One of the most frequently asked questions at our near Indianapolis classical ballet school is when will my student be ready to dance en pointe?
The age a dancer may progress to pointe shoes is widely debated within the industry. Each dancer’s feet develop at a different time along with their bodies. As a general guide, most dancers need five plus years of consistent ballet strength and technique training prior to dancing en pointe.
At En Pointe Indiana Ballet, we advise our students and parents that there are many things to consider before progressing to pointe shoes, including:
Going en pointe is physically demanding and can be uncomfortable at first. Patience within the process is key, and strength training is highly important. Pointe shoes are not magic devices that hold you up effortlessly. When a dancer is truly ready, the introduction to pointe work should be gradual, careful, as well as, knowledgeably supervised by professional ballet faculty.
The pointe shoes chosen must be properly fitted to the individual student, so there is minimal risk of injury. Which leads us to our next topic… the anatomy of pointe shoes.
Pointe Shoe Anatomy
You may be asking why does pointe shoe anatomy matter. Aren’t they all the same? Doesn’t each ballet school mandate the preferred pointe shoe brand? En Pointe Indiana Ballet’s Jessi Gomillion, a Butler University graduate, has been teaching since 2005; advises, “each dancer is unique, and there are always exceptions to any rule. It’s not a one size fits all concept, and it often takes a dancer a long time to find their right shoe.”
A Dancer Milestone | Going En Pointe with the Right Fit
Going en pointe for the first time is a big milestone at En Pointe Indiana Ballet. Most students have a faculty member with them when they are fitted for their first shoe, as the teacher is more able to articulate the right questions and provide feedback in real time for the best fit.
For example, those with long toes might need a shoe with a longer vamp. Does your dancer have tapered or straight toes? That will matter for the box (or platform) of the shoe. Plus, there are different shanks depending on a student’s flexibility and strength level.
Knowing the proper anatomy of a pointe shoe helps parents to understand what a teacher means when they advise that a student might need a wider platform or more tapered box. It also helps parents to better articulate that to a dancewear vendor, when a shoe change is ended as the dancer progresses.
At En Pointe Indiana Ballet, we always encourage our students and parents to come to us with their dance questions – whether process, progression, curriculum or attire. We’re here to help.
H3: Have a Young Dancer Dreaming of Being En Pointe?
Have a young dancer with dreams of being en pointe one day? Email or call us, and explore En Pointe Indiana Ballet with a free trial class and a studio tour!
We are located in Noblesville, Indiana, just minutes from SR 37 and 146th St. and serve Hamilton County, as well as, the surrounding Indianapolis area.
Meet our artistic directors – Pollyana Ribeiro and Robert Moore – both classically trained and retired dancers have numerous years of experience teaching pointe to young dancers and enjoyed over 20 years of celebrated ballet careers.
Interested in exploring En Pointe Indiana Ballet? From discovery, pre-ballet, hip hop, jazz and tap to pre-professional ballet and everything in between, En Pointe has something for every student, who wants to dance. Call today to schedule a tour and your free trial class. 317-645-1448