Bunions, blisters, bunionettes, hammer toes, calluses, bursitis, sesamoiditis, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, sprained ankles, stress fractures, ingrown toe nails, toe nail fungus, bruising, sciatica, muscle spasms and more. Need I go on?
These are the reasons why you must take a sufficient number of technique classes before going on pointe.
There is a reason why people think pointe is dangerous…
…Because it is.
Sounds fun, right?
You wouldn’t deadlift your body weight without serious conditioning and training. You wouldn’t run a marathon because you liked jogging that one time. You wouldn’t drop into a split on a cold linoleum floor without stretching.
Why would you expect this automatic enormous strength of your little piggies?
Taking 15 years of ballet once per week does not cut it. You can’t take one ballet class a week and a pointe class without doing serious damage to your body. Your entire body. Forever.
Someone said to me recently… “Because if they go to such-and-such-a-school they can take pointe and… that’s it…just take pointe.”
Normally when people try to compare a ballet program to other types of schools - whether it be about attendance policies, recital, competitions, etc. -I’m just like ‘whatevs, you’re either looking for ballet training or you’re not.’ But when it comes to pointe work I have to stop everything immediately and put my foot down and say NOOOOOOOOOO. DO NOT GO ON POINTE WITHOUT TAKING ENOUGH BALLET CLASSES. Honestly, do anything else. Take hip hop. Take lyrical. Please do not take pointe!
You don’t take a class on Ravel’s Scarbo – you take piano lessons.
Pointe is not a class for the taking. It is very physically demanding aspect of Ballet.
It is the most horrifying sight for any trained dancer and/or teacher: Seeing someone who is clearly not conditioned for pointe nearly breaking their ankle every time they step up onto a bent-knee, sickled-ankle, falling-off-the-box, weakened-lower-back, gritted-teeth relevé.
Dance teachers of the world – I beg you to stop putting people on pointe who don’t take enough ballet classes. They have neither the dedication, nor focus nor physical strength to endure it. And then it gives ballet a bad rap when they get injured.
I don’t know what it is that motivates dance teachers to allow unprepared students to go on pointe. I don’t know if it’s a fear of saying no to the parent and/or student, an unwillingness to educate people on the right way to do it, a ploy to get an otherwise undedicated dancer into one extra class per week, or a real lack of awareness on the part of the teacher -but there is simply no excuse. It is unethical, unsafe, immoral and painful.