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Ballet Talk for Dancers

How soon until pointe?


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Hello everybody! I'm a brand new member of the forum (like as of 5 minutes ago). I was just inquiring as to how many years I have until I can start pointe- sorry if this sounds ridiculous! I just started ballet 1 in January but was told I was good enough to move up to ballet 2. I've been in ballet 2 for about a month now and my teacher has told me I'm doing very well and dancing very nicely for someone who's just moved up. I expect to be in ballet for at least a year. With this kind of progress, how soon can I expect to move up to ballet 3, and eventually pointe?

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We can't really answer the first part of your question (when will you be able to move up to ballet 3), because none of us know what the requirements are for ballet 3 at your studio. Unless a studio follows a set syllabus with various levels (such as RAD or Cecchetti), we don't have any idea about the actual level of difficulty in ballet 1,2 3 etc.


For starting pointe, it usually takes several years of regular ballet classes several times a week before you're ready, because you need to have a very strong foundation of ballet technique before you start doing anything in pointe shoes. Sometimes with adults teachers will let them start pointe quite quickly, but this can actually work against you. For example, my first teacher let me start pointe after 18 months of ballet, but I really wasn't ready and found that I was working very hard but not progressing in pointe work. The reason was because I didn't have strong enough basic technique, and I was developing bad habits en pointe because of this.


So, the message is work hard and enjoy the journey to improve your ballet skills! We all love ballet here, and your enthusiasm is lovely to see!

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Welcome to Ballet Talk for Dancers, itsmadison. Glad you found us.


You might check the Sticky in the specialised Pointe Forum on this website. Miss Clara & Miss DeVor have outlined the "Facts about Pointe."


If you've only been learning ballet for 6 months, as an adult, my advice would be to forget about pointe for a couple of years, and learn good solid technique. There will be so much that you still need to learn, and a particular type of strength you will need to develop, that adding pointe work too soon could be very bad for your body, and your technique.


Personally -- and a lot of people on this forum don't agree, I know :whistling: -- I don't think going on pointe should be the ultimate aim of the female adult ballet student. I see too many people who go up on pointe before they are secure in, for example, double or triple pirouettes on demi-pointe, or are fully competent in petit allegro steps. I'd much rather see someone dancing confidently and freely on demi-pointe, than badly on pointe.


But really, we can't see you, so it's your day-to-day teacher who will give you advice about pointe readiness. Just doing simple things such as two-footed releves at the barre can also be excellent for strength, but you really really need to have good alignment first. And it does hurt your feet if you're not properly ready!

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I think wembley & I were posting at the same time! She gives excellent advice.

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Thank you Redbookish - really the most important thing at this stage is to get a really strong foundation for technique.


itsmadison13, other factors which will affect how fast you progress are your age when starting ballet, previous levels of fitness, previous experience in other sports or forms of dance, flexibility and how much time you can devote to ballet classes. There really are too many variables!

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Hello - I'm an adult dancer and I teach pointe. We require our pointe students to take at least three technique classes a week at upper levels. They need to show control over alignment, ability to learn new combinations very quickly, knowledge of most ballet terminology (and ability to execute), flexibility and strength in the ankles, strong port de bras, a good balance on a high demi pointe on one leg, strong double pirouettes with some consistency…. we end up putting students en pointe later than some other studios -- yet once on, they progress reasonably quickly because they already have the strength, control, knowledge.


Some never go en pointe.


I've seen students be put on too early, and end up with fractures, etc. It's not just a competency issue, but also a health and safety issue. I want all of my dancers to continue to be able to use their knees and ankles when they are my age!


Pointe is not the only way to do ballet!


And, yes, it takes a while… for now, be patient, have fun, and enjoy the journey.

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Don't be in a rush to go en pointe. It really isn't worth the effort and expense until you actually have the technique and strength to do something when you are up there.


I would recommend taking as many classes as you can per week. The better your technique, the more prepared you will be for pointe. I've seen some classmates who were not ready for pointe injure themselves because they don't have enough strength or proper alignment.


How many classes are you taking per week?

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As Ami said before, "some never go on pointe". Often never going on pointe is by choice or because the adult dancer never reaches the level of strength and technique required for it. Unfortunately, some dancers are never going to be able to go on pointe due to physical issues, no matter how advanced and strong they are. Some people have feet and ankles that are just not made for pointe, for instance, the type of feet and ankles that cannot fully point straight due to genetics.

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