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Back to Pointe

Sarah Ann

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Hello all! Long time no post! :wink:


I am a 22 year old that is going back to ballet. I have been out for about a year and a half because of a knee injury and lower back injury (strained ligaments in left knee and fractured L3 vertebrae)


I know that this will be up to my ballet mistress, but how long should I expect until I am back up en pointe? I have been doing all of my barre work in my gym on my down time, so strength and articulation should not be a factor. Before the injury, I was en pointe for about 4 years. My doctor has approved that I rejoin my ballet class and had no immediate medical concerns about me being en pointe except limiting any exercises that may hyperextend my left knee. I would like to be en pointe at least at the barre to help redevelop some of my lost strength in my arches and instep. I have freakishly narrow and tapered feet that lose tone very quickly. Do you think that there would be any harm in this? My class will not restart until April, and I would like to work en pointe at the barre before then if acceptable.



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Before I answer, what caused the strained ligaments in your knee, and the vertebrae fracture?

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Ah. Ok. That changes my answer!


Coming back after a year and a half absence will require a huge amount of patience on your part, if you don't want to cause your injuries to flare up, and perhaps cause a more permanent condition.


Forget about pointe shoes for now. First, start back to class in small increments. Begin by setting your first goal of getting through barre without pain. I am not talking about your barre in your basement, but in class with a careful teacher watching.


When you are able to get through barre without pain, try doing part of center up to jumps, and see how that goes. Then, you set the next goal of marking jumps. When you can do that you begin to add jumps in, but low and careful. When you're at the point of being able to take an entire class without pain, and at your old level, the next goal is to get to be able to do at least 3 classes per week for several months.


Then, you can begin to think about putting pointe shoes on, and take that one step at a time. Years from now, you'll be happy that you took it s-l-o-w-l-y. B)

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Glad to hear it! Keep us posted on your progress! B)

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