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  1. Just letting off a little steam after I had the most insulting experience in class last night. I recently sent one of my teen improvers for her first pointe shoe fitting at Planet Dance in Batley and she got a lovely pair of shoes and has made a great start on her pointe work. Having natural banana feet, she killed the shoes fairly quickly, so I sent her to the local dance shop to order a new pair and didn't think any more of it. So imagine my fury when she turned up to class last night with no shoes, telling me that they had refused to sell her any. Not only that, but the owner of the shop informed her that I am a 'bad teacher', because I have put her up on pointe too early and that she is not strong enough for pointe, because she hasn't been doing ballet for long enough. I can honestly say I have never been so mortified in my life! Now I'm left questioning myself about whether I have done the right thing? The child in question is the last in her class to go en pointe, because she was a late starter and has only done ballet for just over a year. However she is 15 years old, nearly 16, and is physically strong and well developed for her age. She has taken to ballet well and already has excellent core and leg strength and is solid on all the basics of technique. I've also taken the time to improve her ankle and foot strength before approaching pointe work, hence her being the last in the class to go up. I made the decision to allow her to start pointe, because I considered that on balance, her age and physical development, paired with her technical standard, meant it was not necessary for her to do a prolonged period of pre-pointe training. I also understand that bone ossification in the feet is usually complete between the ages of 14-16yrs, so it's not the same as working with a 10/11 year old with under-developed feet. Until now, nothing she has demonstrated in class has convinced me otherwise and I thought she was progressing well, but this little episode has shaken my confidence. Have any other teachers experienced a dance shop refusing to sell pointe shoes? I do know that the owner's wife has her own dance school in town, so a part of me wonders if there is an ulterior motive to his actions. I have always considered myself to be a thorough and 'safe' technical teacher and I'm just looking for a little reassurance I suppose. Thanks for reading, comments welcome.
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