Releves are excellent for building up calf muscle strength, which is vital for pointe work. The student must also go up as high on half pointe as she can, since pointe work demands this ability. A student who keeps her heels very low to the ground is not preparing her calf muscles adequately and will not have the strength for pointe work.
- Be able to hold a passé balance on demi pointe. The student should be well-placed (hips square, back straight, legs turned out, and to have strength to balance on demi pointe.)
- The student must be in good health and able to take a whole class. If the student frequently needs to rest because of illness or injury, she is not strong enough for the extra demands that pre-pointe and pointe work requires.
If a student did not have an evaluation over the summer (2016), then must take pre-pointe if interested in pointe- student will receive an evaluation in May.
- If there is a conflict in schedule (2016) they may take Beginning Pointe without pointe shoes
- Starting fall 2017 Pre-Pointe will be required before Beginning Pointe
- If a student is not ready for pointe after evaluation in May, they must re-take pre-pointe
- If a student is coming from another studio and already on pointe, they will be evaluated in Beginning Pointe and redirected as necessary
- If a student is transferring from another studio and was “going to be placed on pointe”, the student will be sent to Pre-Pointe first and then on to Beginning Pointe if they appear to be ready
Group pointe shoe fittings are generally done in October and February. Students are strongly encouraged to take the Training class right before their pointe class to be properly warmed up. If this is not possible for scheduling or financial reasons, they should arrive 20 minutes early and warm up on their own (students should check with their teacher to see what exercises to do for warm up).