Is it too late to start ballet at 15?
I'm starting ballet next year, and with taking 4-8 hours of classes a week, would it be possible to get en pointe before I'm 18 (I graduate when I'm 17 haha)? I'm not dreaming of becoming a prima ballerina or anything but I'd love to go en pointe and learn classic dances or difficult turns etc etc. Also would it count for a college extracurricular?
- mintchips49Lv 72 years agoFavorite Answer
Recreational ballet is for anyone of any age shape or abilities. No reason why you can’t start at age 15. In order to be ready for pointe it takes strong feet, ankles, legs and core along with balance and the ability to engage and hold turnout all the while making sure your feet don’t sickle and that you are maintaining proper alignment. Most important is strong ballet technique and there are no short cuts for that. In a good recreational ballet school it takes about three consecutive years of taking three or more standard 90 minute ballet classes a week for a recreational dancer to be ready for pointe work. While starting with an hour long class is fine for a beginner, it is important to eventually have a standard 90 minute length class with a 45 minute barre followed by 45 minutes of center and accross the floor if you wish to advance properly. Going up en pointe sooner doesn’t mean you are a quick learner, work harder or have more natural talent. It just means you have a poor teacher. You have to put in the time to build the proper muscles and technique and that can’t be rushed. Dancers up too soon run a greater risk of injury. Pointe work can really hurt if you aren’t strong enough to pull up out of your shoes. On top of that dancers up too soon can’t really dance en pointe but just sort of clump around. You must learn to do everything and do it well first on flat before you can do it en pointe. Serious preprofessional dancers take way more classes before they are allowed en pointe as they are held to a higher standard than recreational dancers.
Look for a teen or teen/adult beginner ballet class. You cannot start with dancers your age who have been working for years. If need be you may have to start with younger dancers if that is the only beginner class available. Any school that puts you in a class that is not a beginner class doesn’t care if you learn properly. You will be cheated of learning the basics as well as building your muscles correctly. Make sure the school has proper sprung or floating floors. Marley on top is a plus but marley on an unsprung floor won’t due. Wood flooring is also fine as long as it is sprung or floating. Look for a school that is primarily a ballet school not a competition school as they are known for poor ballet training. Also look for a school that doesn’t offer a zillion dance genres or Acro and tumbling. Ballet focus is the key to getting more serious ballet training. Check to see where the teachers have danced professionally and where they have trained. If the teacher is a teen and/or their only training is that recreational dance school look elsewhere.
One last thing. If this is all about the pointe shoes and you don’t enjoy the process on flat most likely you will quit before you get to pointe. If you don’t obsess about pointe and enjoy the process of taking ballet classes on flat you will be there before you know it. Discuss your desire to eventually go en pointe with your ballet teacher after your first year of ballet training. She will see if it is a possibility for you. There are some people who cannot ever go en pointe due to their bone and muscle structure. While it is rare it is a possiblility that you might not be able to go en pointe.. If you were born with inflexible flat feet pointe work isn’t possible. If you were born with flexible flat feet it will take longer to be ready for pointe. If you were born with the most desirable high arch/high instep ballet feet that too takes longer as that type of foot comes with weaker ankles. If you have an average arch you will get to pointe easier. You feet just won’t look as good in pointe shoes as someone with a high instep. Make sure to maintain a healthy weight. You don’t have to be thin like a professional ballet dancer but if you are very much overweight that is a problem for pointe as it can damage your feet permanently.
- HiLv 72 years ago
The simple answer to your question is no. As to whether or not it would count to college extra-curricular you would have to enquire locally to find out.
As for point work the main reason to not start is age, generally don't start before about 11 or 12. Being 15 your bones have already developed and are at less risk of becoming deformed. As MC defined above it takes considerable training to develop the basic strength required to go on point.
Beyond that when you should begin point work depends on the individual. Are you athletically inclined, have you done other training before. With the amount of classes you have planned at least three per week it seems you may have the strength to start point in as little as three months.
Don't wait years to start because it will take years to develop the ability to dance on point.
- Anonymous2 years ago
No it is not.
- RobynLv 72 years ago
Personally, I don't think there's any benefit to you taking that many classes. You're planning on doing it recreationally, and honestly, trying to rush getting on pointe is just going to increase your chance of injury. Of course taking that many classes will be doing more of what you potentially enjoy, but it would be a lot of money for something that isn't going to really get you anywhere. Yes, it would count as an extracurricular (or hobby, interest, whatever).
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- 2 years ago
No, it's too late at 18.