Pointe Work - Safe Training
Criteria for Pointe Work
*Please do not buy pointe shoes before receiving permission from your instructor*
At Waldorf Ballet ensuring the health and safety of our students is a top priority. Pointe work is only recommended and pursued when and where appropriate. Placing a student on pointe too soon and without adequate technique and maturity can put their developing physique at risk.
Here are some words about pointe training from Christopher Powney, Artistic Director of The Royal Ballet School:
“Pointe work is a defining addition to a girl’s ballet technique and requires great foundation strength. The top training schools only begin pointe work at the age of 11, after reaching the appropriate strength required. Ideally this follows three or four years of demi-pointe work and careful training, over several years, thereafter.”
To take classes in pointe at Waldorf Ballet the student must:
• have had sufficient preparatory training in classical ballet technique (usually at least 4 years of serious ballet training consisting of ballet classes several days each week) before commencing pointe work.
• be training in our Professional Training Levels with consistent attendance, and pass a pointe assessment by our staff or a recommended professional.
To train en pointe, the dancer must have:
• adequate height of the heel from the floor when rising to half or demi-pointe (to the balls of the feet). The student must be working en demi-pointe with her heels as high as possible from the ground to prepare her muscles to have the strength for pointe work.
• good health so she is able to fully participate throughout her classes. If the student frequently needs to rest because of weakness, illness, or injury, she is not strong enough for the extra demands of pointe work.
• the ability to pay attention to instructions and correction given in class and to work diligently to apply them. Going en pointe is a big step and requires commitment and maturity on the part of the student.
There are many physical tests including assessments of strength and mobility that may differ slightly from one school to another. We are fortunate to have medical professionals that are highly specialized in this area and able to visit and educate our dancers and parents further on the subject such as Erika Mayall, Physiotherapist.
Read more about pointe readiness directly on her blog here:
At Waldorf Ballet we take our dancer's health and well-being very seriously. If you have any questions relating to pointe work or your dancer's training we encourage you to contact us.