Beth Kurtz Ballet
Pointe Work
Introducing Julie
Private Ballet Coaching
Pointe Work
The Mini Intensive
Students' Stories
Students' Questions
Location, Fees, Questions
About Me

For a woman (and for some men), pointe work is a crucial issue in ballet training . For those aiming for a professional career in ballet, mainly women, there is no choice -- you have to do it.

Even for people whose interest is in modern dance, jazz, theater dance, African, tap, hiphop, or ballroom dancing,  though pointe is not required, it strenghthens and shapes the feet and legs.

And of course there are always those who dance on pointe for just one reason: they love it.  

Things to consider:

Required frequency of training

Every beginning pointe student must have had at least one year of ballet training and must be consistently taking at least 3 lessons or group classes per week, to develop the required coordination and strength in the feet and legs. Beginners should start with no more than 10 or 15 minutes at the barre. It is up to the teacher to determine when the student is strong enough to work longer and in center.

Basic Skills

The skills and strength used for dancing on the flat in ballet -- placement, coordination, strength of the feet and legs -- must be even better for pointe work.


Naturally well-arched feet make pointe work easier. Extremely tight, flat feet make it harder. But all feet can be improved, and many can dance well on pointe even though they cannot qualify for professional work.


No brand has a shoe that is right for every foot, and your first pair may turn out to be wrong for you. Look for dance shops with specialists for fitting pointe shoes. They will help you at least get into the right ball park. But watch closely for problems that may arise after working in the shoes for a while, and address them immediately, with help from your teacher.

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All lessons are given at
Ripley-Grier 72, 131 West 72 Street 
(between Broadway and Columbus)  
New York, NY 10023

Photography by John L. Murphy

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