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Student finding it hard to get from demi-pointe to pointe...advice?


Catalyst Dance
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I wonder if anyone could help advise me about a student of mine who is finding really difficult to rise up on to pointe. She has good feet and reasonable technique, although she could improve her core strength and use of turnout. She has a really good demi-pointe range and her pointe shoes are well broken in (but not broken) but she finds it impossible to make the transition from demi to pointe as she rises. She either has to do do one foot at a time or uses her upper body weight on the barre to get her up! Releve's are fine, she's ok once she's up, but can't control that rise. 

 

I thought it might be lack of strength in her intrinsic foot muscles, but she can do doming, piano playing etc, so I don't think it's that. Any ideas what her problem could be?

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It sounds like a strength issue to me - doming, piano playing etc are all non-weightbearing so even if she can do them she might not have the strength to do it once bearing body weight. Can she do metatarsal exercises with resistance? eg with a strong theraband. Another nice semi-weightbearing exercise is done sitting or lying on a non-carpeted floor (so wooden or a studio floor) with feet flat against the wall, then 'rise' so that only the toes are touching the wall, then use metatarsals/toes to 'push off' the wall, as though rising up onto pointe, or simulating a jump but with straight legs (if that makes sense?). Does she have good control of a single leg rise from flat to demi-pointe, in the centre? That could indicate weakness in core and/glutes which would also be an issue.

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Thank you for all the replies, that's brilliant!

 

She's wearing Bloch shoes. She's 13 and been dancing since she was 3, ballet 3 times a week and tap and modern as well, and has been on pointe for about 18 months. 

 

I get your idea about pushing away from the wall using only demi pointe DrDance, will definitely try that with her. I sent her home this week to practice pointing with a strong theraband too. She is a bit weak in her core and glutes etc as well. She hasn't really gained a full understanding of how to engage all that properly, so maybe it's just that. And interesting thought about short toes and long vamp Taxi, I will have a closer look next week. 

 

Thank you  :)

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What shoe is she wearing? Some of the Grishko styles are near on impossible to go through Demi pointe

I wear Grishko 2007 Pro Flex and have fairly mobile feet, when my shoes are brand new I can roll up through demipointe, but once they're broken in to the point of being comfortable I can't roll up at all, my foot just keeps pushing over the box with the vamp digging in, I don't have the strength in my toes to push from there! I can releve no problem, but even with my teacher supporting underneath my feet with her hands I can't roll up, it just feels like the more I push, the more my toes try to pull back in the shoes, I can't get the balls of my feet off the floor! I've only been doing pointework properly since summer last year so I'm hoping I'll get strong enough to do it, but part of me does think it's because my shoes are just too soft.

Edited by TabbyCool
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It can sometimes be the shoes - I have an Intermediate student, who couldn't manage the centre pointe work - horrors!  I told her to try on a different make of pointe shoe and hey presto - she got up easily!   And funnily enough my students with Gaynors are afraid to wear them for the exam, because they find it hard to go through demi-pointe with them!

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