Going On Pointe as an Adult
Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:01 PM
Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:40 PM
Reading through related posts here, it seems the jury is out on whether they are useful or not. Personally, I can feel my feet working hard, and I have to work harder on my balance. It's sort of impossible to have your weight on your heels without falling over! They are also really really pretty!
Right now I'm only wearing them in the classes I feel quite confident in - in the others I just have other things to think about!
Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:40 AM
The soft blocks were strange... like uncomfortable flat shoes.
Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:08 PM
Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:47 PM
Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:05 AM
That being said, I do wonder if it happens from time to time. My teacher also teaches the regular levels up to the year before pointe starts to get introduced, which includes my younger daughter. She gets a kick out of the fact that we have the same teacher and are often working on similar things. Anyway, adorably, my daughter assumed we were both going to start pointe next year and I told her no, not only would I not be ready for a few more years even if I were younger, that at my age it's just not something that happens.
She wanted to know what the oldest person still on pointe is. I had no idea, obviously. The better question probably is: what is the oldest age is that anybody has heard of someone starting ballet and who ultimately progressed to pointe, even if it doesn't amount to much more than barre work or adagio? And legitimately progressed to it; I'm sure there are a lot of adults who are either hurried along in sub-par adults classes taught by marginally qualified teachers, or take the liberty themselves of deciding they want to try because it's not like there's anything really stopping a grown woman from simply going into a store.
While I know I would never be so foolhardy as to graduate myself to pointe (especially since I'm coming from the assumption that the idea is already foreclosed to me), the question of whether I'm getting good instruction is a legitimate one, since I have no way of knowing the difference. But it appears as if the school is well-regarded and respected. Which is good, because at my age, I can ill-afford to find myself several years in and realize that when I finally know enough to be able to tell, I discover everything's been taught badly and if I want to get any better I have to restart from scratch, and that's got nothing to do with whether pointe is a possibility or not! It would just totally suck to squander any of the already-limited number of years with which I may maximize my opportunity to learn this thing I only just realized is something I love to do, kwim?
Anyway, so back to the question: anybody want to speculate on what the oldest age that someone can START ballet with no other formal dance background and still not be an idiot to consider pointe among her eventual options, assuming the instruction is competent, she progresses at a reasonable pace, she's not particularly out-of-range for it in some anatomic respect that would have stopped her at any age?
To repeat, however: I am NOT currently considering it, it's not my primary, or even a distant secondary goal of mine in ballet, nobody other than my adorably non-expert daughter has even brought it up, and I don't even know if I would take the opportunity if it were possible. I have had my fair share of shin splints and sprained ankles (I may not have ever danced, but I have always participated in endurance sports) and lord knows I don't need that, heh!
Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:02 AM
Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:26 AM
It's not a matter of age per se - it's a matter of physical condition and technique. There are young students I teach who will never be very proficient on pointe because of the limitations they have with feet shape, flexibility, etc. or in some cases, because they just don't want to work as hard as they need to, to be able to dance on pointe. In contrast, I have had great success with teaching pointe to older dancers.
I recall taking class at Lines in San Francisco and being just amazed at the technique and strength of some dancers who must have been well past 50. They were quite comfortable dancing on pointe.
Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:57 PM
I moved out of the area but am able to take classes with the kids at a good, though smaller, studio. I now take 6 hours of ballet and 2 hours of pointe a week. I will probably never progress much beyond a beginner/intermediate level en pointe due to less than ideal flexibility in my ankles and feet (just barely sufficient as I know my teacher wouldn't have let me begin if it wasn't safe and I also double-checked with my physical therapist who works with the professional dancers), but I progress, albeit slowly. And it's fun and a good challenge.
I have been running about 3 miles three times a week since I was 14 so I was in decent shape. Also rode horses for twenty five years for fun. I have never had much natural flexibility so it's fun to tell the kids in my class that though I may not be very flexible, I AM more flexible than I was at their age They also think I'm pretty hard-core as all I wear for padding is a sock toe (thanks to my awesome pointe-shoe fitter Clara 76)
Posted 13 February 2013 - 01:56 PM
Well, that's the answer to my question. I'm not going to aim for it, but it really is not something I expected to be a possibility at all.
Edited by NoTwoSnowflakes, 01 May 2013 - 04:27 PM.