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Geezer

Adult males doing Pointe?

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Hamorah

Personally I don't see any reason for making a guy do pointe work. It can certainly help strengthen their feet and balance if they do the pointe exercises in soft shoes, as olddude does, and in fact my 12 year old male student does pretty much the same exercises as the girls who are just starting pointe in his class. I do adapt some steps for him, as I don't like seeing guys doing things like couru and sometimes I'll turn him sideways to the barre when the girls are working facing the barre and add in a pirouette for him.

 

Pointe work was developed in order to make the women appear more ethereal and feminine - otherworldly so to speak - and I don't think that that is how we want our male dancers to look. Men need to work on building strength to improve their jumps and turns, which are the most important part of male virtuosity, and of course upper body strength for pas de deux. If they want to join Trocadero or dance Bottom in the Dream as a donkey on pointe, then fair enough. Otherwise, I find it "pointless"!

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olgahk

If that is a valid point (no pun intended), then I do wonder why Pointe isn't more widely offered to males?

 

I do not claim any vast knowledge of ballet either, but I can guess - since male dancers are usually heavier than female, pointe exercise would put a lot of stress on the feet and could be more dangerous for males than for females?

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Geezer

I do not advocate forcing males (of any age) to take Pointe, rather I personally think it should be an option for them. Granted Pointe was developed to make Ballerinas seem weightless and appear to be floating on the air. I'm not saying guys should take Pointe to dance the ballerina roles like the "Trocks". If a male feels it will add to his ballet experience and he wants to pursue it and has the proper training and supervision of a ballet teacher, then I'd have on objections.

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Hans

Properly trained male ballet students will be doing a great many jumps--more than the women do. This places a lot of stress on the joints and lower legs. Pointe also places stress on these areas, so combining the two is not a good idea if you don't like having shin splints and quite possibly achilles tendonitis.

 

As far as using pointe as a tool for strengthening goes, you must already be strong in order to go on pointe in the first place. It is very difficult to balance on pointe, so if you are not strong, you will wobble around and hurt yourself. Furthermore, every single exercise in ballet class is designed to strengthen the feet and ankles, so if a student is not getting stronger from that, s/he is not working properly in the first place, and putting on pointe shoes is not going to magically fix that. All you get when you put a weak student on pointe is a student who is (surprise!) weak on pointe--and in fact, they usually look worse and find the problems even more difficult to correct than on flat.

 

I know pointe is very romanticised in today's culture, but it is really something that requires a lot of work, a relatively high level of training, and a significant time commitment in order to do it successfully. It is not something you do because you think it might be fun or because it looks nice or because you are looking for a technical shortcut.

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dancemaven

I have removed a few posts pending Moderator Team review.

 

Please do carry on with the discussion in the vein it was intended.

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Clara 76

Since we moderators have removed the offending posts, let's not bring up what the posts contained. There is no reason to beat a dead horse.

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Rue

First, sorry for bringing up an 8 year old thread.

 

On 12/30/2011 at 2:16 PM, Geezer said:

I do not advocate forcing males (of any age) to take Pointe, rather I personally think it should be an option for them. Granted Pointe was developed to make Ballerinas seem weightless and appear to be floating on the air. I'm not saying guys should take Pointe to dance the ballerina roles like the "Trocks". If a male feels it will add to his ballet experience and he wants to pursue it and has the proper training and supervision of a ballet teacher, then I'd have on objections.

As a "male-to-female" this touched me a bit. I've dressing femininely and doing the things usually reserved for "females" for quite some time. Even though I'm large and tall and in no way have a "passable" feminine body  [Mod: edited to remove sexist insults]

I've recently discovered ballet and I love it and the music more than anything else. It never crossed my mind doing it because of how old, rusty and un-athletic I am. But if I were younger I'd give my life for dancing en pointe. Doing Giselle or the Sylphide would be my dream, even if I had to pay a vagrant off the streets to stand around as my partner because no one would want me as a male in a performance

I'd certainly love to see a classical ballet with a male doing the lead female part. Or even with the main roles gender-reversed, or why stop there, with the whole corps de ballet being of mixed genders. Not doing the donkey in some comical piece. [Moderator edited to remove inappropriate content]. Have no doubt that being straight I do prefer the female body, but art and expression are a whole different thing and I have no preference in that regard. Just as the female liberation that is so on vogue these days, I'd love to see more and more males in the female roles, and en pointe more than anything.

At this day and age there should be no barriers for any person to do anything. Just the thought of being shoehorned into something because of the gender you were born with makes me shiver.

 

On 12/30/2011 at 1:13 PM, olgahk said:

 

I do not claim any vast knowledge of ballet either, but I can guess - since male dancers are usually heavier than female, pointe exercise would put a lot of stress on the feet and could be more dangerous for males than for females?

This is interesting. Given a well trained male with enough strength to go en pointe, is it more risky or difficult than a female in the same conditions due to weight or body shape? For dancing the female steps that is, not for the jumps, etc that go with male dancing. It seems not from what I gather.

 

P.S.: I finally bit the bullet and tomorrow I'll have my first ballet class (I'm 29). I do wonder if males/females have different steps or they are all together at the most beginner level. I cannot even imagine myself ever being en pointe though <_<

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Redbookish

Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, Rue. I hope you'll find lots to interest and enlighten you here as you start on the wonderful journey of learning ballet. 

I've let most of your post stand, but I have removed some inappropriate sexist content. 

I think that once you learn something about ballet a lot of your misconceptions about the art will clear up. Men and women do the same basic training as boys and girls, and right through to professional employment, in daily company class. Boys and men may also do additional specialist classes in jumps and turns, as suits their biologically different bodies; similarly, girls and women will learn pointe work and variations (including jumps and turns) as suits their biological bodies.

However, at the beginning stage, and all through a ballet education, we all do class together. And at my studio, and many others, girls & women are welcome to join the men's jumps and turn classes. It's a great challenge to try to keep up with the men jumping! But the biological differences of sex (not gender roles) mean that male dancers are usually taller, with more developed & strong muscles, greater lung capacity,  and so on.

As you start to learn ballet, it would also be helpful for you to see some dance performances. Again you'll see that your assumption about corps de ballet and "lead roles" is challenged. Even in classical dance of the high Romantic period, men dance lead roles, there are men in the corps and so on. In contemporary or modern classical ballet and contemporary dance, there's even more mixing and swapping of gender (not sex) roles - with women lifting and partnering each other, and men also partnering each other. 

If you want to get a sense of the difference between classical and contemporary ballet, you might see if you can find (on YouTube) a video of Twyla Tharp's wonderful full-length ballet, In the Upper Room. There's a mix there of contemporary & classical styles - you'll see something of what I'm talking about.

But for the moment, focus on learning the basics of this wonderful art form, in a style that suits your body. You might go to the Men's section of this board to get some ideas about how to dress appropriately, safely and modestly for a mixed class. You may dress femininely - that's not the issue, and there are plenty of "feminine" men and "masculine" women - but if you still have a biologically male (as opposed to masculine) body and there are certain things that are required in a ballet class. It's probably fine to start with very close fitting cycling tights or similar.

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Redbookish

Here's a YouTube compilation of male ballet solos: plenty of star quality, athleticism and leading roles here!

Top 15 male ballet variations

 

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Sanakan

So I was encouraged to look possibly in this thread because I've written about this topic in my welcoming thread.

Funny that this thread has just today brought up. From my sight, I would not like to see most of the mentioned role-changing stuff, Rue talked about. If the hole sex-separation would not be so clear in many aspects of life, possibly far less People would see a reason for going through the long and hard journey of sex assignment surgery and so on. Much of the mystery and interest in the other sex would be far less present, I guess. But its possibly a little off topic?

As mentioned in the linked thread, I have a little trouble finding the right shoe. Luckily I'am blessed with a shoe size which is more or less in the range of women sizes (41-42,5 (it means around 8,5-9,5 I guess)), so I think I do not need some special male point shoes.

 

But I found this advice form for this forum which I have filled and sent. Can someone say were an answer would be written?

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeVCEgPDJMe5P0sXIbS0yLRKNItLAqO1moGFsFmmgrSOJLA0g/viewform

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dancemaven

Sanakan, just recently it was decided to discontinue the use of that particular form.  I don’t mean to run you around the Board, but requests for pointe shoe suggestions should be placed in the Pointe Shoe Topics forum.  That is where our expert Pointe Shoe Moderators address those questions:

https://dancers.invisionzone.com/forum/44-pointe-shoe-topics/

Please take a look at the Pinned Topics to learn how to submit a request.  There is a thread explaining which photos they will need to see (which you will need to upload to a third-party photo site like Photobucket and add the link only to your post).   https://dancers.invisionzone.com/topic/4410-pointe-shoe-suggestions-process-332019/

 

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Sanakan

Ok, thank you for the hint. I will take a look :)

I even found this thread before but thought that it is unconnected to the form I found and it was less work to choose the way without photos ^^ But its shurely the more accurate way.

Edited by Sanakan

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Kalashnikov
On 3/5/2019 at 4:42 AM, Rue said:

It never crossed my mind doing it because of how old, rusty and un-athletic I am. But if I were younger I'd give my life for dancing en pointe. Doing Giselle or the Sylphide would be my dream, even if I had to pay a vagrant off the streets to stand around as my partner because no one would want me as a male in a performance

[...]

P.S.: I finally bit the bullet and tomorrow I'll have my first ballet class (I'm 29). I do wonder if males/females have different steps or they are all together at the most beginner level. I cannot even imagine myself ever being en pointe though <_<

 

You talk about how old you are but you are just 29?

I started ballet when I was 40. An now, three years later, after an accident in class with broken foot and a few months break, I now feel as strong as never before in my life.

I could start pointe (with some weeks of pointe prep class) and get asked from time to time by my ballet mistress if I want to.

So could you after some training.

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