Many dancers, and their teachers, are unsure of how to be confident in deciding when a student is ready to commence pointe work, and are rightly concerned at the lack of resources available to help them with this decision. Dance Physiotherapist Lisa Howell demystifies this topic by producing a resource that teachers may use to help assess each student’s capacity and readiness for pointe work.
The art of dance is changing. We are in an age of unprecedented competition, where many performers are forced to retire by their early twenties. Dancers are working longer hours, earlier, and often commence pointe work at a very young age. The new commercial nature of ballet, and of the many different types of dance, encourages many young dancers to push the boundaries of their capacity. Companies are also less willing to sustain support of under-performing artists, whether this is due to injury or incompetence, as there is always someone else ‘waiting in the wings’.
To survive these challenges, a dancer needs to know her body more intimately than ever before, and guard against the injuries that befall so many would-be stars. She needs to build a strong base in her initial training, as this is from where her career grows. As dance teachers and dance medicine specialists, we also need to take a new approach to the art of developing the prima ballerina.
The intention of “The Perfect Pointe Book” and “The Perfect Pointe System – Pre Pointe Assessment and Teacher Training Manual” is to introduce Dance Teachers to an advanced system of assessing and preparing a student for pointe training. Strict criteria takes the subjectivity out of the decision, and helps the conscientious teacher enable the transition of her students onto pointe in the most integrated and responsible manner.
The question of when is the right time for beginning pointe training has always been a difficult one. Until now there has never been a definitive guide to this process, and many dance teachers worry at pushing girls too early, or leaving it too late. The book explains in detail assessment techniques and specific prescriptive exercises determined by the test results. This allows for tailoring of pre-pointe classes most effectively, for optimal strength and control in minimal time, and a reduced incidence of injuries.
To find out more about The Perfect Pointe System (The Teachers Manual) simply CLICK HERE