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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Soon-to-be-pointe celebration


WannaPrimaMom

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DD's teacher/director told her that she would be starting pointe at the SI. She'll be turning 11 in the fall and has been training for several years, meeting all of the recommended weekly hours on this board. I even discussed this with DD's pediatrician, whom felt that this would be fine based on recent studies that state waiting for growth plates to fuse/puberty are not necessary.

 

I know that waiting for the next few months to pass will feel like torture for her, but I am beyond excited for her! I just wanted to share in a place where there would be others who understand. (Not everyone in her level/class will be starting pointe with her, and we are trying to be conscientious not to create any hard feelings.)

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Congratulations to your DD! The next few months will definitely feel like torture for her, but you should enjoy your last few months of freedom before the expense of pointe shoes starts to hit your wallet! :wink:

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Congratulations to your dancer! My dd started on the younger side, too, (started in early September and turned 11 in December) but it has been pretty smooth sailing. I wish your dancer luck and hope the next few months pass quickly for her. Be prepared: starting pointe before friends can be disastrous, unfortunately.

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How exciting! Congratulations to your DD and I hope that her friends are excited for her as she is. Good luck with patience these next few months.

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Best of luck in the transition!

 

We are still waiting...DD is working on building strength. I suspect it will happen in the fall.

I can't wait....she has worked so hard to get to that point, when the time comes I wonder if she will want to sleep in them? LOL!!

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Congratulations!! I'm sure that her friends will be excited (if a little envious). My DD was in the middle of the group - after some friends, before many others, and has experienced the gamut of reactions.

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Congratulations! In case you are interested, there is a thread here about planning little gifts or celebrations. Pointe Gifts

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I am not sure what studies WannaPrimaMom is talking about but I do know in my own research that the growth plates aren't closed when most girls begin pointe...it isn't something that magically happens at 12 (the widely accepted age for beginning pointe). Fourteen is a more average time for closure in girls. That's why sufficient strength and technique are incredibly important. This isn't to say 8 or 9 year olds should ever be on pointe, or that even 10 isn't really, really young for pointe work. However it does seem to be a bit more fluid--in both directions--than I once thought.

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Thank you all! I'll probably shed a few tears at her first fitting.

 

Momof3, I'll definitely check out the thread.

 

Natashabrown, I couldn't tell you where to locate the study. I only know that it was some sort of medical journal update that she pulled out and read during our appointment.

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Congratulations! That is exciting.

 

I do not believe the waiting-for-growth-plates-to-close science (i.e. getting "clearance" x-rays) has been used recently as a criterion for pointe (though it was a big deal maybe 10 years ago in medical circles). For those interested, the pointe readiness threads on this site give many up-to-date explanations on how teachers determine readiness, with individual variation of course.

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Congratulations! That is exciting.

 

I do not believe the waiting-for-growth-plates-to-close science (i.e. getting "clearance" x-rays) has been used recently as a criterion for pointe (though it was a big deal maybe 10 years ago in medical circles). For those interested, the pointe readiness threads on this site give many up-to-date explanations on how teachers determine readiness, with individual variation of course.

 

It's really tough to feel confident in these decisions, because there is such a wide array of what is considered an "acceptable" age for pointe work. I read through some of the pointe readiness threads, and even some of the moderators still feel that the growth plate fusing (or close to fusion) are a key factor, and doubt that a dancer is "really" ready unless they've met some magical age. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting their responses/opinions?

 

As a non-dancer Mom, I try to inform myself as much as possible, but these decisions are hard when there are different philosophies. I absolutely trust her teacher (we live in a smaller community and even DD's pediatrician felt that her teacher could be trusted to be a responsible authority on the subject), but reading other commentary puts little nagging doubts into my head. :(

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There is so much more to it than age factor, or even growth plates. I am seeing kids put on pointe way too early, and it's more because their technique and knowledge is not even close to where it needs to be, or, they do have the physical facility to safely dance on pointe. I also think that most are too young, whether it is an age factor or a maturity and technique and knowledge factor. Age as the absolute does not work, because some children reach a physical maturity earlier than others, and also a technique and knowledge factor, which is of course dependent on the quality of training. Not every student should be on pointe, and there will always be the rare few who are ready and able younger than others.

 

My choice in terms of pointe readiness has to do with the physical facility and the strength and technique and knowledge that comes to some children at 11 or 12, and others not until later. The big thing is that later is not a problem. The more ready they are in every aspect, the faster they will progress. You can start a 10 year old who is not ready, and two years later start a 12 year old who is very ready, and the 12 year old will surpass the one who started too early in a heartbeat. Pointe work is a normal progression of ballet technique, but if started before that is in place, it does not work nearly as well as waiting for it to all be in place.

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