Hi guys! I hope you’re having a beautiful day 💕 Guess WHAT! I have a super fun, helpful, and inspiring guest post to share with you today. 😍 You’re gonna love it!
My lovely blogging friend Amber has written about a topic that’s very special to her, which is: pointe dancing! I hope you enjoy reading this post! 😄💜
tips & advice for new pointe dancers
guest post by amber!
Hey guys! I’m Amber from Dancing for the Holy One, and I’m SO excited to be guest posting on Maggie’s blog! (She really rocks!!!)
I’m a ballet dancer of…. man, how many years now?! I think this year it is 13!! I’ve only been doing pointe work for 4 years, but my experience with pointe might be at more like 2 years. That’s because I unofficially stopped pointe for a bit because I didn’t have shoes that worked for me.
Today I’ll be sharing my tips for someone just starting pointe + what I wish I had known when I first started!
First of all, you should have to take an exam sort of thing to see if you’re ready to get en pointe. I took that exam when I was still 11 years old, and that’s primarily why I didn’t “pass” the exam the first time. I knew a few people who moved studios after they didn’t pass the exam right off, and a lot of other studios will put you en pointe even when you are 10!
My studio waits until you’re 12 to put you en pointe because you need to have enough strength and bone stability to be doing pointe work. I personally agree with this policy, because being safe is always the best!
Fun little backstory details, but I’ll get onto actually telling you guys what I wish I had known!
First of all, I didn’t realize that there was a possibility I couldn’t pass the exam the first time.
Second, I didn’t know that when I went in to get fitted, they would try me in many different pointe shoes and brands. My teacher had told me that I needed to get Gaynor Minden’s (which is a specific pointe shoe brand) and that I needed to get the hardest and most supportive shank! I have veeeeery flexible feet, and so I needed to get a shoe that would both support me and last me more than 2 months lol. (if you want to check out a post I did on all the pointe shoes I’ve had, click here!)
I also thought that every pair of pointe shoes I got would last me as long as my very first pair. I wish someone would have told me that this is not the case. My first pair actually lasted me almost a year **which is amaaaaaazing**! I actually cried when those shoes died 😭 lol. But as my pointe experience got better, my shoe lifetime decreased drastically! For a while, my shoes were lasting me like 3 months.
My first year doing pointe, we didn’t really do much… just some rises at the barre once a week, and that was pretty much it.
For that reason, when I moved up to the next level the following year, I didn’t know that we would jump head-on into doing a whole bunch of stuff at the barre and in the center. 😶
Not only that, but we were also performing on pointe at the end of the year! 😬
Anyways, my early view of pointe was that it was just for fun, and I didn’t really have to do a whole lot of work. Boy was I wrong!!!! My third year doing pointe was a real learning curve, and I was starting to get better at pointe work! But then the precious lockdown happened (for like… the whole year) and we had to have online classes. Online classes at home = no pointe.
So I’m pretty much starting anew! Yay!
Those are basically the things I wish I had known when I started pointe.
Now I’m gonna give anyone new to/ starting pointe, some tips!
- Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get on pointe right away!! It would be such a shame to move studios or even quit ballet altogether just because you didn’t pass right away. You’ll have another chance sooner than you think! I got another chance to take the exam just a few months later! 😃
- When you’re looking for pointe shoes (at a ballet/pointe shoe store) let the fitter do their job! Their job is to find a pair of shoes that works with your unique feet! And a big part of that is to ask them questions! Lots of questions guys. That’s what they’re paid for!
- Just because most of the people in your studio have the same brand of pointe shoes, don’t feel like you’ll have to get that specific brand too! Everyone’s feet are different, and every shoe and shoe brand is different! Also, Don’t stop until you find the best shoes for your feet. I’ve tried like 3 different brands now, and am in fact, still searching for “the perfect shoe”.
- DO NOT USE YOUR POINTE SHOES AT HOME ON YOUR CARPET!!!!!!!!!!!! You probably shouldn’t be using your pointe shoes at home at all, but especially not on carpet! If you dance en pointe on the carpet, it will break your shoes in wrong, teach you bad habits, and also it will kill your shoes insanely fast. Trust me, just don’t do it 😂
- Start out small with your pointe work, and work your way up. All the while, making sure you’re comfortable and stable on your platform. 🩰
- Push yourself to learn and grow, but stay safe. If the class is doing pirouettes en pointe in the center and it’s your first time or you’re just not feeling like that would be safe, ask if you can do a passe and hold it instead. Or even ask if you can try to do a pirouette at the barre! It’s all about learning new things, while still being safe! 👌
Ok guys! That’s all the tips I have for now! Thanks SO much, Maggie, for having me do this post! It was super fun!!
Don’t forget to follow Maggie, everyone, if you for some reason aren’t already lol, and have a wonderful day!! 💕💖😃
That was awesome Amber!! I’m so glad you wrote this to share on my blog! I loved featuring your writing 🥰 Your tips were so helpful! I hope they’re an encouragement to anyone else interested in becoming a pointe dancer!