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What is the right age for pointe


beaglemum
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Hi I wondered if I could get some advice here please.

At my DD dance school a few girls have been told they are ready for pointe shoes (mine included) but they are only 11 and 12 years old.

After a lot of googling I've come to the conclusion that this is a bit early as their feet aren't properly developed yet. It is a very reputable local school and I am wondering what, if any, long term damage this could cause as I am a bit nervous about giving my DD the go ahead to do it ( she is only just 12) 

Am I being an over protective parent or should I let her do it?

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Hi beagle mum

 

12 is a pretty average age to start which is reassuring. Of course the teacher does assess the readiness of each child and it can vary.

 

My dd went en pointe at a similar age and I was nervous but it's been ok.

 

If you use the search facility on the site and search for pointe shoes or en pointe you will find lots of info. Also ask your teacher I'm sure they can reassure you.

 

There was a link to a great article which was posted when I asked a similar question. I can't find it now but will keep on looking...

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I think 11,12 or 13 seems about right. But it is largely dependent on how many years training she has had before. For instance,if someone only started ballet classes six months earlier I don`t think their feet,toes or ankles would be strong enough for pointe work. So it isn`t so much about a correct age and more about if they have had sufficient training prior to starting pointe work. As a general rule of thumb it is thought a girl has at least three years training before starting pointe work,whatever age she may be,but of course,each individual is different. You have to bear in mind that the bones in the feet are still soft so starting too early can cause irreparable damage.

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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Thank you all for your replies and also sarahw for that very interesting link.

She has been doing ballet since the age of 3 and does 2 classes a week. I am still very cautious so I will have a chat with her teacher next week and see what she says. Luckily DD, although very excited about it, is a bit concerned too bless her 

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Look if she's at a good school then I wouldn't worry.  In a reputable school, which you say her school is, the first year of pointe is normally spent doing a few exercises at the barre mainly on two feet and maybe one or two steps in the centre also on two feet, so nothing will happen to her I assure you!  If the RAD has decided that pointe can be included from 11 years old in Intermediate Foundation, then that means that a panel of highly qualified, experienced teachers have decided that it is okay to do a limited amount of pointe work at this age.  I would be worried if her school started students in pointe work at 9 and immediately gave them advanced work to do.  That doesn't seem the case at all.  Pointework is all about core strength - not just feet and ankles - I would trust that her teachers know if she is ready or not. 11 - 13 is the normal age to start, depending when they began serious training and if they're getting enough lessons so that they are strong enough. 

Edited by Dance*is*life
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