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prancer

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Reply with quote  #1 
As a quick reminder, my dd does not have professional aspirations. She had tried pointe around age 11 and didn't like it, but the new studio, wanted her to go up again, so she did.  She is now taking full ballet classes in pointe shoes. I think she likes the challenge.

But I'm curious, if she doesn't plan to become a ballerina, is dancing 3-4 classes per week en pointe bad for her?  (FYI she is 14 and nearly done growing.) 

Then also, if dancing en pointe is not bad for her, is it good for her?  What will pointe do to help the rest of her dance?  I am usually pretty good at searching the internet, but can't find any information on pointe as a training tool to enhance other forms of dance.  So, I am definitely interested in your thoughts!

 
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Phx115

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Reply with quote  #2 
Totally my opinion, and nothing to back it up.

I would guess, though, that the benefits to other forms of dance would come from increased foot strength/stretch, and a greater awareness of the core and back muscles. It is not easy maintaining balance and control en pointe.
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Noel

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Reply with quote  #3 
Offering this up more for talking points than to initiate a point of view that I would continue to argue. As a PT my professional opinion would be that if it is not her aspiration and is not a source of great pleasure and personal satisfaction the risks of pointe work do not outweigh the benefits... any benefit from pointe can be accomplished by other forms of dance in an endless variety of fashions. Being en pointe puts a tremendous amount of pressure through the lower leg in a way that it is simply  not designed to support. Purely PT talking points there.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm really interested in this question.  Certainly not all girls who dance on pointe hope to become professionals, but I do understand the risks associated with dancing on pointe. Thanks for these posts, and I'm hoping to see some more responses.  It's rare to encounter a question that very little has been written on (anywhere).  

So far I think my daughter is finding her balance better and is using better posture throughout her body.  Her feet are getting stronger, and she is more focused in class trying to get into just the right position.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #5 
My personal opinion is that there are other ways to gain whatever could be gained from such (unnecessary) pointe work. Pointe is very hard on the feet and thereby increases the risk of injury. Not to mention... it gets expensive.  I can't say for sure what I'd do if my dd didn't have professional aspirations but I suspect I'd discourage it.  And only okay it if it was something that she really really wanted to do.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #6 
I appreciate all these thoughts.

What if the teacher/studio really wanted your daughter to take pointe? (And you trusted them).

And whose dancer does pointe without professional aspirations and why?
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tendumom

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The vast majority of student dancers who begin pointe work will never pursue it professionally. It's a simple fact. We can't assume that what any child thinks they want to do at 20-something is going to be the same at 12, 15 or even 18 as it is at 25. 

If they love it, want to do it and can physically do it (have the appropriate strength and anatomical necessities) and it is not going to put you debt and you can afford it as an extra, and they are getting proper training (ie not a once a week pointe class after the once a week hour long ballet class), then why not do it?

Pointe work requires good core strength and stability, so that is a definite benefit. Strength in the legs, ankles and feet is another. The rest of the benefits come from learning ballet at a more advanced levels, things like the work ethic, the ability to memorize long combinations very quickly, confidence, discipline, etc. On the down side, all the time looking at one's self in the mirror is not healthy for everyone. The competition can also be harmful to some. The risk of injury, especially with improper technique with things like stress fractures, arthritic changes in the feet with time. Though, those things can be prevented or decreased with proper training that includes appropriate strengthening and wearing good footwear (NOT FLIP FLOPS!!) when not dancing. 

 

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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #8 
Read the literature on what pointe work does to your feet long term and you'll have her out of those pointe shoes in no time.  Whether the teacher wants her to do it or not, the decision is yours.  The teacher may be justifying her own existence, or may truly not realize that not everyone has to do pointe work.
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #9 
Not not to sound like a b$tch but I wouldn't be influenced by what the teacher wanted in this case.  Your daughter, your call.  And you don't have to justify your decision to anyone, remember that.
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joriebelle

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by heidi459
Not not to sound like a b$tch but I wouldn't be influenced by what the teacher wanted in this case.  Your daughter, your call.  And you don't have to justify your decision to anyone, remember that.


I second this.  Unless it's something your daughter really wants to do, I would say no.  Risks outweigh the benefits if it's something she doesn't really want.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #11 
This is what pointe does to feet....... IMG_6404.JPG 
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #12 
This thread has surprised me.  First I should clarify, my daughter wants to take the classes on pointe.  No one is making her.  Her teachers, who are well-trained professional ballerinas, encourage her, but do not require it.  But, dd does not plan for a career as a ballerina.

A large part of my surprise about this thread is that my dd cannot be the only dancer taking pointe classes for the sake of taking pointe classes and becoming a better dancer.  Certainly not all girls who train en pointe plan to become professional ballerinas.  (If they do, I am really sad for the vast majority of them). Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to hurt herself.  I look at her feet regularly, and so far they are in very good shape.  If she wants to stop dancing en pointe, she will stop, but for now it is a challenge she enjoys.  

Does everyone's daughter take pointe only to become a ballerina? 


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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
This thread has surprised me.  First I should clarify, my daughter wants to take the classes on pointe.  No one is making her.  Her teachers, who are well-trained professional ballerinas, encourage her, but do not require it.  But, dd does not plan for a career as a ballerina.

A large part of my surprise about this thread is that my dd cannot be the only dancer taking pointe classes for the sake of taking pointe classes and becoming a better dancer.  Certainly not all girls who train en pointe plan to become professional ballerinas.  (If they do, I am really sad for the vast majority of them). Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to hurt herself.  I look at her feet regularly, and so far they are in very good shape.  If she wants to stop dancing en pointe, she will stop, but for now it is a challenge she enjoys.  

Does everyone's daughter take pointe only to become a ballerina? 




I think the point of most of the posts were that A) it's not 'necessary', B) it's not the teacher's call, and C) that most responding, while not straight out saying no, wouldn't really be ;encouraging; it if just for fun.  Certainly lots of dancers without professional aspirations do decide to pursue it... their call.  Just our opinions.
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #14 
Heidi, I guess that is part of what is odd about the thread.  I am not straight out saying no.  I am not overtly encouraging it, but I am buying the shoes, so I am not overtly discouraging it either.  

I know this is another topic entirely, but I did overtly discourage my son from playing football because I feel it is too dangerous for his brain. I think it is odd that so many dancers go on pointe despite this strong round of concerns.  I'll let dd continue through her summer intensives, and then check back to assess her interest come next season.  
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #15 
I did find this article, which at least offers some benefits to pointe.  I would agree these are the benefits my dd is experiencing.  http://www.dancemagazine.com/men-train-pointe-2307062555.html
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RebelSwan

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Reply with quote  #16 
What kid doesn't put on their first pair of slippers and dream of the day they get pointe shoes?  If a teacher says she's ready, I'd say let her put the torture boxes on for a season and then see how badly she wants to continue.  If she loves it, I say go all in. 
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heidi459

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Reply with quote  #17 
I think some of my concern is based on what I've seen over the years now that my dd is older, made the move to serious ballet, & I finally know the difference btw bad, mediocre, good & great ballet training. Far too many dance studios put & keep dancers on pointe who have no business being on pointe. Far too many do not offer a sufficient schedule &/or quality of ballet classes to properly support pointe work.  Far too many just don't seem to have their dancers' best interests at heart (even though they may insist/maybe even believe otherwise). And how can you know if your studio is one of those?   You can't know what you don't know.  I certainly didn't know back when my dd was at the comp studio.  So I guess part of my opinion is a 'better safe than sorry'.  Especially since it's not necessary.  All of those listed potential benefits?  They can ALL be achieved in other ways.  So no matter how we slice it, it's just not necessary.

eta:  & ftr, I'm not judging anyone who chooses to allow their dd to do so.  I'm simply clarifying why it is that I have the opinion that I do.
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Jinkerbelle

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom

The vast majority of student dancers who begin pointe work will never pursue it professionally. It's a simple fact. We can't assume that what any child thinks they want to do at 20-something is going to be the same at 12, 15 or even 18 as it is at 25. 

If they love it, want to do it and can physically do it (have the appropriate strength and anatomical necessities) and it is not going to put you debt and you can afford it as an extra, and they are getting proper training (ie not a once a week pointe class after the once a week hour long ballet class), then why not do it?

Pointe work requires good core strength and stability, so that is a definite benefit. Strength in the legs, ankles and feet is another. The rest of the benefits come from learning ballet at a more advanced levels, things like the work ethic, the ability to memorize long combinations very quickly, confidence, discipline, etc. On the down side, all the time looking at one's self in the mirror is not healthy for everyone. The competition can also be harmful to some. The risk of injury, especially with improper technique with things like stress fractures, arthritic changes in the feet with time. Though, those things can be prevented or decreased with proper training that includes appropriate strengthening and wearing good footwear (NOT FLIP FLOPS!!) when not dancing. 

 


Thank you for your points on this, good and bad! The risk of injury must increase with a teenage peer that has had NO outside training of a home studio should have no business teaching a Pointe 1/2 class for beginners do you think? I am pretty upset that a teenage peer has been put on the schedule at our studio to teach one of these classes. I believe it is a huge liability and could be setting these beginners up for a lifetime of physical issues! I just don't know what to do or say about it besides not have my daughter take the class.
Sorry, I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but your points have me all riled up again!
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prancer

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Reply with quote  #19 
Jinkerbelle, I would certainly be riled up about your situation.  Pointe needs an expert instructor, especially at the beginning stages.  The students need to be properly corrected so that they can learn the skill as safely as possible. Everyone of dd's pointe instructors is an experienced teacher and current/former professional ballerina.  They are constantly giving hands on and verbal corrections.  Those hands on corrections are key in my opinion as the student tries to learn how to properly align their foot and get over the box of the shoe.  Also, the teacher often helps beginning students prepare their shoes, and I doubt a teenager has the expertise to help break in a shoe for a specific dancer's foot.

images.jpeg 

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my2miracles

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by prancer
This thread has surprised me.  First I should clarify, my daughter wants to take the classes on pointe.  No one is making her.  Her teachers, who are well-trained professional ballerinas, encourage her, but do not require it.  But, dd does not plan for a career as a ballerina.

A large part of my surprise about this thread is that my dd cannot be the only dancer taking pointe classes for the sake of taking pointe classes and becoming a better dancer.  Certainly not all girls who train en pointe plan to become professional ballerinas.  (If they do, I am really sad for the vast majority of them). Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to hurt herself.  I look at her feet regularly, and so far they are in very good shape.  If she wants to stop dancing en pointe, she will stop, but for now it is a challenge she enjoys.  

Does everyone's daughter take pointe only to become a ballerina? 




Both of my step daughters danced en pointe with no intentions of being professional dancers.  My daughter will go en pointe this summer and she has no intentions of being a professional dancer (she may teach however).  They all did it because they wanted to.  My step daughters did it well but not enough to destroy their feet.  We'll see what dd does in the next few months.
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #21 
The risk of injury must increase with a teenage peer that has had NO outside training of a home studio should have no business teaching a Pointe 1/2 class for beginners do you think? I am pretty upset that a teenage peer has been put on the schedule at our studio to teach one of these classes. I believe it is a huge liability and could be setting these beginners up for a lifetime of physical issues! I just don't know what to do or say about it besides not have my daughter take the class. 


Never in a MILLION years, would I allow my kid to take pointe classes from someone like that.  I would be literally sprinting out the door to a new studio.
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Dancingemu

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Reply with quote  #22 
My girl is not quite to pointe yet, but I've had personal friends go through pointe training with skilled teachers then see the instruction the girls at the studio we are leaving get. If we were staying, my girl would NOT be allowed to do pointe. At the new place, we'll see. I haven't looked intensely into it knowing how bad even the best training en pointe is for not only your feet, but ankles and spine. My girl will not be going the professional ballerina track, but has mentioned wanting to major in dance in college.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #23 
Jinkerbelle, I would recommend to run very far away from that situation. I would be appalled. That would be a reason to leave if an alternative was available. Very poor judgement on the part of the SO.
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Jinkerbelle

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tendumom
Jinkerbelle, I would recommend to run very far away from that situation. I would be appalled. That would be a reason to leave if an alternative was available. Very poor judgement on the part of the SO.

Yes I believe it is also poor judgement, my daughter will not be taking that class. Honestly I am hoping no one enrolled and it just gets cancelled. There are other pointe classes offered at the studio by the SO and another highly trained teacher that I trust. I am choosing to believe that is out of desperation of a teacher leaving for the summer and hoping that she is able to find a new teacher over the summer.
Being on this forum however is really opening my eyes to a lot of things and I am learning a lot from the threads and everyone here. I really do think my daughter will benefit from possibly expanding her horizons and I will be seeking out extra opportunities to further her ballet either with intensives or workshops or something!
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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #25 
Interesting side note - DD gave up pointe at the beginning of this season.  Shd'd been up for 4 years, but now a new teacher for pointe.  She lasted 3 weeks under the new teacher and asked if she could drop it.  No mention of the teacher, really.  Just how much it hurt her feet.  She's never looked back.

This morning we learned the original teacher will be back in the studio for the next few weeks doing master classes - perhaps an indication she'll be back next year full time?  From your lips to God's ear, as they say.  Anyway .... DD's response, after a squeaky squeal to hear Ms "X" would be back tomorrow night:  "I wish I hadn't given up pointe now."  

The quality of the teacher makes such a huge difference.
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