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All talk about pointework and boys

Guest Ballett-Family

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Guest Ballett-Family

Hello parents from ballett kids :grinning: .


As first - sorry for my mistakes in this message - english is not our language.


We have to kid's with ballett fever. Petra and Robert. Both twins and right now 12 year old. And both go three time in the week in training (90min).

Both have starting with 7 year the ballett. Both work good and have ability for more.


Petra (and her dance class) will starting the pointe work.

Robert (with two other boy's) in the same class must decide to go in the girl class with pointe work or to go as miniclass with typical ballett for boy's.


My wife, the teacher, Petra and I have since two week a big debate with Robert about pointe. The teacher - Mrs. Kunz - will happy to have the whole class for the next times. And she will make pointe work with the boy's.


Robert have an other opinion (opposite in front of my wife and me) . He say ... pointe is "girlish". My girl Petra (Robert's sister) have found out and told me, he is not strictly thereagainst for the pointe ... but any doubt. And very unsure.


We have search in the internet for present him more information (and found this Forum).


My idea is now to show him with pictures other boy's in him age (12 or little older) in trainingsroom or rehearsal with typical pointework in training lesson (alone boy's or in class with girl's).

All talking about boy's in normaly training lesson with girls and pointework. But nobody have see this in homepage's or pictures. Or in offiziell formally papers from the schools.


Can somebody help us. When we can exhibit Robert any other boy's how make pointework (pictures, smal movieclips or mail), perhaps will he understanding - pointework will have a future - for him and the ballett technique.


Mailadress: fam-stettler@tiscalinet.ch


We will looking forward of responds.


Thank you for the help and a good time

Marco and Family :D

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  • Mel Johnson


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Boys in the U.S. do not usually do pointework at all. It is not necessary for classical ballet and I can understand why he does not want to take pointe class. I would let him do the men's class.


There are a few men that do pointe work in certain pieces, but it is not typical at all and not done in regular ballet companies.

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Hello Ballett-Family, and welcome to the Moms and Dads forum here on Ballet Talk for Dancers! :grinning:


I'm sorry, but I really don't think there are any pictures of young males doing pointe work. I don't know of anywhere that this is done, here in the US or anywhere else. In the major schools in Europe and the US the male dancers either have their own classes, or they take the technique classes with the girls, but they do not do pointe work. If they are in the same classes with the girls when they are doing pointe work, the males would be given different work to do.


If there is a boys class at your school, that is what your son should take. If not, the teacher will need to work with the boys separately when the girls have the pointe work part of the class. If this is not happening, then I would look for a different school.

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Your English is quite good for a second language!! Sadly, so many of us who speak English as a primary language do not have such skills for their second language. Your are to be commended for posting. You will receive good advice here also. It will be varied and help you in many ways. Welcome.

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Marco, boys and young men in the US may experiment with pointe for a longer or shorter period of time, but in general, it's not made a part of their normal course of study. I would not allow a 12-year-old boy to try pointework just from the point of the relative maturity of the bones and muscles of the feet and legs. Girls start adolescence on the whole earlier than boys, so that a 12-year-old girl's body is more ready for pointe. In my experience, boys who are about 15 and over try out pointe for awhile, then go back to men's class. Roles for men on pointe are extremely limited throughout the world's ballet repertoire, and, in general, the pursuit of pointe training by males is limited to those who have to perform those few roles, or are just finding out what pointe is like.

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Guest Ballett-Family

:yes: Hello parents from ballett kids (and boy's) :wub:


We had success for to clear our problem with Robert.

He is now ready for to go with her sister (and with the other two other boy's) in the next age-group with pointe-work.


My wife and I had make agreement with the teacher - Mrs. Kunz. She will make with the boy's after the regular lesson jump exercise.

The lesson with the girl will have pointe work and will follow the normaly study program.


Will for Robert and his two friends a very new experience.


The next step is now to finde a good pointe shoe for the first time as novice.

The teacher - Mrs. Kunz - will help. But we need a shoe where with the progress from Robert allow a continuation. With other word - a shoe brand for beginner (the size for teenager will not a problem) and later for advanced (the pointe shoe need perhaps adult man size) and later in man size.


The pointe shoe don't have typical girl color. This is a promise with Robert.


Any experience?


Mailadress: fam-stettler@tiscalinet.ch


Thank you for the help and a good time

Marco and Family

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Marco, I am not sure WHY this teacher is placing these boys in pointe shoes! The boys should focus on their jumps and turns in soft ballet slippers, NOT pointe shoes. I do not think that the direction you are taking here is a good idea at all. Either we are misunderstanding your use of the term pointe shoes, or this teacher is way off in her approach to working with young boys. :yes:

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Guest Ballett-Family

:yes: Dear Victoria

The school management from this ballett school have a very future oriented curriculum. And working since three year with this "special" study program. This is the "way" we had decide to switch Petra and Robert 2001 in this school.

We think, a broad education will help in future.


A good time to you - Marco and Family

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Hello Marco,

I'm a parent of a boy, almost 14-years old. He has taken ballet for several years. Generally, boys that age in this country don't take a regular pointe class. That's why we couldn't respond to you and that's why there are no pictures of boys taking class in pointe shoes. I think the general belief in this country is that boys need other specialized training to become male dancers. And so, the training of boys and girls begins to take different tracks by the time they're about 12 or so. Boys usually begin getting separate classes (men's class) to work on jumps, turns, leaps, etc., and the girls begin pointe classes. They get different classes that focus on their particular needs and the types of roles they will perform in the future.


I have heard of young teen boys having regular pointe class in this country one time only, a coincidence because I live within the same state where this happens--at another studio 250 miles away. There are three boys there who take a 10- to 15-minute pointe class about once a week and I think they have been doing it for a year. These boys started pointe when they were 13- to 15-years old, but they were taking ballet class 6 days a week, besides having taken ballet for at least 4 or 5 years. I asked about the classes out of curiousity and found out it is done primarily to strengthen their feet and ankles. I have never heard of another studio teaching boys pointe at a young age and with so few classes a week as your son in the western half of the U.S. or in my research about the best schools in Eastern U.S.


Young boys will join a girls' pointe class sometimes, but it is usually because they need an extra class or strengthening work, and they take the class in soft shoes, not on pointe. Ms. Leigh and Mr. Johnson are absolutely correct: A boy taking a regular girls' pointe class in pointe shoes is EXTREMELY unusual, all but unheard of in this country. But perhaps it is quite different in Europe and other places.


Perhaps we've misled you with questions raised in the past, both on this board and on other boards. I can see how those questions could be misleading, but I think the questions are simple curiousity. We know there are a few ballets, very few, where a man wears pointe shoes. Boys and parents just wonder when and how they'll learn to dance those roles. The answer to this question is usually: When a man (a professional usually) needs to learn how to dance a role that calls for pointe shoes, that's when he will begin working in pointe shoes.


I hope to see you on this board again.




Edited by werlkj
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Marco -- the general experience with pointe shoes for anybody is that you end up trying out different brands and styles. So, don't worry about finding one shoe and expecting it to be the right one for novice AND experienced AND large size (in the future). Get the shoe that fits best now. Later, if Robert still dances en pointe, he might need a different shoe. (In my family of two daughters, we have been through four brands and about ten styles.)


As for color: some brands and styles do come in colors other than pink -- black, for example. I suspect you will need to special-order them, but I don't know for sure. You can also color the pink ones. Use a black permanent marker (test it to be sure it is really permanent, and won't run) or spray shoe paint.

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Men's black pointe shoes are available in this part of the country (northwestern U.S.) at Empire Dance in Spokane, Washington. The store claims to be a major supplier of dancewear for PNB, SFB, and other companies. I would think there would be similar stores on the East Coast of the U.S. and in Europe. You'll probably need to ask around.


Honestly, I expect your teachers at your school would help you find a good shoe and help in fitting them. In my experience, the teachers take an active role when fitting and selection is difficult. (Oh, and black magic marker does work great, but you should be able to find black shoes.)


Also, if your boy isn't going to have little feet, plan on buying a LOT of shoes.


Finally, be aware that boys can have injuries and pain from their feet growing just as girls do. My son has had ongoing pain and injuries in his feet for almost a year because his feet have grown so much. The orthopedist he sees expects his problems to continue for at least another year, maybe two. Apparently, the various injuries and pain my son has are much more common with boys than girls. My son would not be able to take pointe, even if it was expected. Most days, he can barely take a full technique class in soft shoes.

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Everyone has given you such good advice so far, and I'd like to add that apparently, in London at least, Freed of London is making a pointe shoe for men called, "Freed Gents". They are made out of black canvas so they are non-shiny, which looks more masculine.


If you click on the Topic, "Pointe Shoe Topics" on this board, you will find a sub-topic titled,' Freed Gents'.


Also, there have been many discussions on this board regarding boys/men and pointe-work. You might try looking through "The Men's Forum" to find more topics about men and pointework.



My son is 15 and is in intensive ballet study and has been asked to get a pair of pointe shoes for this year. It will be his first time though, and I must agree that 12 seems a little too young from a physiological standpoint.


He will be using the pointe shoes to assist in stretching and strengthening his feet, and to help with partnering-not that it's absolutely crucial but that it's yet another tool to help with learning. This way, the boys will literally be walking a mile in the girl's shoes!!!!! :wub:


Wish you the best!

Clara 76 :yes:

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I have been trying all day to come up with an outlook on this situation that doesn't include an observation that I can't see any "future" in boys doing pointework regularly. It appears to me to be a dead end, where no expression for the work will come out. In my opinion, it is a Bad Idea whose time will never come.

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I totally agree with Mr. Johnson on this one. I see no "point" in pointe training for males of that age, or really at any time.

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Guest Ballett-Family

:( Hello parents from ballett kids (and boy's) :)


We have see in the Homepage from Gaynor Minden (http://www.dancer.com) the possibility to ask teachers (http://www.dancer.com/askteach/askteacher.html).


This was our question:


Hello Kathryn Sullivan


We have a special question. As first - sorry for my mistakes in this mail

- english is not our language.


We have in my family two children - twins. A boy - Robert and a girl -

Petra and right now 12 year old. And both go three time in the week in

training (90min). Both have starting with 7 year the ballett. Both work

good and have ability for more.


We have found by us in switzerland a ballett school with a very future

oriented curriculum. In the class from my kid's have 10 girls and 3 boys.


With starting a new school year it's time for starting pointe work. And in

this school it's since three year normaly - girl and boy learning pointe.

For the boys is special lesson in addition jump and middle room. The new

program for the week is three time with full class and for Robert one time



In any books or internet forums can we read - a girl is ready to go for

pointework with age 12 year. This is right. In any messages from Forum or

FAQ say all, for boy is this not OK - pointe with 12 year. Why? Petra and

Robert have closely weight (diff + 1 1/2 Kg. from Petra). Robert and Petra

are twin and training both since age 7 year. We have no problem with this

and for the future.


Maybe can you explain the difference from a girl feet an boy feet by 12

year old.


Thank you for the answer

Marco and Family


And the answer from Kathryn Sullivan:


Dear Concerned Mom,


There is very little difference between girls and boys feet at age 12.

However, the reason that they take pointe is a big difference! The girls

will probably begin stretching and strengthening their feet in order to

learn pointe steps that are necessary to get a job in ballet companies

that have traditional or contemporary ballet repertory. The boys or

eventually the men dancers will not have to dance on pointe in order to

join a ballet company.The men generally support the female dancers who are

on pointe. The school will most likely put the boys through a training on

pointe that will stretch their feet because men's feet tend to be less

flexible. I strongly advise you to see live dance performances or videos

in order to see the difference in "job" descriptions of the male/female

dancers. The more informed you are, the more you can continue to guide

your children in their dance futures.


Best to you.




Kathy Sullivan


We appraise all answer in this message tree. Thank you for all inputs.

A good time to you - Marco and Family



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