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Beginner Adult Pointe


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I am an adult just starting pointe for the first time in my life! My teacher said there is no readon why I can't do this (I'm 48 years old), I've been taking 3 classes of ballet for several years now, and several women and I are starting an adult beginner pointe class. We're very excited about this, but obviously very apprehensive! Any suggestions or advice? I have been reading all about the different types of shoes, any recommendations? Thanks!

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Since you've been advised by your teacher to proceed, I see no reason for apprehension, except as the natural consequence of trying something new. Listen to your teacher, and follow her instructions and corrections to the letter, and you should be quite safe. You may experience some pain, initially, from the new activity, especially on the points of the toes, but a properly fitted shoe, combined with a proper padding (lamb's wool is classic) should minimize this. As to shoes, I know that you've got an inquiry out to Ms. DeVor, but if you have tapered feet at all, I generally recommend Capezio Pavlowas to any starting student, and then view them before they are sewn to establish if, indeed, this is the right shoe for that foot. Here's where the packing tissue in the box comes in handy!;) Have your teacher look at you in your new shoes, and "climb" onto pointe, while standing on the tissue to avoid soiling. If the fit isn't right, she can send you back to get another pair or type of shoes, and the first ones will be unsoiled and undamaged!:)

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One way i tried to strengthen my feet for pointe work was to buy a dyna band (i think thats what its called - exercise band). with bare feet put the band to the sole of your foot then flex and pointe your foot, it also helped me with the strength in my ankles after i had a bad ankle injury. When you do a rise in your pointe shoes you have to go through all your foot and the dyna band really helps you feel this. Does any of this makes sense as im not sure that i even understand what i am trying to expain.


As for breaking your shoes in , i walk around the house with a pair of socks over the top so to protect them, also to get the feel of the shoe so that they end up feeling like a pair of slippers - well until they are comfortable enough - and so i dont walk around like a duck which i do when i have new shoes.


Anyway good luck with your pointe classes, look forward to hear how you are getting on.:)



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Thanks for the reply. I have the therabands (that is what the band I have is called), and I have been using it for years on my feet because I have a very high arch and instep, and semi-tapered toes (the first and second toes are almost the same length), and all of this added up to not having a very exagerated point in soft shoes. So I was always being told "point your toes" in class, when in fact I was. Using the therabands has helped me get much stronger feet, subsequently getting a more exagerated point. However I will continue and perhaps get a stiffer band to apply more strength. Why did you cover your shoes with socks? Just to keep them clean?

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Can you please tellme what level generally should you be up to in your first and second year one pointe. I've read on another board that in second year point they are doing pique turns and double pirrioutes. So what should you be able to do at the end of first year point and second year point.


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I'm not a teacher, but I've noticed what the student does in her pointe class, and how quickly she progressess all depends on how old she is when she starts the pointe class, and how prepared she is when she starts. The quickest progression is one student went from beginner pointe to all turns (except fouettes) within a year. But she was 12 when she started pointe, and she had been taking class for 8 years, but only once a week.

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I'd say that's a pretty fair observation; adult pointe students, that is, those who start after about age 18, face a whole different set of challenges from those students who start in their early or mid-teens. While generally speaking, all students are different, the differences are magnified in the adult pointe student, who should not be judged against the modal (teen-age) pointe student, but instead must be monitored against themselves and their own individual progresses. Such differences are largely physiological in origin. Teaching such a class is a great challenge in itself, and I admire a teacher willing to take it on.

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So good to hear that others are willing to start pointe late. I too started at age 48, I made sure my instructor knew that was my goal and didn't let her forget!

Shoes. If your instructor is willing, take her w/you for your first fitting. Mine will not let you on pointe unless she is w/you for that first fitting and it paid off. I tried on shoes for a couple of hours and at least a dozen different brands/types, but my Gamba 97s feel like slippers and always have. They have never hurt my feet/toes. I have since tried others and then gone back to them.

The best strength building exercise I know is just rolling thru from flat to pointe in first and second, about 30 reps. then roll ups on one foot. Not fun, kills, but really builds the strength.


Good luck and enjoy!

FYI, at the Adult Dance Camp I would say 90% of the women dancers were taking pointe.

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have you had your first pointe class yet? If so, would you please tell us about it? :(

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No, haven't started yet, we're waiting for a woman to get up to par for the class, she had surgery and will be ready soon. While we're waiting (she was more prepared for this than the rest of us, we're called the "antiques", you have to be at least 35 years old to be in the class!, well, while we're waiting, we are working on getting more strength in our ankles and feet. The teacher is really excited about this, she's 76 and she thinks we're young! So I guess it's all a matter of relativity. Our teacher is from Budapest, she immigrated to the states in 1940. She said she has to approve who will be in the class, and she has to approve our shoes. My only real concern is the floor, it is a varnished hardwood floor (not sprung), and it appears the younger ladies have problems with it being slippery. I was interested in the suede tips I read about, does anyone know anything about that? I already have my shoes (can you tell how excited I am?), I got Grisko 2007s, and have sewn the ribbons on and while they were warm from me holding them, I put them on, did some (okay, a lot) of tendus, and they have actually molded to my feet. I have the M shank. Can't wait.

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Hi Dancepig, i put socks over my shoes to keep them clean even though they will get dirty as soon as you start using them in class. It also protects the satin from fraying on the carpet - and putting rosin all over the carpet. Good luck and lood forward to hearing about your first class.

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Back to Haylee's question: in my observation, ballet technique is ballet technique, whether done en pointe or not. Yes, there are some differences, but there are a lot more commonalities.


In light of that, the abilities of the beginning pointe student seem to vary a huge amount based on experience. I've seen people who could pique turn after the third or fourth pointe class. I've seen others who couldn't relever after two months.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest ballettamu

I took a pointe 1 class in college last year. All we did practically the whole semester was work with therabands and marbles. When we finally got to the bar we would spend 50 minutes rolling up and down through our feet in different positions. I dont remember pointe hurting that much in high school.

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Hi ballettamu, and welcome to the Adult Students' boards here at Ballet Talk on Ballet Alert! Online!:)


It sounds as though you've taken a little break between high school and college pointe work. Don't worry. It's probably traceable to the normal changes that happen to the foot as you age, and you probably need to be carefully fitted for pointe shoes all over again.

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Guest ballettamu

Yeah I broke my toe in a broken pair of pointe shoes and had surgary so I had to quit pointe for a long time. I will never forgive my parents for not believing that my foot hurt and that i needed new shoes. She jsut thought that I only wanted the new shoes, and my dance teacher did not warn me of the possible injuries and tell me i had to stop dancing on them. I now have to tape my toes everyday for the rest of my life. I can deal with that though as long as I can still dance.


It has taken me a while to find an ok pair of shoes. I have two different size feet by a half a size and one foot is more tapered than the other and really short stubby toes so one style of shoe well for one foot and not well for the other. Right now I'm in block synergy 3/4 shank. I like those because I never break in my shanks i just turn the boxes into mush so the shank is much softer.

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