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When are they ready to go on pointe?


dancermum678
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Hi, my daughter is 11 and is getting conflicting information re the transition to pointe work.

Her main teacher is adamant she isn’t ready yet and I have to say I agree with her. But the teachers at her associate programme have told her that she’ll be held back if she’s not on pointe as the rest of the girls in her class are (she’s one of the youngest in her group)

I am sure there’s plenty of discussion on this in the forums but I didn’t manage to find it! 
Thanks everyone 

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I would listen to the teacher who sees her most often to be honest. 
It is difficult when you’re possibly being nagged to get pointe shoes but it’s better for a child’s feet to wait until they are ready and less likely to get into bad habits too!! 
Is your daughter doing any grade exams? 
Perhaps when at Intermediate foundation level would be a good time to start pointe work. 
If she is older as started later as it were then teachers advice is best. 

Erring on the side of caution is not a bad thing where pointe work is concerned!! 
 

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27 minutes ago, LinMM said:

I would listen to the teacher who sees her most often to be honest. 
It is difficult when you’re possibly being nagged to get pointe shoes but it’s better for a child’s feet to wait until they are ready and less likely to get into bad habits too!! 
Is your daughter doing any grade exams? 
Perhaps when at Intermediate foundation level would be a good time to start pointe work. 
If she is older as started later as it were then teachers advice is best. 

Erring on the side of caution is not a bad thing where pointe work is concerned!! 
 

Erring on the side of caution is definitely where I am at too! Thank you 

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If your dd is one of the youngest there may be nearly a year, or several months, between her and the oldest dancers in her year.  Lots of physical development can happen in a year so they may be at different stages of growth. Go with her regular teacher's advice. Remember how new mothers discussed each milestone in baby's development?  When did they sit up, when did they walk? Sometimes quite a big gap at the time, but unless there is a real medical problem, once they are toddlers and rushing around nobody can see any difference between early and late walkers!

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Also if the Associate teacher is rather insistent then you could mention to her that your daughters regular teacher wants her to wait a while and I’m sure if she sees there’s a conflict she will support your daughters teacher especially as she is that much younger ( which she may have forgotten of course!!) 

Edited by LinMM
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As others have said, I would be guided by your regular teacher.  She knows your dd best, and what's more you can't really ask her to let your dd go en pointe if she doesn't think she is ready.  Your option would be to change schools.

 

Having said that, it might be worth having a word with the associate scheme to see what their view is.  It may be that a message has been lost in translation on the way home!  

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39 minutes ago, glowlight said:

As others have said, I would be guided by your regular teacher.  She knows your dd best, and what's more you can't really ask her to let your dd go en pointe if she doesn't think she is ready.  Your option would be to change schools.

 

Having said that, it might be worth having a word with the associate scheme to see what their view is.  It may be that a message has been lost in translation on the way home!  

Yes definitely wonder if something has been lost in translation! My daughter is usually quite savvy but think she’s feeling a little left out. She thinks she’s older than she actually is…

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I feel very strongly that pointe readiness is a much-neglected area in teacher training. So much more knowledge is available now. Some very useful information may be found here:

 

https://iadms.org/media/5779/iadms-resource-paper-guidelines-for-initiating-pointe-training.pdf

 

and here:

 

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Pre-Pointe_Assessment
 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LaCamargo said:

I feel very strongly that pointe readiness is a much-neglected area in teacher training. So much more knowledge is available now. Some very useful information may be found here:

 

https://iadms.org/media/5779/iadms-resource-paper-guidelines-for-initiating-pointe-training.pdf

 

and here:

 

https://www.physio-pedia.com/Pre-Pointe_Assessment
 

 

 

 

 

Very interesting reads, thank you! 

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Definitely wait if you are unsure. Most of the major vocational schools don't begin pointe until midway through year 7, and that is after daily ballet classes including pre-pointe strengthening work. If you are unclear about the associate teachers comments then perhaps speak to them to clarify what was said - it might be that it was a blanket statement to a whole group of girls grouped by a school year and as others have said, there's a lot of difference between a September birthday and a July birthday! (not to mention number of hours training, individual strength levels, maturity etc).

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Yes that’s what has happened- she’s the only 11 year old in her class I think. The rest are older and she’s not used to being one of the little ones! I have read a lot of the info people have suggested to me and am very happy that her teacher at her “home” school is correct in her decision. She’s told her what she needs to work on in order to be more ready as she does by strength/ ability rather than age and it’s up to my daughter now if she puts the work in or not!

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I think it also depends on what level the pointe work is that they teach at the Associate classes.  We start pointe work at IF level, but they spend weeks on the barre just doing rises and relevés on two feet, so if I have the odd 11 year old in the class  (they're usually 12 or nearly 12 by that level)  I am not too worried about their overdoing it.  The problems arrive when they attend outside classes such as in summer courses.  The level of pointework expected is often higher than what they have reached with us, but that's only for a week or two and I don't mind them trying to rise to the challenge - it often gives them more confidence to try things in regular classes.  Associate classes are a different kettle of fish entirely and I do agree with the others here, that it's probably wiser to listen to her regular teacher.   

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My daughter has incredibly strong legs and feet. She got her first pair of pointe shoes in August this year, a couple of months before turning 12, and was able to do beautiful arabesques etc almost straight away. She took her IF exam at the weekend.

 

She is young compared to others. They don't go en pointe until they are strong enough. Many in DD's school are 13/14 years and some never go en pointe. It's definitely not something that should be rushed!

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

This is her at 10 as Odile. Lada was trained rigorously from a very young age. Pointe at 6 though is very early and I have never heard of it in the U.K.

Meanwhile Dd1 was just starting pointe a couple of months before she turned 11 but started with just rises at the barre and then did IF ballet exam. We struggled to get pointe shoes as she was only a size 13 but luckily size 1 Grishko fit and was the smallest shoe in U.K. You could get smaller abroad though. Dd2 started at 13.
 

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1 hour ago, Jan McNulty said:

 

I gather that this young lady has recently graduated from the Vaganova into the Mariinsky.  Nevertheless this film made me feel very uncomfortable.

Yep…. Me too. Utterly wrong…. Frankly I think it’s child abuse IMHO.

And as for later clip performing Odette/Odilr aged 10 partnered by a mature male…. Skin crawling. Nothing against precocious talent & there are always teachers/parents & young kids eager to be way advanced beyond years in many fields…. But when you add the element of the story to these it’s really paedophilic to have a young child in a full performance role…& can’t help but think, isn’t telling the story in a believable way the main point of a ballet like Swan Lake? 

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