Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPerforming Arts · 7 years ago

Can late starter ballerinas go en pointe?

I just restarted ballet a few months ago after quitting when I was three and always regretting it. I'm sixteen now. I have no studio or instructor anywhere remotely near me, as I live in the middle of nowhere. I have a DVD to help me get the basics down and another one that teaches more advanced techniques. I also have been dedicatedly doing yoga and pilates several times a week to gain flexibility and strength. Naturally, I would love nothing more than to go en pointe. Would that be possible? And if so, how would I know when I'm ready?

5 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    A late starter can eventually go en pointe, but there is positively no way you can teach yourself proper ballet form and technique on your own. You need a teacher's eyes and hands on for corrections as there is only one right way to do things within each method of ballet training. You would need eyes in back of your head to see if your alignment was correct. Even full length mirrors are not enough. How do you know you are engaging the right muscles? You open yourself up to injury if your alignment is even slightly off. Just copying arm and feet positions does not mean that you are doing things correctly. You have to use the right muscles to get there. On top of that you cannot train on a floor that isn't sprung or floating like they would have at a reputable dance studio. Dancers that do that end up with joint damage, shin splints and possible stress fractures not to mention almost always chronic achilles tendinitis if you put any real time into this as you would have to, to be at a level ready for pointe work.

    In order to be ready for pointe you need strong feet, ankles, legs and core along with balance and the ability to engage and hold your turnout without sickling. Most important is strong ballet technique. There are no short cuts for that. In a good recreational school it takes about three years of taking three 90 minute classes a week to be ready for pointe work. You have to learn how to do everything and do it well first on flat before you can do it en pointe. Going from flat to pointe should be almost seamless. Dancers on track for a professional ballet career take way more training before going en pointe because they are held to a higher standard before going up.

    Did you know that serious dancers only stretch at home and don't do any practice at home? That is because they know they need a teacher's eyes on them as well as proper flooring which is very expensive. Instead they take multiple ballet classes daily and just stretch at home. Even professional ballet dancers take daily ballet class with the company ballet master/mistress. If they can't do it on their own with all their previous training, what makes you think you will be able to?

    If you continue with this plan I hope you have good health insurance and are willing to live with the consequences years down the road from the damage you did to your body. You will only hurt yourself and build poor habits that will be hard to break if you ever move and get a chance to take real ballet lessons.

    Trying to learn ballet on your own is like trying to learn to swim from the internet without any body of water.

    Source(s): My daughter is a professional dancer. I worked for NYCB (New York City Ballet)
  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Going en pointe needs strong and fully developed ankles which late starters pretty much already have.

    My sister started at four years old. She had to wait till she was fourteen to get en pointe. Ten years worth a wait.

    Another girl started at thirteen. Got en pointe a year later.

    You should probably take classes or at the very least, talk to an instructor before going en pointe for fear of injury.

    Plus, self-teaching yourself ballet is probably a bad idea. You'll develop bad habits from doing that.

  • 7 years ago

    You usually know when you're ready when your teacher tells you so. You may have to travel quite far if you want to study ballet properly or you could learn how to drive (I don't know what the driving age is in America!) I wouldn't go en pointe until you have a proper teacher and are at proper classes -you could do damage to your ankles if you start learing en pointe without proper instruction. Yes, DVDs are good but they can't tell you if you're doing something wrong. Youga and pilates will definitely help you! Good luck - you'll be en pointe soon! :-)

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    You can defiantly go on pointe in a year if your teacher agrees you are good. It is the studio's decision and no matter how much advice you get it can't change that. You can go on pointe you just need another year or two because some dancers spend years and years of ballet before they move onto pointe. Even if your teacher agrees that you would be ready in a year, you will have still missed a few years of very important basics of ballet that could be very hurtful to your dance career if you do not learn them.

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  • 7 years ago

    I saw a lady on facebook yesterday who was 66 and still belly dancing, she said that she started ballet at 35 and was en pointe at 40. So yes they can.

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