Forum: Ballet / Pointe - Beginners

Pointe - Beginners
New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Odalisque Comments: 6, member since Fri May 20, 2016
On Tue May 31, 2016 02:50 PM

Hi!

I'm new to dance.net so I hope I am posting in the right place! This is going to be long because I hope that by providing details you guys might be able to shed some light on what I am doing wrong.

I am an adult (early 30s) who recently started pointe work. I take 3 90 minute ballet classes a week (M,W,F) with a pointe technique class of 30 minutes following 2 of those (M,F). I started dancing about 10 years ago for 5 years, then stopped for a few years and picked back up again last year. I am a decent dancer technique wise and have a very good "eye" for correct ballet technique, placement, and lines,both my own and other dancers'. I have also read almost every pointe and ballet related technique book that I've been able to find.

So this is why I am finding myself frustrated with pointe work. I can get over my box and balance comfortably in sous-sus or 1st, but in more open positions such as 2nd or 4th, I am never fully on my box. My dance teacher, (who is a former soloist with 2 companies and principal with one, and has 40 years of teaching experience), does not know why. She suggested pointing my feet harder, which changed nothing. Also suggested trying a different shoe, no change. Breaking the shoes in lower down, nothing. I have decent arches and know how to push through the ankle as much as my body permits. I can make a straight line from ankle to big toe joint when I point my bare feet. I use the black (heavy/strong) therabands on my feet with no problems.

The shoes I have so far:
Russian pointe Celesta (best fit), Bloch heritage, bloch serenade (old but not dead, from my first brief stint with pointe years ago), and capezio contemporas.

I have long greek-tapered toes so although these shoes all have longer vamps, I think a shorter vamp would make me knuckle. I have experimented with ribbon placement and am not tying them too tightly. My feet are very compressible but I don't feel like I am sinking. I use ouch pouches as padding. My feet don't sweat much

I see others in my class whose arches are lower than mine and whose technique is honestly not that strong getting over their boxes with no problems, so I don't think this is just a run of the mill "beginner" problem. Any suggestions or tips anyone has to offer would be much appreciated!

Thanks ddners!

8 Replies to New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?

re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Wed Jun 01, 2016 01:16 AM
You might just need a softer shank. Or a three-quarter or half-shank. I have a lower arch and instep and use Russian Pointe Rubins Flexible Soft. I can get over my box fairly well.

In very open positions, though, you might not be able to get over the box fully anyway. Study some professional photos of dancers who are in fourth and wide second and you might find they aren't fully on the box (especially in fourth).

Vaganova second position is a lot smaller than what most other techniques require and I believe it is because they want their dancers to be fully on the box. You can see this both in their exam videos and in a beautiful video of Polina Seminova doing a modern pointe piece. Shorter second position en pointe is the norm there.

But check the shank. Often if the shank is to hard or too tall, it can impede getting over the box.
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Odalisque Comments: 6, member since Fri May 20, 2016
On Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:01 AM
Thank you for suggesting that shank strength ma be an issue, Serendipity42. I had considered that, but my (unsewn, not broken in) capezio contemporas are supposed to have a very soft shank and I am no completely over them in open positions either. Maybe when they are broken in and become one of my working pairs I will see as difference. Shank length isn't something I know much about, but I have read beginners should always use a full shank. Is it safe/okay to use a 3/4 shank at my level? Thanks!
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Fri Jun 03, 2016 05:32 AM
It depends on the type of shoe and on your foot strength, if you use a 3/4 shank. Russian Pointes are string even with the half shank that I use.

It would be easier to say if you posted pics of your feet. First position with the foot pointed a la seconde, for example, would allow us to see your arch and on step. Barefoot, that is.
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Odalisque Comments: 6, member since Fri May 20, 2016
On Fri Jun 10, 2016 01:21 PM
Thanks again! I don't have my "eye" yet, am I allowed to post photos?
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Odalisque Comments: 6, member since Fri May 20, 2016
On Fri Jun 10, 2016 01:22 PM
Thanks again! I don't have my "eye" yet, am I allowed to post photos?
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By Serendipity42Premium member Comments: 2267, member since Sun Aug 16, 2009
On Sun Jun 12, 2016 04:11 PM
I don't know if you can. Sorry!
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By hummingbird Comments: 10418, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Mon Jun 13, 2016 08:01 AM
If it's just of your feet then I don't think that's a problem, as long as we don't see something that looks like Osipovas foot :D

A salute is so that we can see you are you and that you're not pretending to be some champion dancer ! We don't see peoples feet in most salutes anyway.
re: New to pointe, difficulty getting over box?
By cara7 Comments: 189, member since Wed Aug 07, 2013
On Sat Jun 18, 2016 05:18 AM
Hi! Do you have a chance to try Suffolk "Solo Prequel"? They are said to help getting over the box (I assume the platform is slightly angled/pitched forward):
"Suffolk's patent pending design is used in the Prequel. This shoe is for dancers who want to be a little further over en pointe without compromising lift or correct foot placement. The Solo Prequel helps deter sitting in the shoe. This strong shoe fully supports the dancer while holding her en pointe and has a slightly broader platform for extra stability. The shoe has the same comfort and the same specifications as the original Solo."

ReplySendWatch