From the French word “en-pointe” meaning the ballet dancer has to gracefully support their whole body weight over the tips of their second or middle toes while their feet are fully extended.
This action requires a high level of strength and control in the legs, feet, ankles, and core body.
As children progress through junior classes and begin to consider pre-professional studies, they reach a stage where teachers and parents will decide when they are ready to progress into pointe work. Before they do this, dancers should undergo a pre-pointe assessment to determine their suitability for this advanced technique. For young dancers, it can be fatal for their career if they are moved into pointe too early, as there is risk of injury. This includes Achilles Tendinopathies or stress fractures.
Our Physiotherapist Sandrine Vatinelle has experienced this trauma first-hand as a young ballet dancer in Paris. With her dancing background and fine-tuned Physiotherapy skills, she provides thorough Pre-Pointe assessment for ballet dancers. She can also create specific strengthening programs using Clinical Pilates. Click on the link to find out more.
Here at Wisdom Physiotherapy Nedlands, we are able to assess the following in order to identify any biomechanical restrictions:
- ballet technique
- body alignment throughout specific movement
- flexibility and strength of foot and ankle
- pelvic and core stability
By the end of the pre-pointe assessment, dancers will have a good understanding of what needs to be worked on in order to progress onto pointe shoes. Depending on the findings you might be guided to follow an individualised Clinical Pilates program for dancers, a specific home exercise program or a combination of both.
Pre-pointe assessments are conducted by our Physiotherapist and Dancer Sandrine Vatinelle. Click here to make an appointment.