Jump to content


Going On Pointe as an Adult


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#16 HighwayStar

HighwayStar

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:ballet
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:student

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:01 PM

These look just like pointe shoes but have the hard shank removed. The idea is that you are getting the feel of the stiffer, larger shoes on your feet, but you aren't actually supposed to go up onto pointe with them. They are also known as pre-pointe shoes. Here's a link to the shoes I had:

http://www.grishko.c...te_prepoint.cfm

#17 doormouse

doormouse

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 121 posts
  • Interests:Trampolining, classical music, reading and ballet
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Beginner adult student

Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

Weirdly enough, I 'inherited' a pair of brand new demi-pointe shoes just before Christmas. I didn't actually know what they were, so took them to class for my teacher to look at - by random chance she says they fit really well!

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!

#18 LaFilleSylphide

LaFilleSylphide

    Gold Circle

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 983 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Dancer, balletomane, Faculty advisor/member of childrens' school

Posted 19 January 2013 - 04:40 AM

I got a pair of soft blocks from DaPixie as a gift last week. I wore them in class, trying to assess whether they felt like a stepping stone to pointe work or not. I don't know, I'm still also in limbo about them. I like how soft they are, definitely, but for me pointe work and demi/flat work are two different beasts. I've heard people say that pointe should just be an extension of flat shoes... that extra 1/2" higher, but it doesn't feel like that to me at all. The way I figure balance, movement, and even just standing in pointe shoes doesn't really feel the same as flat shoes. I personally approach it as two different forms of work, for some reason.

The soft blocks were strange... like uncomfortable flat shoes.

#19 kr12

kr12

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 187 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:.
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Dancer, Parent

Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:08 PM

Restarted dancing as an adult in my late 20's. I was taking classes inconsistently in the beginning due to work and babies. Finally, I've been able to consistently take 2-3 classes a week for the last 1.5yrs and just start retaking very basic pointe. We started very slowly and will move at a slow pace. I think once you get a certain age you become more realistic about what your body can handle. I have no desire to ever perform. I am happy to have the opportunity to dance for myself.

#20 sheahuang

sheahuang

    Member

  • PTA Member
  • PipPip
  • 73 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:ballet, mens technique, adult ballet,
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:parent

Posted 11 February 2013 - 04:47 PM

I don't think there is a set amount of time-it depends on how consistently the adult is dancing and how much foundation in technique and feet and ankle strength the individual has. At my studio we have adults who just got back into ballet but did dance on pointe as kids and adults who have danced for a long time only as adults and the differences are vast in feet and ankle strength without a consistent pattern. As an adult I am realistic about what my body can do and so does my teacher. I don;t need to lose my toenails and not able to walk at work the next day! I must say that my point (which has never been great) is much stronger since starting pointe. I just like the challenge and to participate in something beautiful :)

#21 NoTwoSnowflakes

NoTwoSnowflakes

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Knitting, reading
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Adult beginner

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:05 AM

I have no presumptions of ever being good enough to go on pointe, mostly because I started ballet at 39 and it just seems like it would be unheard of to go on pointe for the first time in one's 40s.

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!

#22 LaFilleSylphide

LaFilleSylphide

    Gold Circle

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 983 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Dancer, balletomane, Faculty advisor/member of childrens' school

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Dame Margot Fonteyn danced on point into her 50's I believe. There may have been a noticeable difference in her quality of work as she was much older compared to when she was younger, however, but she was a wonderful performer nonetheless. I remember on a previous message board I used to visit a few years ago that there was a woman who was also in her 50's that danced on pointe as well. There's also a woman I used to dance with in Rome that was older (unsure how old) that also took class on pointe. I guess it isn't non existent.

#23 Pas de Quoi

Pas de Quoi

    Gold Circle

  • PTA Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 925 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:teacher, life long dancer!

Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:26 AM

I live in a large metropolitan area. There are many dance studios in my area - some are not very good and some are excellent. At the studios that are mainly adult drop in studios, there are many dancers in their 30's 40's and beyond who are choosing to dance on pointe. Some are better dancers than others. Some have the chance to take class five days a week (good class - 90 minutes long - from good teachers). These dancers can be expected to be better on pointe than those who don't take class as often and do not have the level of technique these proficient dancers do.

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.

#24 gimpydancer

gimpydancer

    Silver Circle

  • PTA Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 665 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Ballet, Pilates, running
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:adult student, parent of dancer

Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

I started ballet at 37 at a dinkle. Danced off and on there two years until we moved. I decided with the move to have my daughter and I take classes at the best place we could. I took at a well-regarded pre-pro school for about six years. It wasn't completely continuous as we moved away for one year and I broke my foot after my first year there and was completely out of ballet for five months and spent the rest of the year slowly coming back. I danced two days a week (1 hour 15 minute adult classes) the first year, and gradually added classes until my last year there where I was taking four classes a week (5.5 hours total) and one 1-hour pointe class a week. I started pointe at 46 years old.

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 :lol: 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) :clapping:

#25 NoTwoSnowflakes

NoTwoSnowflakes

    Senior Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 116 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Interests:Knitting, reading
  • Connection to/Interest in Ballet:Adult beginner

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.