Registered: 1402627248 Posts: 1,026
Reply with quote #26
Most definitely don't give up yet and let us know how it goes. She's young at 9 for pointe and some people are prone to hammer toes. My dd15 went en pointe at 11-12 and she was hold she has bad feet for pointe. True enough, her feet aren't ideal. She has Egyptian tapered toes with a big "thumb" toe compared to the others. She also doesnt have a great arch. She wears spacers and toe pads and her feet have held up pretty well so far. She also works on her feet daily and they now have a lovely pointe and are so much stronger.
Gisele is amazing. What feet!!!!! Curling toes drive me batty and give me the shivers. Wrong, wrong, wrong yet so many are doing that these days.
Registered: 1483505354 Posts: 2
Reply with quote #27
I know this is kind of an old thread, but I'm new to the forum and came across this by accident and it is kind of surprising to me. It is clear from watching my own daughter that everything has changed a lot since I danced a million years ago, but I went to a reasonably prestigious ballet school that fed into a professional ballet company and I did not know anyone who started pointe work before age 12 - although ocasionally there were rumors of girls starting at 11. It was considered a rite of passage to present the required X-rays that proved growth plates were closed in order to begin pointe. I was one of the younger girls in my class so even though I was technically proficient, I didn't start on pointe until spring of that year. About half of the girls were on pointe and the other half were doing "pre pointe" work within the same class. Most of the girls I know didn't even move on from this "pre pointe" class until they were 13. And, there were many girls who didn't start pointe until even later, I'm just considering the core group of girls I grew up with and not even including the girls who started to dance later or came from other schools and might have been a year or two older.
So my question is, is it even safe for girls that young to be on pointe? Has that much changed in the last 15 years? I can't believe pointe shoes are the only way to progress if a dancer is young, even if the girl is primarily ballet dancer. Even just emotionally, it seems like it's a lot of pressure to place on a 9 year old to start pointe at that age.
Please educate me!
Registered: 1399769400 Posts: 435
Reply with quote #28
Originally Posted by
EvaE1izabeth It was considered a rite of passage to present the required X-rays that proved growth plates were closed in order to begin pointe. Growth plates don't stop growing until late in the teen years, so I'm not sure what they were looking for in those XRays. I personally put a lot of faith in NYU-Harkness / IADMS and their recommendations, which emphasize strength & technical proficiency when evaluating readiness for pointe.
Registered: 1339248963 Posts: 2,333
Reply with quote #29
When I danced (a thousand years ago), I was able to successfully go up en pointe even though I was double jointed in my big toes and they fold almost in 1/2. (gross I know), it just takes working on correct point of the whole foot. Even at 50, my daughter is amazed at the difference my foot looks pointing it when I am barefoot or in socks or dance shoes (I slipped her soft ballet shoes on)
High Platinum Member
Registered: 1298213712 Posts: 3,931
Reply with quote #30
Even years ago, the age of beginning pointe ranged widely. I was at a school that did not start girls en pointe until age 12 or older. Most started closer to 13. There was a ballet school the next town over that had dancers starting at 9 and 10. I remember being shocked after having been taught that starting later helped to prevent injury. My small town ballet teacher blamed some of her injuries and issues on having started pointe very early (age 8 or 9 ish). Fast forward years later and dd's ballet teacher also blamed her own injuries on starting at age 9.
That said, 12 is still considered a gold standard, though I do feel like many ballet schools start a little earlier. DD started at 11 and I do think she struggled more than she needed to that year. From what I've observed, it seems that those that "wait" until they are truly ready seem to progress much faster. They all get to the same place eventually. Having seen 14 yo dancers who started at 13 in the same class as dancers who started at 10, it's clear that there's really no point in starting pointe early (pun intended. )
Registered: 1312248519 Posts: 1,411
Reply with quote #31
Originally Posted by
That said, 12 is still considered a gold standard, though I do feel like many ballet schools start a little earlier. DD started at 11 and I do think she struggled more than she needed to that year. From what I've observed, it seems that those that "wait" until they are truly ready seem to progress much faster. They all get to the same place eventually. Having seen 14 yo dancers who started at 13 in the same class as dancers who started at 10, it's clear that there's really no point in starting pointe early (pun intended.
The only purposes for starting early are to keep the kids excited about ballet and for the studio to kowtow to parents who demand it.
There's a local ballet school that puts girls up at 8. 8!!! Some of them come to our ballet school on Saturday, and they are only in flat shoes there, but they are no where need skilled enough to be ready for pointe. It's a shame. They're still so little!
High Gold Member
Registered: 1403814317 Posts: 916
Reply with quote #32
Oh my goodness. I cannot even imagine an 8yo en pointe. For what reason..? *shaking head*
We did have a mom at our studio who practically bullied SO into putting her DDs up earlier than anyone else at the studio. They were from (and traveled back to frequently as well as did SIs every summer) the east coast and they just couldn't believe how conservative pointe was out here. She was always going on and on about how "late" her girls were since they weren't allowed up until about age 10, "they would have been up ages ago back home!". Her daughters, thankfully, were fairly strong. I do think our SO placates parents a bit and puts girls up who IMHo are not ready (and DD concurs, she sees them dance). Our former ballet studio was even more conservative and I cannot imagine the ballet mistress there putting anyone up to please the parent..! DD was already en pointe with the correct foundation when she came to this studio at age 12, but she was still a beginner.
ETA: SO doesn't out girls up too early, generally. They're around 12 or so. It's their general readiness I question as I see them struggling to get on their boxes etc.