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Boys on Pointe?


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So, I would hope the comments you all get are not really a snitty, "Well, as IF he deserves such! It is only because he is a boy!", but rather more from the wistful (or yes, even jealous, maybe) longing of a very-cash-strapped parent of a female dancer-who-surely-is-keeping-the-pointe-shoe-manufacturer-in-the-black-all-by-herself!


Remember, it's not always just the female dancers who wear pointe shoes. My money goes toward keeping the pointe shoe manufacturer in business as do all the other parents of the male dancers at my son's school.

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Does your son's school require the boys to take classes on pointe or do they perform in pointe shoes? :shrug: I'm not sure what you mean. I have known of boys who have taken some classes on pointe to strengthen their feet, but have not heard of any school where the boys are required to wear them, such that they are wearing out a pair or two a week, as the girls at the top levels in a pre-pro school do. Is this really occurring? If so, I just learned something new! :)

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There seems to be a growing movement, more so in Europe than here, to have boys take pointe classes along with the girls. To my knowledge, they do not perform en pointe, but do take pointe class.

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I have seen a male dancer on pointe in "The Dream", but are there really enough parts out there that require this of the male dancer? I'm thinking if I tell my husband that DS might possibly take pointe classes in the future that this might be a problem! :)


Ooops! I read that too quickly. I see that they are not on point themselves. Disregard please.

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At this time, my son and his male classmates only wear the pointe shoes for a short amount of time (about 30 minutes I think)....basically to strenghten and stretch the feet...all done with barrework. There is no centerwork, although I am not sure what the more advanced male dancers do. While we do not purchase a pair of pointe shoes a week as some advanced female dancers, my comment was to simply bridge the gap that YES, some parents of male dancers do have the same expenses as parents of female dancers at same level of instruction (he is not advanced). Scholarships are very welcome and a relief to the pocketbook. (we currently pay full tuition).

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I'm thinking if I tell my husband that DS might possibly take pointe classes in the future that this might be a problem! :blushing:


Ooops!  I read that too quickly.  I see that they are not on point themselves.  Disregard please.



While you said to disregard, I have to ask.....what part? There are not many roles for males to perform en pointe. My feeling is there are enough females out there to do those parts. However, if a man wants to perform on stage this way, then more power to them. I have seen a piece of Swan Lake danced beautifully by a man en pointe. Anyway, getting to pointe classes. .....


The fact remains that boys in some schools DO wear POINTE shoes while in pointe class. This does require them to be on pointe. You did not read too quickly as far as I can tell. So what if your husband will have a problem with it. he can get over it as he got over the fact that your son takes ballet (if it will even be an issue for his training). Not trying to sound harsh, but you make it sound like being on pointe is going to be the end of the world in your husbands eyes. I just see this as another requirement to get my son where he needs to be in order to improve....and yes, it is helping.

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You don't sound harsh, but this concept is entirely new to me. I can understand wearing pointe shoes to strengthen feet and for some roles onstage, but I honestly think that pointe shoes are part of what makes a ballerina graceful and beautiful. I honestly don't want to see men wearing pointe shoes. (Just my opinion - I'm entitled).


DS does not plan a career in dance, he just really enjoys it for now. Dear hubby has been on board since day one, so no issues there. But I would not be honest if we didn't both roll our eyes if his teacher wanted to put him en pointe. :blushing:


But, hey, we are still on the learning curve so I won't rule anything out for the future.

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Gremlin, how old is your son? Are there the same concerns about pointe shoes for young boys as girls? Or do they not apply because the boys don't use the shoes as much? Just curious-no one suggested wearing pointe shoes to my son until he was a very late teen.

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 . . . my comment was to simply bridge the gap that YES, some parents of male dancers do have the same expenses as parents of female dancers at same level of instruction (he is not advanced).   



My DD's record is 40 pairs of $77/pr pointe shoes in 9 months (approx. 38 weeks) at age 14. Are there really boys who have incurred this expense? Wow! I had no idea!

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Dancemaven - my DS did pointe for about a year. At first it was his request, then the requirement extended for all the boys. The goal was for them to work on strength in their feet. This was at the barre, though they did do some things in center. He went through exactly one pair of shoes. In fact, he had to replace the ribbon - never the shoes - but the shoes are still usable (just dyed black and way too small.) Others may have purchased additional shoes, but that's because their feet grew and they continued with the pointe in hopes of improving their arches. The value of continuing past the initial year - at least for my DS - was neglible so he stopped. Tsavoie made an interesting point though - is there danger in having young boys do this type of work? My son was 12 or 13. He had to demonstrate strong technique, balance, centering, etc. before his AD would allow him to try it. But aren't the concerns for the boys the same as girls - having them do pointe work - however neglible - before they're done growing? I know my son's feet have grown about three sizes since then - and I'm sure they're far from done growing. Maybe if this is something schools want to practice then it's best for them to wait until they're closer to being grown - kind of similar to girls? Are the potential dangers the same or, since they really do so little, it's something we don't have to worry about?

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My son's former AD said when he was a young dancer he did pointe to strengthen the feet. he did it for one week and never again. He told my son (who had asked him) that the possible gain in strength was not worth it and he wouldn't put boys on pointe. His current AD (trained in Europe) feels the same way. I can't say I'm sorry as tuition is costly enough without the pointe shoe expense.

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My son is 14. While I have no idea the background training of the other boys in his class, I was aware of the dangers of going on pointe too soon and knew my son had the previous years of regular ballet for strength. Given his school is very old and my son shows no signs of concern on his part, I assume the shool knows what they are doing. Nobody in his class has been out with injuries. Instruction at this school is at a very slow pace and I am comfortable with that.


Dancemaven, when I said some parents of boys had the same expense as parents of girls at same level of instruction, I was refering to a beginner pointe student (as my son is). They in no way would go through a pair of pointe shoes a week. My son started a few months ago and it is safe to assume this pair will last him to the end of the semester.


It was not my intention to change the topic of this thread to pointe shoes for boys. I was just stating that sometimes (as is the case with early pointe training) boys and girls are not that different when it comes to expense. A scholarship, at any age and level of training, is much appreciated financially....even if only a few bucks.

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One thing it is very important to consider is that pointe shoes are not a strengthening tool. Female dancers do not begin pointework until their feet are already strong and they have a strong grasp of the fundamentals of ballet technique. If a boy (or girl) is not strong on demi-pointe, that is an indication that s/he should not be dancing en pointe (yet).


I posted some of my thoughts regarding men en pointe on a thread that no longer exists in the Men's Forum, but one thing to remember is that boys and girls strengthen their feet and legs in different ways. Girls do pointework and boys focus on large, complex jumps. Because of the increased focus on grand allegro for boys, there is no need to strengthen their feet by wearing pointe shoes, in addition to it being a bad idea for the reasons I mentioned above.


Yes, there are roles such as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Ugly Stepsisters in certain versions of Cinderella that have men dancing a few steps en pointe, but the rudimentary skills necessary for such roles are easily learned by professional dancers working with their coaches in rehearsals.


In short, if a boy has the strength to dance en pointe, it probably won't do him harm, but if he is being trained properly in classical male technique, it will not be necessary.

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Although I think my ds would rather walk across hot coals than wear pointe shoes, (his feeling, which he has every right to ), I can see the merit in it, if just to feel for a week or so how the ballerinas they're dancing with are balancing, landing, turning, etc. It would seem like it would be helpful to know. The Ballet Trockadero are great fun to watch en pointe! They're great dancers as well as great comedians/actors! :)




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I had occassion to ask the Trocks' AD how the men learn to dance en pointe at that level given that males are not typically given pointe class and females spend so many years working on it. He laughed and said the big difference was two-fold:


1. The men dancing in Trocks are already technically well-trained and were company ready before they ever donned their pointe shoes for those roles. Thus, it was simply a matter of them using the muscles and strengths they had already developed in reaching that level of technique, whereas the girls must learn and perfect technique at the same time they are learning pointe, which he said was much harder. Thus, he said it was two very different concepts.


2. The men dancing in the Trocks (and I'm sure the Cinderella parts) are not even attempting to be the delicate, finessed dancers that the women dancing en pointe bring to the stage. He said there was simply no way the men could even begin to reach that level of virtuosity for their roles en pointe and they were not trying to imitate the women, but rather bring their own style to the variations.


He was quite entertaining and very delightful.

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