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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Worried About Pointe Work


skyish

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Summary: I've re-started ballet after 8 years of a break and now I'm attending two different studios, in one of them I'm taking private lessons, the other one is a group class.

 

Problem: Right now I'm fine during barre-work but my teacher doesn't make me do center work in my private classes except some pliés and jumps to gain enough sense of balance but in the other class we are doing a series of center work for app. 45 minutes. Since I've just started in the other studio I'm taking videos while they are doing center combinations to study in the "mind level" at home before I try them in the class.

 

The problem is, in my group class, we will start pointe work in November. And I'm really concerned. Because I feel like I'm cheating; if I was ready enough, my private lesson teacher would certainly make me start center combinations; but he didn't and I will leap to the "pointe era" right from the "barre era" :clapping: And my group lessons teacher is pleased with my work and strenght(I only get corrections for my arms and head) and I don't think that she will say "no, you are not ready for pointe yet, just watch us for now.." because they will start to prepare for their graduation recital and I will be dancing in it too :shrug:

 

I of course want to start pointe work as soon as possible... And when I'm working on my own I'm still strong on pointe. But if I'm strong enough wouldn't my teacher make me try different combinations instead of making me do only barre work? And since now I have an injured ankle left from a changement made without a plié (I wasn't concentrated enough :clapping: ) I'm a little freaked out. Being a reasonable adult, I know that there must be much more time than 2 months to start pointe work after 8 years. Am I wrong? What should I do?

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I agree with you, skyish, that studying ballet "at the mind level" through viewing videos can be tremendously helpful, especially in terms of breaking movements down and becoming more comfortable with them.

 

Is everyone in your group class at the same level of skill? I find it odd that a whole class would go on pointe at the exact same time, but I know it does happen.

 

You seem concerned about your readiness for pointe work. I can't see you and I'm certainly not qualified to tell you whether you should be starting pointe again or not, so here's what I suggest:

 

1) Ask your private lesson teacher if he feels that you are ready to start some more in-depth center work and if he says yes, tell him you would like to do so.

 

2) Tell your group teacher about your concerns, and also about your injured ankle (take my advice on this one, don't try to hide injury from your teachers). Let her know that although you really want to start pointe as soon as possible, you want to make sure you start it the right way and need her honest opinion about whether you are ready to go on or not.

 

I think your private teacher is doing a good job with the emphasis on barre however- remember, it is at the barre that we learn to dance. That's where we find our plomb line (center), that's where we learn to dance to the phrasing and time of the music, that's where we can go "full out" because we feel secure. If you don't have a solid barre foundation, center work is incredibly difficult. I think he's probably making sure you have a strong technical foundation before going on to bigger things.

 

Your group teacher has confidence in your abilities and you say that you feel strong when you practice on your own, so perhaps you really are ready after 2 months. Everyone is different. I had never danced in my life before last summer and it took me 6 months to be pointe-ready, so if you have a pointe background already, coupled with what sounds like a passion for ballet, I can very easily envision you being ready.

 

If your ankle is really bothering you, talk to a doc and your teachers and follow their advice- you don't want to end up out of commission for months. You really shouldn't start pointe on a bad ankle... Better to start pointe a bit later than never!

 

Happy dancing!

 

:shrug:

 

Grace

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If your teacher feels that you are ready....maybe you are. Like the last person just stated, everyone is different. I understand how you feel. I've been doing ballet pretty regularly for the last two years. About a year ago, I was encouraged to start doing some pointe work, but wasn't sure I was quite ready for it. In the last few months though my teachers have been like...get a pair of pointe shoes already will ya! So I took the plunge and started taking some barre on pointe in the beginner classes. It's tough. And even though it can be rather painful after awhile, I can tell that my knees are straight and I'm over on my box pretty well. After being at this studio for awhile I see that they don't encourage the adults unless they feel that they have the technique and strength to back it up. Therefore, I trust that they wouldn't encourage me unless they believed that I could handle it. So if you feel that the school and the teacher are qualified to make that decision then go for it! I agree two months is not a long time...but...try it. You and your teachers will know if it's right or not. You won't know unless you try.

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Is everyone in your group class at the same level of skill? I find it odd that a whole class would go on pointe at the exact same time, but I know it does happen.

 

Thanks for advices, well they are all senior students and they are en pointe already. But since the term has just begun, I guess teacher didn't want to do pointe work after summer laziness, so they are starting pointe again in November.

 

If your ankle is really bothering you, talk to a doc and your teachers and follow their advice- you don't want to end up out of commission for months. You really shouldn't start pointe on a bad ankle... Better to start pointe a bit later than never!

 

Well this is the very first time that I have an injured ankle in years.. So I'm not sure what to do, I'm not sure if it's about a tendon or just a muscle, or a bone I just can't tell what exactly it is. It doesn't hurt while walking but it hurts while just resting sometimes, it's a weird situation. For now I'm just trying not to move it much and I'm keeping it hot. I'm not an "easy to be injured" type you see, and my pain threshold is very maximal; I hope I'm not underestimating something bigger because it doesn't hurt so much. But hey, that's a topic for nutrition and health boards and I don't want to seek any advice on a subject which I'm not sure about, if I could tell what exactly it is I would certainly ask :yes: And if only I could bite the bullet and apply some ben-gay on that area but gosh, I hate that smell..

 

 

kellylynn - Thank you also for your reply, I'm not starting pointe for the first time, I'm still ok with echappés and relevés and some other stuff, but I'm just afraid because there is a possibility of me being strong only whithin my "safety boundaries" because while working on my own of course I don't go that far. And what if my teacher counts on my posture on pointe and makes me do something harder than my ankles could bear? :) But I agree with you, I cannot be sure until I try... But I guess I must ask my private teacher if I'm ready or not first because he knows my capacity more than the other teacher right now. But boy, I'm really afraid to hear the answer "No" =(

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Yeah, I hear you. I was also on pointe as a child as well. However, I understand that my body is not the same at 27 as it was at 12. Therefore, I started again slowly too. Good luck.

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