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starting-again dancer

Guest rhiannan

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Guest rhiannan

I'm 16 years old and I am taking up ballet classes again. I took lessons when I was younger for about three years, and two years ago I took ballet, tap, and jazz classes for one year before my family moved out of state. I now have a friend who dances and has convinced me to take classes again. After taking a few lessons at this new studio I have realized how much I really do love and have missed dance.:clapping:


This fall I am planning on taking my very first pointe classes and I'm very excited to start and see how well I do with it. My instructors have told me that I am ready to begin this, but after reading the posts about pointe on this board and how there should be years of training before beginning pointe, I'm not sure if it's such a good idea anymore. As I said before I have had ballet in the past, but that was almost two years ago now so I'm not sure if that would count as "training" for pointe.


I really would love nothing more than to dance on pointe, although I don't want to get injured because of inexprience. If my instructors say I'm ready after seeing me in summer lessons, should I not be worried about this? :unsure: Is there something technique wise or skill wise that one needs to be good at before beginning pointe? Or is it just muscle tone and strength?? :shrug:

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Hello rhiannan, welcome to the Young Dancers' forum here on Ballet Talk for Dancers! :unsure:


It's great that you are starting to dance again, but I am even happier that you are questioning your readiness for pointe work. That shows a great deal of thought and intelligence on your part! :clapping:


Your training history is pretty spotty, and it doesn't sound to me like you have had the type of training that would really properly prepare you. Nor have you had the quantity of training that you need.


The amount of technique and knowledge that one needs for pointe work is just not learned in a short period of time and without consistent training. You need an understanding of alignment and placement and an ability to maintain both in your work. You need knowledge of rotation and how to use it, and several years of training to make the body understand how to use it. You need strong legs and feet, and enough of an arch and instep and the flexibility in the feet to stand on high demi pointe, well balanced both on two feet and on one foot. You should know all of the positions of the body, the arabesques, an understanding of basic theory and vocabulary, and the ability to execute the material in at least a 4th year class which meets 3 times a week, minimum, for an hour and a half each class.


If the school you attend does not offer this kind of training, I strongly suggest that you look for a better school.

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I totally agree with Ms. Leigh.


I have the same situation as you, rhiannan. Except this was before I ran into Ballet Alert, so I took pointe anyways. At my old studio, pointe was like... once a week for an hour (and we were lucky if we didn't spend 50 minutes at the barre doing demi-plies then lifting the heels then back down and repeat). And then, we were expected to perform a pointe dance for our end of year recital.


Let me tell you, in my experience, that is not the way to go. Most of the girls in my class didn't even take POINTE class and were en pointe. So they barely even put those shoes on before it was time for our end of year recital.


Now, I'm at a more ballet-centric studio that has the classes that Ms. Leigh is talking about. I take class three days a week, all an hour and a half and i'm slowly building my way back up to proper pointe technique. It's actually a LOT more rewarding than it was to first be en pointe.


Well anyways, I hope everything works out for you. have fun! :clapping:

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