I did not get promoted to pointe… Now what? (Studio Template) Download .pdf here
Due to the overwhelming reports of hurt feelings, decreased self-esteem, depression, dieting, body shame, anger, etc. regarding not being put en pointe, we worked with a few studio owners and created this template. How this moment in a child’s dance journey is handled may greatly impact their self-esteem and identity.
Take what works and leave the rest.
You know from being in ballet class that every body, artist and athlete is created uniquely and differently. Not every dancer is right to be en pointe and for some it may take longer and more work to achieve this goal. We do not minimize the potential disappointment of not going en pointe at the time a student and family anticipates, but want to reassure each student that going en pointe, or not, is not a reflection of your value or your character.
The requirements are complex and although pointe may seem to many like the height of being a successful dancer, our global dance community is filled with a wide variety of gifted, influential and amazing dancers and teachers who never where en pointe. It is a skill, not a determination of your worth.
Here is a brief list of reasons why we do not support ALL dancers advancing to pointe work.
- Foot and leg structure: If one’s heel is not directly over the ball of the foot in releve’ while maintaining straight legs, the dancer will not be able to get all the way on top of the pointe shoe, causing great danger to the dancer. The dancer should work with foot exercises designed to help with positioning before progressing to point work.
- Strength: Dancer’s who do not have the proper strength in their feet, ankles, and legs to support their body should not go on point. This is especially true in dancers with great flexibility and/or hyperextension.
- Safety: Our philosophy is to err on the side of safety first. Your health is more important than pointe shoes. If this is your situation, know that your value as a person or a dancer is not diminished in any way. We support you and care about you too much to put you at risk. Falling off the pointe shoes can cause tears and breaks, and could lead to a permanent injury that could affect a young person’s ability to dance for the rest of their life. Due to this fact, we take these evaluations VERY seriously.
- Age: To eliminate irreversible toe damage, Doctors recommend that children wait until the cartilage in their toes turns to bone before working on pointe. This is generally around the age of 12.
If you are not promoted to pointe, here are some suggestions and/or options:
- Speak directly to your teacher to be clear what you must work on. We teachers WANT to help you. Our greatest joy is when you succeed! Then do the work they give you.
- Request from the studio office for a follow up evaluation to be completed from the teacher.
- Talk to the studio office and try other styles of dance that do not have the pointe work restrictions and hazards.
- Enjoy your ballet classes because you love them and do not take the additional pointe classes.
Just like some dancers may excel in Hip-Hop or Tap, other dancers will thrive in Ballet and Pointe. Our studio is filled with diverse genres and offers a wide variety of training opportunities outside of pointe.
We want to encourage our students that have a strong desire to go en pointe to commit to working on the skill sets required but also remind each student to embrace other activities they excel in and live out their individual journey in dance, that may or may not include pointe.
Our staff and teachers are cheering on each individual journey with equal support and appreciation for you as a dancer and an overall awesome human. We are grateful you are a part of our studio family and that extends to ALL dancers regardless of the pointe evaluations.
Thank you for taking the time to read this important document as the emotional and physical health of each student is of the utmost importance at our studio!