Students who qualify may take a separate lesson of 40 minutes per week following regular class time.
Students age 10 and over who take two ballet classes a week may wish to contact the school for consultation as to their technical readiness for pointe work. Pointe work is not compulsory and has no bearing on regular class progress.
35-weeks 40 minutes per week
*Pointe work Information
Many parents and students are confused as to the school's policy regarding pointe work. Although, if and when a child "goes on her toes" requires individual consideration, we will offer the following information.
Children in the same age group vary enormously in weight, strength, aptitude and physical requirements. The teacher's opinion must govern the timing for the start of pointe work.
An important requisite for pointe work is good coordination of the whole body, each part adapting correctly without strain to any new position without losing the "placing".
In addition to correct body posture, the structure of each student's foot must be considered.
It is inadvisable to place children on pointe whose feet are either weak, low in the instep, or with an elongated big toe since it places undue stress on the knees and spine to compensate for these problems.
Podiatrists state that the ossification (bone development) of the bones of the foot starts with the bones of the heel.
The toe bones are one of the last groups to be developed. At age 10 (approx. minimum pointe work age) there is a definite bone formation, although not complete, in the first metatarsal and the big toe joint and the heel bones are well developed which means the arch structure can readily adapt itself in supporting the foot properly.
To start pointe work at 10 years the child must have had a very concentrated study in ballet in addition to necessary physical requirements.
It has been our experience that for children to do pointe work, a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week is required to provide strength through the hips, back and abdominal muscles. Children doing 2 ballet classes a week usually begin pointe work between the ages of 12-14 years.
Regardless of the number of years of training, the number of classes per week or age, some students should not attempt pointe work but are still able to enjoy a full dance study. Pointe work is not compulsory. It is a separate lesson and has no bearing on regular classwork progress.
Parents should be aware of the current cost of pointe shoes and supplies and realize replacements may also be needed during the season.