TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR DANCING ON POINTE: (technically it is "en pointe")
A minimum of one year of lessons twice per week taken in pre-pointe level ballet classes.
Depending on the individual (physical strength, flexibility in the ankle, and technical expertise) depends on how many years one may need to take twice a week at the pre-pointe level. It is not unusual to need two or three years of pre-pointe work, while sometimes it may take only one. If you would like to go en pointe next year, do consider picking up a second ballet class right away.
A minimum of flexibility and strength must be attained.
This will be a judgment made by your teacher. (At least one split is required. It may be right or left side- - -straddle does not count.)
A consistent show of good attitude, dedication, and desire must be displayed.
This will also be judgment made by your teacher. Consistent meaning throughout the entire year, and not just before recital.
If I have observed throughout the year, a good attitude, appropriate strength and flexibility, continued improvement, etc., then I may select you to dance en pointe. The week of recital, you will be given the “Toe-Test”, a vocabulary test on which can only be passed with a score of 100%.
Generally, I do not select girls until they after they have turned 12 for the year they go en pointe. (This is not a magic age, however. Some girls do not make it en pointe until 13, 14, or 15 years of age. Occasionally, a younger girl may make it, too.)
If you are working for pointe, but I don’ think you are ready, I will let you know what to work on so you can work towards it the next year.
Perfect attendance is mandatory.
Both the year previous to going en pointe, and during each year you dance en pointe, you must maintain perfect attendance.
Practice at home.
Each new pointe student will be required to practice at home for the first six months. Five to fifteen minutes per day is all that is required. When basic minimum technique requirements are sufficiently learned, practice will not be a requirement, but is still highly advised.
Three lessons per week will be mandatory beginning in August.
Two lessons en pointe, and one lesson in regualr ballet shoes per week will be required. This is simply the minimum times per week needed to keep a minimum level of strength in order to help avoid injury to the feet, ankles, and knees.
Strength tests must be passed to dance in Recital en pointe.
Prior to learning the first dance in the fall, each student will take a strength test. Anyone who is not yet strong enough to perform each step en pointe, will not be indluced in the first dance. (During the time the others are working on the dance, exercises to further strengthen the ankles for those who did not pass will be incorporated into the class.) Students who fail the first test will be allowed to try again for the second dance in January.
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