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For many students, the dream of dancing on pointe is a common one, but it's a challenging endeavor with several critical considerations. If you're contemplating pointe work, take a look at the following checklist to gauge your preparedness.

1- Strength

  • Can you effortlessly rise to the balls of your feet and maintain your balance, or do you wobble like jelly?

  • How strong are your feet? Can you flex and point them with ease?

  • Dancing on pointe involves much more than just being on your tip-toes; it requires carrying your body weight and covering space while balancing on a tiny platform the size of a silver dollar.

  • Focus on building a strong core, including your abdominals, gluteals, and quadriceps, as they will be your primary sources of strength and stability.

  • Don't forget to assess your feet, ensuring they are directly over the pointe; otherwise, you might need a 3/4 shank for greater arch flexibility.

2- Alignment

  • Proper alignment is crucial.

  • When you tendu, your heel should always come forward; avoid "sickling" where your heel falls back, creating a broken line.

  • When on pointe, ensure you can draw a straight line from your hip joint to the tip of your toe.

  • Address any issues with knee buckling and bending, as improper alignment can lead to safety concerns.

  • Use a mirror to check your posture in the first position and work on correcting any rounded shoulders, excessive pelvic tilt, or bent knees.

3- Health considerations

Dancing on pointe may look elegant but can be uncomfortable. Expect some skin damage, discomfort, and potential issues like blisters, callouses, bunions, or ingrown toenails.

To alleviate these discomforts, consider using cushioning methods such as bandaids or lambswool to protect your toes and joints.

Be aware that dancing on pointe is unnatural and can lead to some discomfort, but many dancers eventually adapt to it.

4- Expenses

Pointe shoes come at a cost, ranging from €70 to €150 per pair. As a beginner, you won't wear them out as quickly as professionals, but it can still be a significant expense.

Proper care, such as not wearing pointe shoes outside the dance environment, can extend their lifespan.

You may also need additional accessories like toe pads, ribbon, or elastic, which can add to the overall expense.

If you're still determined to dance on pointe, it's essential to recognize these realistic challenges. This awareness will help you prepare mentally, physically, and financially for one of the most demanding yet beautiful art forms out there.

Source: the last dancer

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