What is the Pointe technique in ballet?

Pre-Pointe Dance at the Omaha School of Music and Dance

Have you ever heard of pointe technique in ballet? If not, continue reading and we will go over everything you need to know!

What is pointe?

Pointe technique is the part of classical ballet technique where a ballet dancer supports all body weight on the tips of fully extended feet within pointe shoes. A dancer is said to be en pointe when the dancer’s body is supported. Additionally, a fully extended vertical foot is said to be en pointe when touching the floor, even when not bearing weight.

Pointe work is performed while wearing pointe shoes, which use structural reinforcing to distribute the dancer’s weight load throughout the foot, thus reducing the load on the toes enough to enable the dancer to support all body weight on fully vertical feet.

Pointe technique resulted from a desire for female dancers to appear weightless and graceful. Although both men and women are capable of pointe work, it is most often performed by women. Extensive training and practice are required to develop the strength and technique needed for pointe work.

How do I prepare for pointe?

Students and parents must realize that acquiring the proper pointe technique takes years of practice under close supervision of an instructor. Starting pointe is not just a question of age or physical maturity; readiness depends on strength, technique, attitude, and commitment. Of course, there is a great deal of individual variation. If a young dancer attempts pointework without proper strength and technique, the significant forces created by the combination of body weight and momentum can permanently damage those not-fully-developed bones.

Yet if a dancer is truly ready, if the introduction to pointework is gradual and always carefully and knowledgeably supervised, if the pointe shoes are well chosen and properly fitted, there is minimal risk of injury even if the bones are not fully formed.

In most cases, somewhere a dance is ready to start working on pointe between the ages of 11 and 13. A young dancer must have several years of good dance and strength training to ensure that her feet, ankles and legs are strong enough to handle the stress of dancing on her toes.

What are the benefits of pre-pointe?

Pre-pointe classes are often offered to prepare ballet students to further develop and strengthen the muscles in preparation for learning pointe technique. These are a great way to transition from traditional ballet lessons into more complex classes. It is also a great addition to ballet lessons.

When is the pre-pointe class OSMD?

The pre-pointe class at OSMD is held on Mondays from 7:30-8:15pm.

Who teaches the pre-pointe class?

Charity is one of our main ballet and pointe teachers. Charity’s teaching background includes studying dance under Jessica Smith of En L’air Dance Academy and Valerie Roche of Omaha Academy of Ballet where she achieved top honors of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing examinations. Charity has performed for the Omaha Community Playhouse, earned scholarship to Omaha Academy of Ballet, and was accepted into Kirov Academy of Ballet and Briansky Center for Ballet in New York.

As a mother and instructor, Charity is passionate about child development and teaching in a positive, inspiring, and structured environment while sharing the beauty and art of dance.

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