Making the decision to study ballet with the commitment to begin pointe work is a very exciting and a important decision for ballet students and this decision is not taken lightly by ballet teachers. A responsible teacher will never take a student onto pointe unless they are able to demonstrate consistently they are able for the advancement. Any serious ballet student needs to be attending two and ideally three ballet classes per week for a minimum of 3 years before beginning pointe work. As well as classes per week, the body development and growing time needs to be at a certain level before we can safely take the body into this amazing AND VERY CHALLENGING level.
If you are very interested in pursuing a more advanced level of dance and/or eventually going on pointe, it is imperative that the dancer attend 2 ballet classes per week minimally, as well as taking on the responsibility of doing ballet specific exercises in their own time (homework) to progress. The physical demands of strengthening the body are challenging. Ballet demands a mature mind and mature physical body, for this reason there is an rough age requirement specific to moving to the next level of ballet training. In addition to the age, the development of the physical body are important as well as thy physiology of the individual with respect to feet shape and anatomy.
There are a couple quick and easy things to test if you are ready to begin pointe work:
90 degrees of plantar flexion in each foot (pointing down)
Can dancer balance in releve-passe for 5 seconds
Can dancer maintain form and balance while performiang a pirouette en dohors from 4th position to 4th position
Can dancer maintain good form while hopping in single leg saute for at least 7 of 16 continuous repetitions
- Can dancer perform at least 3 of 5 arabesque up and down maneuvers without loss of balance or form