One of the biggest milestones in a dancer's life is starting en pointe! I still remember the day I got my very first pair of pointe shoes and didn’t want to take them off! Whether you’re way up to pointe or you’ve officially been given the go-ahead by your teacher, here are my top 3 tips for dancers starting en pointe.
Dancing en pointe requires a great deal of strength, particularly in your feet, ankles and calves. A significant amount of strength is required in these areas in order to safely maintain your weight on the tip of your toes and to also maintain stability at the same time. There are a whole host of exercises I have created with this purpose that are available on the Claudia Dean App. If you’re really eager to strengthen your lower legs so you can start pointe faster, download the app now and start doing these exercises at home! Our Power Equipment can also be a huge help when doing any kind of ballet exercises, courses or stretching at home.
This is one of the most exciting parts of the journey and I still vividly remember getting fitted for my very first pair of pointe shoes, but just like Cinderella, you might have to try on a few different pairs before you find your perfect fit. Staff in ballet shops are experts in being able to match your foot to the perfect pointe shoe, and they will take a number of different things into account including the width of your foot, your ankle strength, what inners or toe separators you choose to wear and so much more. Remember that your feet will change overtime so it’s important to get fitted everytime you buy a new pair of pointe shoes.
Dancing en pointe is extremely physically demanding so it’s important to remember to take good care of your feet and give them some regular TLC! My dance bag is full of essentials that help my feet including toe tape & bandaids for blisters, a powerband & powerball for pre and post pointe stretching, gel ouch pouches to alleviate pressure in my toes, nail clippers, spare ribbons & elastics and a small sewing kit!
I also like to do regular epsom salt foot soaks or baths, massage my feet with some deep heat or magnesium spray and roll my feet out before and after class with a foam roller.
Remember starting en pointe is one of the most exciting parts of a dancer's journey and something you’ll remember forever! Enjoy the process but also remember to take the time to prepare and provide post class foot care!