AT SDA STUDIOS, for pre-pointe and pointe, you MUST take TWO ballet classes per week to be strong enough and this rule remains thru every level. This is for the safety of your body. Dancers might be in pre-pointe for 6 months to a year before getting pointe shoes, but every dancer progresses differently, some move faster than others. Additionally, you must make up a missed ballet class, your attendance in your weekly ballet classes will be taken into account when being evaluated to go on pointe, plus: classroom behavior/etiquette, overall body strength, leg strength and musculature, foot/arch shape, placement of pelvis and being able to hold your abdomen in when dancing and AGE...you must be at least 10, but 11-12 is much more common to begin pointe.
How do I add pre-pointe class to my schedule?
Enroll in the Tues or Thurs ballet class and you'll start working on pre-pointe exercises as part of the class.
Conduct yourself with proper attire, behavior and continuous effort in ALL your classes, but most especially ballet. Take all corrections constructively and work on your technique and PLACEMENT.
Ballet class attendance must be close to 100% to start pointe: if you miss a class, you MUST try very hard make it up.
YEAH! I’m in Pre-Pointe class, now what?
While in pre-pointe class, you'll get a Theraband and practice flex/pointe exercises at home. THIS MUST BE DONE on your own with very little prompting and not practicing at home can hold you back, this extra work is necessary to prepare your strength.
Continue with your 2 ballet classes as above and continue to demonstrate excellent overall effort.
TAKE CORRECTIONS AND LEARN! This is the single biggest skill you can learn for yourself to help you improve quicker! Corrections are to make your dancing better and stronger, plus they mean your teacher is looking out for you and trying to help you get ahead!
Pointe readiness evaluations will be assessed in Aug and again in Jan. If you’re evaluated and considered not ready, continue working diligently in your classes and at home.
SUPER YEAH! I have approval to get pointe shoes, now what?
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT to be fitted at Diana's or Vera Nova! You must have an appointment and it can take up to 2 hours to find the right shoes. Diana's is preferred for FIRST FITTINGS, as they have a larger selection to choose from.
Chat with Miss Mary/Miss Claire thru GroupMe message to ask questions during your fitting, send photos for approval or get recommendations on specific shoes and sizing as fitting is happening!
DO NOT SEW NEW SHOES UNTIL CHECKED by Miss Mary or Miss Claire OR THEY CAN’T BE RETURNED! Sometimes your instructor will disagree with a fitting and you have to go back to try for a better fit.
CONTINUE to do Theraband weekly exercises at home.
TRY to make up missed pointe classes-taking 2 classes a week isn’t too much time up on your toes and won’t harm you in any way.
Want to wear your pointe shoes AT HOME? PLEASE NO! We can tell when you’ve been wearing them at home-first they break down/ get soft very quickly and they have a distinct look on the satin from non-slip flooring that’s not dance flooring. Please only wear your pointe shoes only to class until you're on pointe a while and know what you're doing better!
Your feet will hurt and you may get BLISTERS! Research home remedies for these and be prepared with toe tape, Band-aids and antibiotic ointment as needed…sometimes your toenails will bruise from shoes worn too much, improper fit or being too worn out. Check under your toe polish every now and then and keep your toenails neatly clipped. YOUR FEET ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT DANCE INSTRUMENT-PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THEM!
FEET HURTING A LOT MORE THAN NORMAL? CAN’T GET YOUR SHOES ON EASILY? You have either outgrown them or they are completely broken down and you need new ones!
POINTE SHOE FITTINGS-THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!
Your teacher says you’re ready for pointe shoes, can you go buy them on your own? YES! Call Diana’s Dancewear (or Vera Nova) and schedule a fitting when convenient for YOUR PARENT!
How long will the fitting take? Fitting times vary for each individual dancer. First time appointments are typically scheduled for 1 hour but could take as much as 2 hours or more. You should allow for 1-1.5 hours; this is not something you can rush through. The process goes quicker if you arrive a little before your scheduled time, have your tights on and are ready to start on time. Also, your dancer needs to be able to verbalize how the shoes feel once they have them on. This isn’t something mom is going to be able to describe for them!
What do I need to wear? Ladies MUST wear convertible tights for the fitting AND have toenails trimmed neatly. If you don’t have your tights, buy a pair; fittings should NOT be done with footies provided by the store. (avoid this-WEAR YOUR OWN BALLET TIGHTS!)
What happens at the fitting? You will need to put on a pair of toe pads that you will buy and pull your tights down over them and start trying on pointe shoes. SDA likes OUCH POUCH JR size for dancers street shoe size 7 or smaller. Dancers with a street shoe size 7.5 and up may get an OUCH POUCH regular size.
The shoes will be VERY STIFF and TIGHT. They must support your entire body weight safely and so must NOT be bought with room to grow into-watch for shoes that are TOO LONG or TOO WIDE! They shoe will squeeze your toes through the metatarsal; but if you feel pressure on your big toe (like it’s pushing into the floor) the shoe is too wide and your foot is slipping down in the shoe-this is BAD! After trying MANY different brands and sizes, you will settle upon a pair that feels the best.
How much is this going to cost? Parents be prepared to spend approximately $120-$150 for shoes, toe pads, spacers, elastic and ribbons. Payment methods vary - some do not accept checks.
What happens if they don’t have your size shoes? Sometimes the stock is low, so the store will order a pair and you must wait. However, if you decide NOT to purchase at the time of the time of the fitting, be prepared to pay a ‘Fitting Fee’ of $25 or more. Pointe shoe fittings are very time consuming and it’s not fair to the store to take up their time for an intensive ‘free’ consultation only to take your business elsewhere or online.
You have your shoes, can you go home, sew them and practice in them? NO! VERY IMPORTANT, DO NOT SEW ANYTHING onto shoes, nor make ANY marks on them (initialing them or wearing them around the house, yes even on carpet), or do anything to the pointe shoes until you show them to your instructor for final approval on the fit. After that is accomplished check out the videos on the website to see how to sew and tie your ribbons!
ALWAYS BRING YOUR OLD SHOES TO EVERY NEW FITTING! Memorize your shoe brand, name/stye, size-length, size width and anything else about your shoe. Pointe shoes are incredibly important-you must learn and know all you can about them!
I’ve got the shoes, I want to sew and wear them, now what?
Email that you have shoes and need them approved. Requests will be answered within 24 hours. BE PATIENT-we can’t drop everything to check your shoes exactly when you get them!
A time will be scheduled that is convenient and you must try them on at the studio. Show up to have them approved ready to be checked: tights on, all spacers and pointe pads on and shoes on. We can’t check shoes in a bag or box, so get them on and be ready!
Go home and sew them or go back for a re-fitting. If you get to sew them, WATCH THE VIDEO’S and sew your shoes correctly. NO NOT TRIM YOUR RIBBONS OR DRAWSTRINGS until we see them on your foot again; we will help with this and discuss proper tying of the ribbons with you.
Learning to dance on pointe is painful and difficult. You must prove you are serious about it and dedicated enough to spend the necessary amount of time working towards it. BUT, the reward is AMAZING when you finally do dance on pointe!! PUT FORTH EVERY EFFORT TO GET YOUR POINTE SHOES- lackadaisical behavior will hold you back. Dancers are completely in charge of how quickly they advance to pointe shoes from pre-pointe!!
Theraband color is BLUE for SDA dancers. $10 per band is the replacement cost for lost or broken bands. Write name on it with an ink pen towards one end. Bands can last up to 10,000 uses, but do get tears and break if not cared for properly or overstretched beyond 300% elongation. Cleaning your Theraband: Immerse the band or tube in fresh clean water in a sink or under a running faucet. Rub a small amount of mild hand soap over the wet band or tube and then rinse in fresh water. Lay flat to dry it, or drape the band or tube over the back of a chair or similar object and allow to thoroughly dry. Once dry, rub a small amount of talcum, baby powder, corn starch, or similar powder over the surface of the band or tube to prevent sticking.
HAVE YOUR SHOES? HERE ARE THE VIDEOS OF HOW TO SEW AND TIE YOUR RIBBONS SDA STYLE!