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Ballet Talk for Dancers

When to start pointe after extended break?


drives2much

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My 16 year old daughter will be returning to ballet after taking a year and a half off. She had reached the highest level at a very well-known, well-respected pre-professional ballet program attached to a company. Her break was due to a personal choice of wanting to try other activities, not due to injuries. She has been very active in sports since she stopped taking classes, so she is strong, healthy, and in good physical condition. She still has a good facility for ballet and doesn't seem to have lost her strong, nicely-arched feet.

 

Once she starts back to technique classes, what does she need to accomplish before she goes back on pointe?

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drives2much, I moved this topic because parents cannot post on the YD forums.

 

She will need to start back slowly, possibly with some lower level classes at first. She cannot expect to just jump back in where she was after that length of time off, as the others in her class should certainly have made considerable progress by now. As for pointe, she and her teacher should know when she is ready for that. The first priority will be getting her alignment, balance point, control zone back, which of course includes the use of her rotation. While the structure of the foot does not change, the use, strength and articulation will need some time to return. But, she should know, at age 16, when she is ready. And her teacher most certainly will know. :cool2: There is no set answer for this question, as it is very individual.

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Thanks for your thoughts...and sorry for the misplacement of my post. I haven't been here very much lately and just saw the age range of my daughter, not realizing it was only for that age to post, not to post about.

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  • 2 months later...

I'd love some advice. My daughter is 17 and loathes pointe and gave it up last year. She isn't looking to be a ballet dancer, but an actress, but she still loves ballet. She is just about to take her RAD Grade 6 as a presentation, rather than exam. That gives her only two grades left in non-vocational side of RAD ballet. She wants to go on dancing. Her first ballet shoes were ill-fitting (thanks, Gamba!), and her next pair, although properly fitted, killed her feet and absolutely nothing helped and I had a vast amount of helpful suggestions from Ballet.co.uk. I feel that when she has finished the final grade, she's looking at nowhere to go, because all the adult classes I know use steps and enchainements from grades 4-6. I know not everyone takes to pointe, but I can't understand why she had such difficulty with it, unless the second pair were also wrong. Could any kind person offer some sort of explanation for her problem with pointe? I suspect that her second pair of shoes were pushed at her by her dance school in a "these will fit" routine.

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Well Fiz, kids can end up loathing pointe for several reasons, one of which could be not having pointe shoes that were fit properly.

 

Or it could be that pointe work is difficult and if a dancer doesn't come with the flexibility and strength required, pointework can just end up being a frustrating experience as opposed to a good one.

 

Sometimes, kids have a really low pain tolerance, and that too can be a factor.

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Thank you, Clara76, you have just made perfect sense of it:thumbsup: !My daughter does have a low pain threshold. I suspect she is going to be totally bored after Grade 8, though! Maybe I'll go to a local shop where I know there's a good shoe fitter, rather than Gamba, which were closing down in London, although we were not aware of this at the time I bought my daughter's pointes, and rather than use what I know to be a place which is at least as interested in money as it is in teaching dance :shrug:

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