Forum: Ballet / Pointe - General

Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By ballerina_bella1
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 06:41 AM

So i went on pointe at 11, and now i'm 13. The thing is though, i also started dance at 11, and went on pointe only 6 months after starting. I started late, so i had to catch up, but i read that you should be dancing 2 years before pointe.

Also, right after starting (the summer after starting) i got a stress fracture in my knee, and now i have bunions that get really bad. do you think those injuries have anything to do with it? and do you think i'll have injuries realated to in in the future? thanks. I dance on pointe like 5 days a week 3 hours a day

7 Replies to Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?

re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions? (karma: 1)
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 07:18 AM
Bunions are mostly hereditary, so that is likely not resulting from being put on pointe too early. Now, improperly fitted shoes can contribute to forming bunions, but if you're not prone to them anyway, you likely won't have as much trouble. It can happen, of course, but not as often.

The stress fracture could absolutely be a result of going on pointe too soon. The stress of being on pointe is greater than regular dancing, and if your body hasn't had the chance to build the proper muscles to protect you, then a stress fracture could result. Make sure your shoes fit properly and look into some toe spacers...which might prompt a switch in shoe anyway.

However, as long as it was treated well and COMPLETELY healed and you have the correct technique and strength to do pointe, which only your teacher can tell although they put you on pointe too soon, so I'd be wary of that anyway, but that's not my point...if it healed completely, it really shouldn't cause you any trouble down the line. But you have to be solid now. The more you dance with improper technique or muscles that are not ready to support you in pointework, the more you'll risk injury to any number of body parts.

How much ballet are you taking in addition to your 15 hours of pointe a week? That seems like a pretty intense schedule for someone in their 2nd year as I would hope you have an equal or greater amount of regular ballet technique classes in addition to pointe.
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By ChristinePremium member
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 07:23 AM
I wish you hadn't gone up when you were so young and inexperienced but I suppose there is no changing the past.

Right now, you need to get to a doctor and have your feet x-rayed. I can't even comment on the other many issue you raised as frankly, I am horrified that you are so young and have been exposed to this kind of disregard for whatever plans you many have for your feet and knees for the next 75 years.

Where do you dance? Is this practice, putting 11 year olds with no experience en pointe, typical at your school or are you an exception?

Keep On Dancing*
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 08:06 AM
Christine wrote:

Where do you dance? Is this practice, putting 11 year olds with no experience en pointe, typical at your school or are you an exception?


This is what worries me also. What's done is done, but the fact that you were injured due to this and yet your pointe training just increased. It makes me wonder if the teacher has little knowledge or regard for safety in training. I hope this is not the case, but it's pretty negligent.

11 really isn't even starting all that late.
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By ballerina_bella1
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 09:04 AM
well I think they put me on pointe because 1. I started late and had to catch up, 2. because I have naturally strong ankles, and 3. I spent most of my time when I was 11 practicing a lot extra than everybody else.

I have an hour and a half ballet technique class every day before pointe and rehearsals, but an hour of those three hours is my doing floor on pointe sometimes for extra practice

After I got the stress fracture, my mom brought me to physical therapy over the summer, and it still hurts sometimes, but not bad, I still do exercises. Also, this is not my second year dancing, but my third, I turn 14 over the summer. and I have a hectic schedule because I want to be a professional ballet dancer.
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By CarabosseKPremium member
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 09:20 AM
Edited by CarabosseK (192394) on 2014-06-06 09:23:09 Add more
ballerina_bella1 wrote:

but an hour of those three hours is my doing floor on pointe sometimes for extra practice


I'm not sure I understand what this means.

Also, 11 is not THAT late. If they wanted you to catch up, they should've had you in extra ballet classes but not on pointe. So you have strong ankles. Apparently you didn't have strong enough knees...that's why strong ballet technique needs to be established first. At the very least, you should've waited until you were 12 to start pointe. There are sooooo many dancers and schools that don't even allow pointe until a dancer is 12 and has been cleared by a doctor, so I don't know why someone would think you starting at 11 was "late" for pointework.

I think it's great that you want to be a ballet dancer, and it sounds like you're dedicated and have the support of your parents. 90 minutes of ballet per day is a great start. I don't know how long you've been on that schedule, but assuming you've been on a pretty rigorous schedule since you started, you're likely strong enough for the demands of your current schedule including the heavy load of pointework. There's no way for us to tell, but I really hope your technique and alignment are also where they need to be to manage the stresses. I'm still getting red flags over the fact that you were put up so early because they felt you were behind...that just screams run away to me. Are you at a pre-professional school?

ETA: I really hope I don't come off as lecture-y. I think it's fantastic that you have a goal and are working hard to achieve it. I just want you and your parents to make sure you're going about it in the safest way possible so that you CAN achieve your goals and not injure out before you get there or shortly after you get there.
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By ballerina_bella1
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 09:29 AM
Oh, I'm sorry if I didn't make that clear. What I was saying is that my schedule is a one and a half hour ballet class, a 45 minute(about) pointe class and then about an hour-two hours of reharsals. In technique, I sometimes go on pointe for center.

And I do go to a pre proffesional school (it's actually really cool, this week and next we have guest teachers from abt, sab, and nycb!!)
re: Went on pointe a while ago.....but have a few questions?
By luvdarkchocolate
On Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:53 AM
You may be rolling in/ dropping your insteps. Take your shoes off and demi-plie in first position barefoot. Make sure all 5 toes are flat on the floor and your arches are lifted and you are active in the insteps. Look into Lisa Howell's articles and youtube videos. I highly recommend her Perfect Pointe Book. I have used these exercises to help correct rolling feet and the potential bunion pain/problems in my students. Also do ask your teacher for help and perhaps go back to the doctor to make sure everything is OK. Best of luck!

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