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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Starting Pointe Online -- A Bit of a Vent


InWayOverMyHead

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InWayOverMyHead

Well, last week my daughter's teacher announced in class that there would be pointe shoe fittings soon.  Some of the girls are in studio and some are online.  Mine is online since our counties pandemic regulations limit children to "one before or after school group activity". She's first and foremost a figure skater, and since I haven't figured out how to build and ice rink here at home (and the barre, floor and mirror were expensive enough) she's online for all her classes.  There was no mention of her not being allowed to start pointe online (and there are 2 others who are 100% online as well).  After several back and forth messages with the studio about when the fittings would occur and being told there would be a message out soon (again with no mention of the online limitation) I went to the fitters website where she had posted a schedule for fittings at the school.  I scheduled an appt. for this afternoon (after skating practice).  Yesterday we received a message from the school saying that girls who are online will not be allowed to start pointe work.  Luckily, mine also takes weekly private lessons and in that case she will be allowed to start with her private teacher.  I know private lessons aren't seen here with great favor, but it's been a tremendous help to her getting up to speed after a late start, and now will be the only way she can start pointe.  I feel horrible for the other 2 online girls (who don't take private lessons) who were probably so excited at the prospect of starting pointe now being told no.  So discouraging.  I know they have their best interests at heart, but leading them on I think was disgraceful.  My wife and I think that until I brought up the prospect they hadn't considered the problem!

So, at this point, she will be "allowed" to keep the fitting appointment and start work in her private lessons.  Again, I know that it can be dangerous without proper supervision, but shouldn't that have been discussed before setting the girls up for disappointment?  It almost feels like punishment for not being able to attend in person.

Thanks for letting me vent.

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InWayOverMyHead

Thanks for that.  I do my best.  I bit my tongue and was "apologetic" and understanding.

The prevailing thought here on this forum is that given a quality school (and hers is one of the best) and quality teaching (same) students should get enough instruction in regular classes that private lessons are not necessary over the long term.  I can't disagree with that as it comes from some of the more respected posters/teachers on this forum.  Mine started late and wanted to catch up.  She's done more than that, and after 3 years is well ahead of where she would have been without the one on one of private lessons.  Granted, she's also a talented athlete who has developed body awareness that some have yet to achieve on the slow boil ballet track, so that has helped considerably.  The expense has been well worth it from our perspective.  And now it will allow her to continue to develop as a ballet dancer en pointe.  I wish the girls who aren't taking the private lessons had the same opportunity to develop, but the school sees otherwise.

As far as the studio, they have done a magnificent job of keeping going under the circumstances.  They are operating under extreme constraints so I give them some slack in that regard.  Communications (except for the donation requests!) have become a little lax.

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ascballerina

A post has been hidden as the member who posted it is not a parent of a dancer under 13, and therefore is not eligible to post here. 

InWayOverMyHead, I am so sorry to hear that this has happened to you.  I agree that starting pointe over Zoom is ill-advised, and while it can be incredibly good for dancers to work on the foot strengthening a pre-pointe class can give, even over Zoom, I am very surprised the school was not upfront with you and the other dancers as to the fact that those zooming the pointe class would not be able to begin.  I am sorry to hear the studio has handled it this way. 

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InWayOverMyHead

Thanks.  I completely agree that it isn't advised, but since they hadn't said anything I thought they had a plan of some sort.  I thought maybe they'd limited the exercises to start or some other means of slow boiling the already slow boil.  I'm chalking it up to everyone being overwhelmed with the new hybrid teaching they have to do.  This is the first class to go en pointe since the pandemic started.  I hope they can make it up to the other girls somehow.

I think she'll be better off working one on one with her private teacher, who knows her far better than her current class teacher. Her private teacher has taught her in class and private lessons for 3 years since the start.

Sorry I forgot the rules and replied to the message that was removed.

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AnastasiaBeav

My DD11's ballet school is in a similar situation. Dancers in my DD's level started pointe and those taking classes online wear demi-pointe shoes. As for the privates, I use them for motivation with DD's schooling. She recently earned two for getting good reports from her teachers. :)

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AdventurerMom

My DD 11’s ballet studio started pointe slowly in person in August and just this week have been given permission to do relevees at home in their pointe shoes between class without teacher supervision. The level of hands on supervision for pointe work almost demands in person correction for proper alignment particularly to keep the from developing bad habits. 
I see no problem with using private lessons to manage this during COVID restrictions. It actually seems like a great work around!

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DanceMumNYC

We are nearly in the same predicament. We, too, have felt like being online almost feels like a punishment, whether we are referring to academic classes or ballet classes. I understand the dangers of starting pointe online, and certainly would not advise it in an online group setting. The studio's solution is just for us to wait, but with Covid19 cases increasing rapidly in NY again, it looks like DD may be online for the full year. 

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