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.
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.