9am – 11am: Specific questions in relation to starting en pointe
There are so many urban myths around pointe work, and on the morning of the second day we spend time discussing several of these, along with the repeated common questions about starting en pointe, such as:
- Can you go en pointe of you have flat feet?
- Should students get an x-ray before starting en pointe?
- Does pointe work cause bunions?
- What are the best pointe shoes to use?
- Should pointe work hurt?
11:00am – 11:15am: Morning Break
11:15am – 1:00pm: Pointe Shoe Fitting
In the later part of the morning we look at the ideal fitting of the pointe shoe, different options for different foot types, and ways of customising the shoe. Many questions arise around the topic of ribbon type, ribbon placement and the best way to ‘break in’ a pair of new pointe shoes. All too often, students place their ribbons in the wrong place on their pointe shoes, tie them too tight around their Achilles Tendon and break their shoes in a way that may cause it to fail faster than needed. Simple ideas can make a hiuge differnce in getting a perfectly fitted shoe, whether you are with the student at the fitting or not.
1:00pm – 2:00pm: Lunch
2:00pm – 4:00pm:
We look at some preparatory exercises for students who are new to pointe to get the accustomed to the shoe and the workings of it. We focus on ankle stability when standing in pointe shoes, and effectively using the demi and ¾ pointe, first in sitting and then at the barre. We stress to teachers the importance of working slowly through all of the prparatory stages, and making sure that strength is built through slow concentric and eccentric training for optimal control. We then progress to some basic beginner pointe exercises that build the foundation for a safe progression onto pointe. These exercises are suitable for even your most advanced dancers, and should be revisited regularly by all dancers en pointe.