Time to go en pointe?

The time to commence pointe work is an exciting time for any young dancer. It is also a huge step up for the demands placed on the body and this is why it is important to ensure it is done safely to keep dancers injury free and performing at their best. 

It can be difficult to know when the right time to go en pointe can be. Here are a few things to think about if you are considering pointe work. 

1- Talk to your ballet teachers 

The first step is listening to your dance teachers. Your teachers know you well. They get to see you every week often for years and have seen you grow. They know your strength and technical capabilities and often a teacher may indicate if they believe it is time to consider pointe work.  

2- Age and experience 

Pointe places a higher demand and load on your muscles and joints. It is a step that is difficult to commit to for the casual/ recreational dancer. At Sole Podiatry we like to complete our assessments at the ages of 11-12 and for those dancers to have a solid technical foundation in classical ballet. Usually completing 2-3 classes of classical ballet a week and with a background of at least 2 years of classical ballet training (not just dance). 

3- It’s not ALL about the big toe joint 

The beauty of ballet is how easy and effortless it looks. When we think of pointe work it’s common to think about a lot of weight going through the foot and all into the big toe. However it is not just the function and strength of the big toe that needs to be assessed. Pointe is a full body movement all the way from pointing your toes to your core and upper body positioning. Think of it like a machine. In a good and working machine all the parts fit and work together as one!  In our pre pointe assessments we look at everything from; 

  • Intrinsic foot muscle strength 
  • Range of motion in all foo, ankle and hip joints 
  • Foot posture 
  • Calf muscle strength and flexibility 
  • Hamstring flexibility 
  • Hip, knee and foot alignment 
  • Foot placement and technique in classical ballet positions 
  • Gluteal strength 
  • Quadricep strength 
  • Body posture and positioning

At Sole Podiatry we are fortunate to have experienced Podiatrists who have a background in dance/ballet, so we are able to use not only our clinical knowledge and expertise in our pre-pointe assessments, but our open individual dance training and experience too. 

Our dance podiatrists are here to help assess you and see what your next step needs to be. We will work with you to develop a personalized strength and conditioning program and make sure your journey onto pointe is as safe as possible.


Our Dance Podiatrists are:

  • Miriam MacDonald
  • Alice Gofron
  • Jessica O’Neil
  • Sarah Warton
  • Aleisha Fato
  • Monique Sims

To Book in for a Pre-Pointe Assessment with one of our Podiatrists, click the link below.


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