Details about en pointe?

I'm 14, I've never danced a day in my life. I'm going to start ballet and jazz. It's always been a dream of mine to dance. How many years will it take me to get en pointe? Any details will be appreciated and any advice (:

4 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    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 turnout while not sickling, all the while in proper alignment. Most important is strong ballet technique. There are no shortcuts for that. In a good recreational dance school it takes about three years of taking three 90 minute ballet technique classes a week to be ready for pointe. Serious preprofessional dancers take way more classes as they are held to a higher standard before they are allowed en pointe. I am not saying that there aren't schools out there who rush a student into pointe shoes earlier. It is not because a student has more talent, is a quick learner or works harder and longer. It just means they have a bad teacher. Students up too soon have a much greater risk of injury as well as pointe work can really hurt if you are not strong enough to pull up out of your shoes. Most people don't realize that anyone can call themselves a ballet teacher with little or poor training so make sure you find a qualified teacher. In a good recreational school they won't allow jazz unless you take ballet first. I would like to mention there are some people who can never go en pointe due to their foot structure or other body bone structure issues. That is however rare and not likely but still a possibility that should be mentioned.

    EDIT: it is important to start in a beginner class in ballet. You cannot skip the basics. Most likely you should be able to find a teen beginner class with students your age. If not you may have to take class with students a few years younger. If you enjoy the process of taking class you will be ready for pointe before you know it.

    Also regarding Anna's answer home practice is a bad idea. Ballet is all about perfection of movement. That is hard enough to do with a qualified teachers eyes and hands on you for corrections. On your own it is not possible. You will only build poor habits that will be harder to break once back in class. . On top of that you need a sprung or floating floor like you would find in a reputable dance studio. Working on a floor with no "give" and you will get injured. That is why serious preprofessional ballet students only stretch at home and instead of home practice they take multiple daily ballet classes. Even professional ballet dancers take a daily ballet class with the company ballet master/mistress. Dancers also cross train in Pilates and/or yoga. That is something you can do at home once you have had proper instruction.

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

    Congrats on becoming a dancer! I m 16 and have been dancing ballet for 10 years. Let me walk you through what you ll experience at first.

    You ll probably be immersed in a dance class with other people that have been dancing for some time. (It won't be extreme, however--you'll be placed in the right class for your skill level.) It s easy to be self-conscious, especially when you feel completely lost. However, realize that everybody already knows you re new, and I guarantee that everyone in the room has experienced the feeling of self-consciousness and being lost! Once you realize that the feelings are perfectly normal and that everyone has experienced them, it helps tremendously. So, relax, try to keep a clear head, and just focus on YOU and YOUR dancing, because there will always be someone who s better than you, no matter how good you become. I personally find that realization very freeing.

    With your question about pointe, it sounds like you have at least some interest in ballet. Be aware that it will take years to achieve your goal of pointe. There is really no "cookie-cutter" timeframe I can give you about pointe. Everyone is different.

    Pointe is a very advanced element of ballet, and requires strength in ankles, feet, calves, thighs, quads, abdominals, and arms; as well as proper technique. Arm, head, and foot placement should be second-nature by the time you start pointe. From your fresh-beginner starting place, it will take about 4-6 years of HARD work. The most important thing you need to do is take it one class at a time. LEARN THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES WELL AND CORRECTLY. That is the most important thing I can stress!!! I personally have a turnout problem now (turnout means that the leg rotates outward) because when I was young, I overused my outer quads and thighs (and therefore sticking my hip out instead of tucking it under) as a matter of survival and getting my leg higher. So now I have to bring my leg back lower, using the correct muscles, until I develop proper turnout. Learn how to do stuff correctly, and if you feel confused at all, talk to the instructor. They ll be more than happy to help!

    At the class, respect fellow students and teachers. Give compliments whenever possible. Check to see if there s a dress code; and even if there isn t, get tight-fitting clothes for the classes. Baggy clothing can hide bad habits so the instructor can t correct them. Bring water. Don t eat for 2-3 hours before class so you don t get a stomachache.

    Know the difference between discomfort and pain. If it hurts while you re doing it, but goes away the instant you stop the move, that s discomfort--that s a good pain. If it hurts even after you stop the movement, that s pain--and that s bad.

    Know when to stop. If you are absolutely struggling or in absolute pain, your body is saying something s wrong. Don t be a foolish, prideful dancer. There is no shame in sitting aside if you re hurt. Everybody understands and won t think any less of you.


    Oh, yeah, and work. At home. All the time. (But go at your own pace--don t burn yourself out!)

    Be prepared for a lot of discomfort, most likely pain along the line somewhere, tons of work, unearthly dedication levels, but also, the soul-rending moments when you finally "get it". Dance is work, but it just simply doesn t compare when you find yourself flying for the first time. It s indescribable.

  • Robyn
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    First off, don't be looking forward to pointe right now. If that's your goal, you're going to struggle, and probably lose motivation and quit ballet far before you get there. Getting to pointe takes a lot of time and work. The typical standard is three years of three 90-minute classes a week to be prepared for pointe work. In this time, you will develop proper technique and strength. These two things are crucial because if you don't have them when you get your pointe shoes, you are at risk for injury, which would be permanent. I would recommend that you learn to enjoy flat, because if you're only dancing to get pointe shoes, you are going to quit.

  • 5 years ago

    It totally depends on body type, how fast you excel, natural flexibility, strength, mental capacity. I would say 4, 5 or 6 years if you work really hard!

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