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pointe frustration


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After a relatively simple pointe class, it has become evident to me that it's not getting any easier. Maybe I'm just too hard on myself, but I've been back doing pointe for a year now and there are things I still can't really do right and they're supposed to be quite simple. For example pique turns, :offtopic: chaine turns :thumbsup: -- even pas de bouree en tournant (???!!!) :shrug: -- it all feels like its DRAGGING! :sweating:


Sometimes it's not even anything on pointe but it still looks and feels bad whenever I do them in pointe shoes. (example: even grand jetes are not as spectacular in pointe shoes as they are in technique shoes, and that has nothing to do w/ pointe). :( Has anyone ever noticed anything similar? Some days I feel like things are improving, but other days it seems like I'm always back to square 1. Any advice on what to do?


I take 2-3 technique and 1 pointe class per wk. Does it help if you practice at home? And exactly what are you supposed to practice to gain confidence, speed, proficiency and get rid of the overall awkwardness of the pointe shoe? Would 15-30 minutes a day at home help? And what types of things should I focus on? I'm feeling like plies and releves are not all that helpful, but I could be wrong.


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I leave comments on the excercises to the teachers, but I just wanted to say that personally find that 3 technique classes a week is the absolute minimum for me to feel comfortable at all doing pointe. 4-5 is more like what is required for advancing. I know your background is different from mine (I am a complete adult beginner), but still, it soudns to me that adding a class or two could help you.

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Duckie, it's really hard to improve pointe work when only doing it once a week. Working in pointe shoes takes a lot of time in them to be able to achieve the strength to work through the feet and make them work as well in these shoes as they do in technique shoes. It also has to do with the flexibility and strength of the feet and ankles. The articulation is harder in pointe shoes. The best thing would be more classes. Practicing at home is okay only if you have a proper floor, and if you are absolutely sure that you know HOW to practice correctly and not build in bad habits.

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Not really adding anything new... but the amount of classes you are taking are my bare minimum to maintain anything never mind to progress. I do find at those times when that is all my shedule allows me to take (single mom, full time job, annoying budget, yes I'm whinning :thumbsup: ) it helps if I stay after class a bit (even 15 minutes helps) and practice my turns (or whatever it is that is giving the most trouble) the nice thing about that is I can usually have my teacher or one of the more advanced girls watch me and give me a few corrections and things to work on. Also I wear my pointes to the beginning technique class (a few girls do, and the teacher adjust things for us), know that doesn't always work because some teachers don't want you to wear your pointes. Thought I'd mention that in case there is a reason you can't just take more classes. Oh and I definately find all things in pointe shoes a bit more awkward... just the simple act of pointing my foot is harder and those shoes seem to weigh a ton during grande battments, nevermind that the supporting leg feels like it is housed in a rocking boat!

Edited by amatol
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I'm feeling like plies and releves are not all that helpful, but I could be wrong.


The repetition builds strength, so yes, they are helpful. Especially if you're not getting enough strengthening from classes.


It took me YEARS to really "get" plie. Also how to "grow" in my spine while turning.


Everyone's right. You need more classes a week or you're just fighting your body. You need to build the strength, and also the feeling of confidence in the shoes.

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If there are no more adult pointe classes available, you could take one more beginners technique class and do it on pointe. I do this once a week in addition to my pointe classes and it really helped me to articulate my feet.

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I would like to add a testimonial that repeated releves really do work, in surprisingly small amounts.


I've been doing a regime of "as many repeated releves to pointe on each foot as I can do with good form, at least 3 times a week" and some (less frequent) theraband work for about 3 months now, and the difference is already clearly visible.


(I'll echo the more classes part too.)



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Thanks for your comments. There is only one pointe class that fits my schedule which still leaves me 2 possibilities -- taking a lower technique class on pointe and working on strength and basic pointework at home.


Fortunately I do have a good floor to dance on and even a railing which often doubles as a barre. Now all I need is some motivation to get going on those releves! As for my therabands, I must have at least 5 of them laying around somewhere....I shall have to put them to good use.


I'll post again to let y'all know how things are going (or not going....)!

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Now all I need is some motivation to get going on those releves!


Nailing those piques and chaine turns you mentioned would be nice. Use that as motivation! :)

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duckie. . . I have an almost identical problem and really understand your frustration because I'm feeling it too.


Regarding the releves and theraband work -- I will if you will!

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I have recently noticed that my personal improvement is a matter of relativity. Since the middle of February, I have been the only person in any of the adult classes. Yep, a private class, four times per week, for the price of a group class. This happened because one woman dropped out in January, one dropped out in the middle of February and one woman "had" to go to France for three months to housesit (the ultimate house sittng job). So, to my fortune, and the good will of the teacher, I have been receiving private classes. However, because of this, I lost perspection on my improvement. I was thinking sheesh! Here I'm taking four private classes per week and I'm not getting any better! The teacher is not inclined to dish out compliments, but when I mentioned this to her, she said she sees improvement in my technique and my all around dancing every week. Then she had me watch a group of intermediate level teenage girls, second year pointe (I just started pointe work last October), and I realized wow - I have improved! :thumbsup: I saw how my feet were more pointed, my combinations and transitions are much smoother and my overall technique has improved. I also noticed how much SLOWER my improvement is when compared to the younger dancers. What I'm trying to say is; I believe that as we get older, our improvement is a much slower process and we tend to hit plateaus for a longer time and we tend to be much harder on ourselves. So, what you might want to do is drop in on a class you've never taken before, a class of your level, and you might be surprised at how beautiful you look when you're doing pique turns, chaine turns - even pas de bouree en tournant! :(

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I totally feel your pain. When you first posted, I was just about ready to give up this silly idea of adult pointe work. Now, after reading this whole thread, I have some suggestions as to how to intensify my training and how to be more realistic about my expectations of progress, as well as how to assess my progress. As lampwick says, confidence is also essential to build and this has been a huge challenge for me. Confident? More like terrified. For me, pointe training has been a very discouraging venture, but I don't think I am ready to give up. Good luck to you, duckie, and let us know how it is going.

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Avalon, I too understand your frustration and terror! I continue to feel as though my foot will just go slipping out from under me, specifically when doing anything requiring me to go to a pique. I am the only person in the class so I didn't know other adults feel this way until I started reading the adult pointe posts. I also didn't realize so many adults did this type of dancing! I am very timid and it frustrates my teacher, but I am hoping it will only get better as time goes by. It's too bad all of use couldn't gather for one terrific class!

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