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Pointe class in Richmond


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Hey all -

I have been reading with great interest all your posts about ADC in Richmond, and would love to go. My question is, although I have been dancing for several years, I am a complete and utter beginner in pointe. Could one take an intermediate technique class, then switch to beginner pointe class? Or not take pointe at all? Do you have to be on pointe for the pas de deux class? How does it work, generally? As much as I would love to try, I'm just not very strong yet.

Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated!! Would love to see you in Richmond!


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Hello, yourotherleft, and welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers! I love your name! :)


I don't know about the Richmond Adult program, but I just wanted to welcome you. There are a lot of people here who have been to that program, so I'm sure you will hear from them very soon!

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In Richmond, your level and what classes you take are pretty much all up to you. I've only been to one session (June last year), but what I found was lots of people didn't take pointe at all and the majority of people wore technique shoes for the partnering classes. I did wear pointe shoes most of the time because I felt comfortable with the level, but I chose to perform in flat shoes because the stage was slippery and I wanted the ground to be my friend in my first partnering experience. :) Basically, they trust you as adults to choose your own level and how much you can handle but definitely will help you decide if you aren't sure. It's a very supportive environment...they seem most interested in helping you achieve your own dancing goals. :wink:

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Oh, thank you so much, Hjete!

That's very reassuring - I want to try to attend, though I will leave the pointe shoes home until I am stronger. I'd love to hear any other insights into the pointe classes there, if anyone wants to share!

And, thanks Ms Leigh... I'm glad you like the name - I suspect a lot of people have heard this particular correction! :blushing::wink:


Thanks again!

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Yes, yourotherleft, it's one I have used a LOT of times! :wink:

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By all means take your pointe shoes to Richmond! You will get top notch instruction and be in classes with other adult pointe beginners. Personally, I found that very helpful because the little pointe I had prior to my first dance camp was a class of teenagers. I thought being in an entire class of adults that were new to pointe was helpful. As far as specifics, the level I pointe classes start at the very beginning. Several people have brand new unbroken-in shoes. The class discusses the shoe itself, how to fit pointe shoes, foot anatomy, etc. The classes cover beginner exercises, strengthening exercises, proper placement, getting all the way over the box, etc. There is also at least one and usually two opportunities to go to the local dance store and have your instructor fit your shoes. Many people take advantage of that--newbies that don't have experience and want a trained person to help them, and more experinced dancers who would like the benefit of the expertise of the instructors. I think there is a huge advantage to having someone who has you in class and is paying attention to your needs and weaknesses to be right there helping you fit a new pair of shoes.


The level II classes are more about strength, technique, rolling vs springing (you will do both!). After warming up, we worked mainly on one foot balances such as passe; bourrees, short enchainments, and lots of barre work. We worked on soutenou, chaines, and I believe pique turns (can't quite remember--it was almost a year ago!). Level II did not work on pirouettes yet. Most of us did not have the strength or technique needed to safely do a pirouette. The was, however, a great deal of prep work (like rising quickly to a passe position at the barre) because I know in level III pointe they do pirouettes.


Maybe some of my fellow campers out there in higher levels can fill you in on what happened in their pointe classes.


You may absolutely choose your technique and pointe levels separately. It is not at all uncommon for an adult to be quite accomplished in technique class, but a beginner at pointe. As another person pointed out, pointes are not required for partnering (though you can try it out if you want). In the lower levels, you are actively encouraged to use soft shoes. After all, learning to partner takes a great deal of concentration and if you are floundering around on pointe you are liable to hurt yourself or your partner. Unless you're pretty accomplished at pointe work, it is kind of overwhelming to try to concentrate on pointe and partnering at the same time. You tend to not do either one justice.


I hope to see you at camp this summer!!

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wow. what a helpful topic. I was just about to ask about pointe at ritchmond! my question is is there anyone who starts pointe at ritchmond? because I know pointe classes for adult students ( esp beginning) are really hard to come by. Is there the oppurtunity to get fitted and start some basic stuff? thanks.

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Wow, Thanks Buglady!

That was a very helpful post. You know, I resisted going on pointe for so many years, until a wonderful teacher finally reassured me I had the prerequisite technique and told me, "Even if you just work simple exercises at the barre, you will get stronger in so many ways - turnout, alignment, strength, etc." And for me, it was absolutely true. So maybe I will bring pointes to Richmond if I go.

Anyone else who wants to share Richmond pointe class stories, BostonBalletGirl and I would love to hear!

Thanks again!

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