Dancing en pointe at HPSD
Pointe shoes are almost every young ballerina’s dream. However, it is important that the student not rush this important step. A dancer who is dancing en pointe is actually standing on the tips of her toes with some support from a shoe made of fabric, glue, and sometimes fiberglass. It takes a great deal of physical strength and proper technical training to do this safely. Students must be physically mature, usually between the ages of 10 and 12, when the cartilage is hard enough to work on pointe without permanent damage. Some 10 year olds have the body strength and maturity of an 8 year old; some have the body strength and maturity of a 12 year old. Ultimately, it is the instructor who decides whether a student is ready for pointe work. Most students need at least 4 years of serious ballet training before they are technically ready for pointe work (pre-ballet is not considered part of this training). In addition, students must also pass a written exam of ballet terminology. Pointe Shoe Readiness exams are normally given prior to the start of the Session I Fall semester and at the end of Winter/Spring Session II.
Students who graduate to pointe at HPSD are required to take at least three 1.5 hour non-pointe ballet technique classes in addition to pointe class. New HPSD students who have been dancing en pointe at another program should be evaluated during the first week of classes to assure proper placement.