Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

Working your way up to pointe
By autumndancer11
On Mon Oct 26, 2015 02:52 PM

Hi, I am a (13 yr old) beginner in ballet, and I've always wanted to be a ballet/pointe dancer! But, I really don't know if it's possible for me to ever go en pointe..Is it?? If so, how long will it take? Also, dance is my passion but once I'm an adult, what can I do with it? Thanks in advance!

8 Replies to Working your way up to pointe

re: Working your way up to pointe (karma: 1)
By Iamalittlefishie
On Sat Oct 31, 2015 01:41 PM
Edited by Iamalittlefishie (162200) on 2015-10-31 13:42:04 spelling
Dancers at all ages can do a lot. And, you are still young. Let your teacher know that you have a goal to get into pointe shoes. Ask your teacher what you can do and what you should work on to get there. A lot of dance schools have rules for who gets to start pointe-- for example, you may have to take a certain number of years of technique classes, or you might need to take ballet classes at least 3 days a week in addition to pointe classes.


Of course, as an adult, you can keep dancing for as long as you want! Lots of places have adult classes, and you can even go to college for a degree in dance.


If you want a career in the ballet world, don't rule out things like teaching, costume making, and set design. You are not too old to work as a dancer someday, but as you progress, you might be interested in other careers that have you working with dancers, but not dancing yourself. Work hard in your classes, tell your teacher what your goals are, and see where the journey takes you.
re: Working your way up to pointe
By SwordInStone
On Sat Nov 07, 2015 03:01 PM
I don't think you should think about whether you want to go professional or just dance recreationally. It's really inconvenient, because if you decide to dance recreationally just because you think you'll never make it as a pro, then that will really limit how much you improve.

There's a professional dancer here--excellent technique and stage presence--and he started dancing at 16. Of course it's easier for men, but you see, he only started his serious training at 18 or 19, which is the age most dancers audition for companies.

Not sure if you have the right body type, but that's another thing too many people worry about too early. I started at 12 and definitely didn't have the right body; I was chubby and had short legs, bad feet and awful turnout. Then puberty caught up and now, at 22, my turnout is normal, my legs are thin and way longer than average, and my feet make up in strength what they lack in aesthetics. So don't rule anything out because you're at a rather liminal age, and anything can happen.

Just try to improve as much as you can for now. Go on Youtube and search for videos from Clarissa May (LiveOnPointe), take many ballet classes and do cross training if you can. See how far you can go, and if you keep this up, in two years you'll be able to tell whether you'll have a shot at going pro or not.

As for pointe, thirteen is definitely not too late.
re: Working your way up to pointe
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Nov 07, 2015 04:18 PM

There's a professional dancer here--excellent technique and stage presence--and he started dancing at 16. Of course it's easier for men, but you see, he only started his serious training at 18 or 19, which is the age most dancers audition for companies.


Tiny correction: It's not that it's less work for men to become ballet professionals. It's that it's much less competitive. There's girls coming out of the woodwork that dream of being professional dancers, that's not as hotly in demand a career field for guys.

OP, have you considered the possibility of becoming a dance instructor when you get older? Sharing your love and enthusiasm for dance is a really gratifying experience. :)
re: Working your way up to pointe
By fairy_dustmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:15 PM
I went on pointe at 24 (I did ballet for a few years as a child but didn't go on pointe at the time, then got back into dance in university) so it's not impossible. I've also known lots of adult beginners who went on pointe in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Since you're still young, you'll probably go on pointe as a teenager, as long as you continue your training and are dedicated to it.

As for dancing professionally, sorry to say, but it probably won't happen, at least in ballet. If you're interested in other dance styles, you might have a shot in those (depending on the style, your natural abilities, body type, etc). I've known people who started styles such as flamenco, tango, salsa, etc as adults and they dance professionally (along with teaching). And if we're going to add to the list of very rewarding careers involving dance, there's also choreography and dance therapy. My former dance teacher (who still teaches jazz and modern) is involved with a movement therapy program for stroke patients:

www.cbc.ca . . .


And the English National Ballet has a dance program for people with Parkinson's:

www.youtube.com . . .

www.youtube.com . . .
re: Working your way up to pointe
By autumndancer11
On Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:11 AM
Thanks for all of the answers!! :) I would absolutely love to teach someday :D Hopefully!
re: Working your way up to pointe
By Gaudium
On Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:11 AM
I have posted this before but I think it is information to be shared with all ages.

There is no set age for a dancer to go on Pointe in Ballet, too early before the ankles are fully developed apparently leads to Arthritis. Young ballet dancers and their parents should be aware that, along with the rewards of a professional career, often come painful and arthritic ankles.

Several professional ballet dancers I know claim they were able to lengthen their careers or slow the progression of ankle disease in the form of Arthritis by taking longer breaks between performances.

Ankle problems are one of the leading contributory factors in ending a dancer's career. A third to half of the season, many dancers live with chronic ankle pain.

This is nothing new to ballet dancers, who are used to performing with pain much of the time. But perhaps the problems might be prevented, or at least alleviated, if dancers waited until they were older to go on Pointe.
re: Working your way up to pointe
By gabbyballet
On Sat Jun 16, 2018 01:35 AM
Well, Misty Copeland for example started ballet when she was 13. I must admit, it took me 9 years to work up to pointe. Most students start pointe at around 12/13, after at least 3/4 years of formal training. Just warning you, it hurts, and I got a minor injury after my 2nd ever pointe class. (I couldn't stretch or do ballet for about a week.) If you work hard, and attend classes 2-3 times per week, you may be able to go on pointe in 3-4 years depending on your ankle strength.
re: Working your way up to pointe
By gabbyballet
On Sat Jun 16, 2018 01:38 AM
Well, Misty Copeland for example started ballet when she was 13. I must admit, it took me 9 years to work up to pointe. Most students start pointe at around 12/13, after at least 3/4 years of formal training. Just warning you, it hurts, and I got a minor injury after my 2nd ever pointe class. (I couldn't stretch or do ballet for about a week.) If you work hard, and attend classes 2-3 times per week, you may be able to go on pointe in 3-4 years depending on your ankle strength.

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