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Technique in Pointe Shoes


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I've heard some rumblings about taking regular ballet technique class while wearing pointe shoes. Then skipping pointe class altogether. For "advanced" class dancers (mid-teens, on pointe for several years)



What is the wisdom on this? Thanks.

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There are mixed feelings about this among different schools and teachers. Most of the Balanchine style schools/teachers do all of their upper level classes in pointe shoes all the time. Most of the other methods/teachers do not do this. Personally, I don't care for it.

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I am not firmly against wearing pointe shoes for technique class, but I am certainly dead against dropping dedicated pointe classes in conjunction with the practice. I prefer that students take technique class in soft shoes or at most totally shot pointe shoes, so that a conscious contact with the floor and a perception of standing in a control zone on the foot can be maintained.

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I do not feel that the students learn to really articulate their feet as well if they work in pointe shoes all the time. The harder sole on the pointe shoes does not allow them to feel the floor and to use all the muscles underneath the foot which need to work to create both flexibility and strength.


At the advanced level, once the articulation has been achieved, it's okay sometimes, but I still don't like it all the time, and, like Mr. Johnson, I still want dedicated pointe classes. Besides that, dancers at the advanced level are in pointe shoes for several hours at a time, with their pointe classes and rehearsals, so, the technique class is, IMO of course, best done in soft shoes.

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Here's the other side of the coin: During a summer session, one of my daughter's teachers had the students doing the first 20 minutes or so of barre in socks to increase articulation of the feet.... this was a class of advanced 15 and 16 year olds. After that part of barre they then put on soft shoes. Point shoes were used in the last part of technique class during center work.

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I'm a student, so feel free to delete.


The majority of my classes are taught by someone who trained at and graduated from SAB and another who danced with PA ballet. While I don't technically go to a Balanchine school, their training has had a great influence over their teaching. I am 17 years old and I take all but one of my technique classes on pointe (the one that isn't is with a teacher who was trained in Cecchetti). When I was 13, the transfer to technique in pointes was started with one technique class per week in them and then adding as the class got used to it. I still have dedicated pointe classes although probably not as many as those students who do not take technique in pointes. We began barre in flats and then put our pointe shoes on after tendus (or on really cold days, after frappes). I've found that taking technique in pointe shoes has made me very confident on pointe and it really has become no more difficult than being in flats. I suppose this does vary from dancer to dancer though and some will probably find themselves just as comfortable without the technique in pointes.

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Ithink it depends on what kind of profession the person is looking for. I cn't suggest taking all classes on pointe for someone who wants to become a teacher for children who are not going to be on pointe or someone who wants to do jazz because its really hard to not do turns etc on pointe. I just finished taking a break from pointe for a week because of a problem with my toe but it could hardly do quick pique turns through the room! It was really embarassing!

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