Secondary Level Path to Pointe/Pre-Pointe Information
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 upper level. This is for the safety of your body. Dancers might be in pre-pointe for 6 months to a year (taking 2 ballet classes the same amount of time before joining pre-pointe) 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 to pre-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 the process of pointe.
How do I add pre-pointe class to my schedule?
Admittance to pre-pointe is in August or January only. In order to start pre-pointe class, you must be taking 2 ballet classes for a minimum of 18 weeks of classes or 1/2 of an SDA class year. Then you may email to ask for an evaluation of readiness and approval to begin pre-pointe class.
Conduct yourself according to all SDA etiquette guidelines with regards to class attire, behavior and effort. In ALL your classes, but most especially ballet classes. Take all corrections constructively and work on your technique and PLACEMENT. Strong correct placement is a must for pre-pointe admittance.
Ballet class attendance must be close to 100% to be evaluated to join pre-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 must get a Theraband and complete weekly exercises at home and bring your pointe sheet in every 2 weeks completely filled out with exercises completed in full. THIS MUST BE DONE on your own with very little prompting and not completing sheets can hold you back and prevent you from getting pointe shoes.
Continue with your 2 ballet classes as above and continue to demonstrate excellent SDA etiquette.
Pointe evaluations will only be assessed in late Aug/early Sept and again in late Jan/early Feb. If you’re evaluated and considered not ready, you will be re-evaluated at the next scheduled time.
Pointe evaluations are a 2 week long process and exactly when they are held is determined by your instructor at her discretion. They take up the whole class and are NOT done privately. Be patient with finding out the results, it can take a while to make determinations and notify dancers.
Ballet class attendance must be close to 100% to be evaluated to begin pointe/get shoes: if you miss a class, you MUST try very hard make it up.
SUPER YEAH! I have approval to get pointe shoes, now what?
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT to be fitted at Diana's! They have the largest selection for 1st time pointe dancers. You must have an appointment and it can take up to 2 hours to find the right shoes.
DO NOT SEW NEW SHOES UNTIL CHECKED FOR FIT BY MISS MARY 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.
YOU MUST CONTINUE to do Theraband weekly exercises at home and bring your pointe sheet in every 2 weeks or you won’t be allowed to wear your pointe shoes for class until you do.
TRY to make up missed pointe classes-taking 2 classes a week isn’t too much time 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 on our dance flooring.
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 and schedule a fitting when convenient. 513-792-0970 (call for hours). Diana’s has the largest selection for beginners to try shoes.
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 hoursor 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. 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. 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 $100-$130 for shoes, toe pads, spacers, elastic and ribbons. Payment methods vary - some do not accept checks. Please ASK when you call to schedule your appointment!
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 to get the shoes.
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 UNTIL YOU ARE ON POINTE FOR A FEW YEARS!
I’ve got the shoes, I want to sew and wear them, now what?
Email or leave a desk note for Miss Mary or Miss Claire 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 back on your foot; we will help with this and discuss proper tying of the ribbons with you.
ADDITIONAL PRE-POINTE and POINTE INFO FOR DANCERS and PARENTS!
To join pre-pointe class, you MUST take TWO ballet classes per week to be strong enough. The MINIMUM time in these 2 classes per week is 12 weeks but it could be longer. This is for the safety of your body & is up to Miss Mary and Miss Claire.
Dancers might be in pre-pointe for up to 1 year (taking 2 ballet classes a week for at least the same amount of time) before getting pointe shoes, but every dancer progresses differently; some move faster than others. There is no ‘minimum’ time in pre-pointe before getting shoes, it all depends on dancer age, musculature, foot/arch shape, placement of pelvis & abdomen when dancing, body maturity & strength/ability. (TONS to work on correcting!)
DO YOUR EXERCISES while in pre-pointe and also AFTER you get shoes. Not turning in your exercise sheet will extend your time in pre-pointe class. Show you want pointe shoes by being diligent about doing the exercises weekly, they don’t take very long! No exercises = no advancement.
ADDITIONALLY, you must make up any missed ballet class when you can, your attendance in your two ballet classes a week & pre-pointe class will be a factor when making a decision to get pointe shoes. Strong attendance helps move you ahead faster than missing classes!
Learning to dance on pointe is painful & difficult. You must prove you are serious about it & dedicated enough to spend the necessary amount of time working towards it. BUT, we promise, IF YOU FOLLOW THROUGH, the reward is totally INCREDIBLE when you finally do dance on pointe! To be considered for pre-pointe/pointe, you MUST EMAIL Miss Mary to be preliminarily evaluated for readiness. Expect a reply within 48 hours of your email.
How and when to start pre-pointe/pointe classes:
In order to start pre-pointe class, you must be taking 2 ballet classes for at least 1 full trimester or 12 weeks minimum, then you may ask to be evaluated for admittance to pre-pointe class. Dancers are admitted to pre-pointe ONLY in September or late January.
While in pre-pointe class, you must get a Theraband & complete weekly exercises at home; these are detailed on the pointe work sheet. Bring your pointe sheet in as instructed. Sheets are available at the front desk if you miss class, it’s your responsibility to get one on your own. Complete your exercises, have it signed by your parent & bring them in as instructed on the website pointe page.
Pointe evaluations will only be assessed 2 times per year; late August/early September & again in late January/early February. Dates are at the discretion of the director and will happen on MONDAY NIGHTS only.
If you’re evaluated & considered not ready, you will be re-evaluated at the next scheduled time. You must continue your classes and at home exercises with extra diligence.
Ballet class attendance must be 100% to be considered for pointe; if you miss a class, you MUST make it up. PUT FORTH THE EFFORT TO GET YOUR POINTE SHOES- lackadaisical effort will hold you back. YOU ALONE ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR PERSONAL PROGRESS.
Theraband for Pre-pointe & Pointe-Secondary and Intermediate Theraband color is BLUE for SDA dancers. $10 per band. 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: 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 & then rinse in fresh water. Lay flat to dry, or drape the band or tube over the back of a chair or similar object & 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!