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Finally getting her pointe shoes!

(46 Posts)
Sparklymommy Thu 02-Jan-14 14:58:26

Just wanted to share with everyone that dd1 is finally going for her pointe shoe fitting on Saturday! She is so happy and so am I for her. She's worked so hard to get here.

Soooo... Any tips from wise mnetters?

Misfitless Thu 02-Jan-14 15:42:41

Oh that's lovely. What age do they get them? Do they have to have passed so many exams?

I know nothing as you can tell, but it sounds like a brilliant achievement!

PandaNot Thu 02-Jan-14 19:58:24

Ooh exciting! The only advice I know of is to check that her teacher is happy with them before sewing ribbons in.

Sparklymommy Fri 03-Jan-14 09:12:26

She is having them for her 11th birthday. Although to many 11 is very young, but she has been dancing since she was 2, and does a minimum of 6 balllet classes a week plus contemporary, modern, jazz, street jazz, Classical Greek, song and performance, stretch and anything else she can do!

She has been asking since September, desperate to get on pointe. She is grade 6, and Interfoundation. Normally at our dance school they go on pointe just before try take the Interfoundation exam. However she cannot take the exam until autumn 2014 due to where her birthday falls. Her dance teacher has warned is that she may need several pairs before then!

teacherwith2kids Sat 04-Jan-14 22:01:22

DD the same - just doing the ribbons. She turned 11 in December, though she won't do any festival dancing on pointe until she is 13. Ratio of 45 minute pointe class to 3 hours of other ballet lessons for the moment. At her dance school the earliest they can start pointe is when they start Grade 5 (it is all done on dance teacher's recommendation, nobody can ask to go on pointe, it is more that the child is asked to do that lesson by the head of the dance school) , but many start much later and some don't do pointe at all, as it's fine to go up to the end of Grade 6 without pointe work as I understand it.

poisonedbypen Sat 04-Jan-14 22:04:54

DD's teacher won't let them until their feet have stopped growing so she was about 14. Her feet have since shrunk by 1.5 sizes!!

KatyMac Sat 04-Jan-14 22:15:41

DD went up the start of last year at 15.5 - I have a lovely clip of her dancing in them at the show in October

She really needs to do more tho but so few schools here do pointe

(as an aside it's very expensive business & I just started listing nearly everything I own on eBay to try & fund vocational school <sigh>)

KatyMac Sat 04-Jan-14 22:16:38

DD broke them in (after the teacher approved them) by wearing them round the house with thick socks over the top to keep them clean

& will be doing so again after a 3 week break

Sparklymommy Sun 05-Jan-14 08:09:19

Well she got them yesterday and has been wearing them around the house with fluffy socks over them as Katymac has already pointed out to break them in. I have never seen her smile so much!

Just hope she is still smiling when she starts dancing in them!!!

mumsneedwine Sun 05-Jan-14 13:27:12

Have you got ouch pouches too ? Mine wears a gel pair inside a sheepskin pair. And tapes toes with animal wool. And her poor toes still look sore. Keep toenails short.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 15:55:43

Dd isn't en pointe yet. At her vocational school only two girls who were already en pointe were allowed to remain so

They have to be able to execute a series of excercises to the satisfaction of their teacher & school physio. Apparently most of them will be put en pointe sometime before Easter although last year there was a year 7 who wasn't allowed an pointe at all.

Dd has been asked to see the physio to get some specific excercises due to some issues with overly long ligaments but short hamstrings.

At her old dance school the teacher won't put anyone below the age of 12 en pointe & she checks their feet/ankles are ready first.

teacherwith2kids Sun 05-Jan-14 17:16:07

Pictures, it's one of those things that is really hard to judge as a 'dance was never my thing' parent [I climbed trees, and rang church bells, and got mistaken for a boy a lot].

DD's dance teacher - well respected, senior examiner and ballet faculty member for one of the dance exam boards - has said she is ready to start pointe work (though as I said above, this will be less that 1/4 of her total ballet time, and won't expand to mpre than this for several years). Of her 'peers' - those girls within a 2 year or so age span who are at the same grade etc - only she and 1 other are joining the pointe class. Her feet, ankles etc have been examined, and the shoes fitted by the dance school itself under the eagle eye of said teacher.

I have to trust her teacher's judgement that it is OK, as I don't have the knowledge to 'second guess' whether it is really right for DD at this age. But I do fret!

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 17:59:10

Dds old dance teacher also said that she tends to put them on later as the majority of girls at her school are doing 2 45 min ballet classes per week (more for those who do associates ) compared with the children at dds vocational school who are doing 7 classes per week (9 hours)

teacherwith2kids Sun 05-Jan-14 18:12:16

DD would hover somewhere in the middle of that, with 3x1 hour classes per week of non-pointe ballet (4 hours in exam terms, but she's just finished one of those), 30 minutes of 1 to 1 lesson which could be on any style but is often ballet because it's her 'thing', and now 45 mins of pointe. She does another 5 hours 15 minutes of other dance styles during the week too, but I didn't know whether that was included in your 9 hours? She's not done associates.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 05-Jan-14 18:23:56

Other dance styles arnt included

On top of 9 hours if ballet she goes 2 hours of tap, 2 hours of modern, 1 hour of stretch, 1 hour of creative , 1 hour of street & 1 hour of something else possibly contemporary don't have a Saturday timetable.

KatyMac Sun 05-Jan-14 18:36:40

DD also does 9 hours of Ballet, but 1.5 hrs tap, 4.5 hrs modern/jazz & 2 hrs contemporary but it all adds up nearly the same!!

So that answers whether DD is doing as much as a vocational student (although yours is much younger than mine)

curlew Sun 05-Jan-14 18:39:55

Dd was so proud when her toes bled after a performance......hmm

HSMMaCM Sun 05-Jan-14 18:47:01

DD loves her pointe shoes. We spend a long time when she has a new pair fitted, making sure they are perfect. They also have to be checked by her dance teacher.

She has a particular way she likes elastic sewn on, as she has narrow heels. She was thrilled to get blister plasters from Santa this Christmas.

Annaliesey Mon 06-Jan-14 10:11:50

That's amazing to hear of anyone genuinely ready for pointe by age 11 and I bet your daughter is over the moom sparklymommy. It sounds like she has worked really hard for this smile

At our local dance school I don't think there is anyone below the age of 14 who is grade 6 or IF.

I've tried to work this out hours-wise against the RAD syllabus which gives a recommendation of 60 hours per grade. My dd does 2hrs ballet a week from the classes that are available to her and that works out at an exam per every 3 terms (20 hours per term). She's doing G3 in March and on this basis would in theory be at G6 in 3 years time, so age 13 probably.

She was supposed to do her G3 exam in December but the whole class wasn't quite ready and also they were doing the annual dance school show and this kind of thing pushes things back a term here and there which I don't mind as it's all performance stuff. But I can see that it must take an enormous amount of commitment and time to practice to get to G6 and IF.

My dd would be desperate to do another hour a week of ballet in preference to her other classes (ie; hip hop) so I'm looking at what she could do either with associate classes, private lessons etc.

My big question is what do you do if your daughter is doing all the ballet classes available at the local dance school? How do you get more without being completely pushy? smile

curlew Mon 06-Jan-14 10:20:31

She must be incredibly talented! Just be very careful- dance teachers can, in my experience, sometimes be a bit over excited and ambitious if they get a particularly talented rose amongst their bunch of thorns grin and can sometimes push ahead a bit too quickly. Her feet will still be very soft and malleable- she needs to go very steady. It will hurt, that's normal, but do keep a close eye on her feet and listen if she seems in real pain.

HSMMaCM Mon 06-Jan-14 13:31:50

Yes. Do be careful if she gets pointe shoes early. My DD had to stop progressing in ballet grades for a while, as she would need pointe and was too young. She concentrated on other dance styles while she waited until her dance teacher said she was strong enough. Now age 14 and taking Advanced Foundation in the summer.

drivinmecrazy Mon 06-Jan-14 13:52:57

DD1 has also been en pointe since she was 10 1/2. Her teacher took an awful lot of advice on DDs behalf before she allowed her to go up with the rest of her class who were all older.
Teacher was very wary of DD going fully weight bearing for a while so was restricted to the barre for a few months.
The advice we got that technique is the most important indicator, along with age and physical development because as much damage can be caused by weak technique.
Having said that, the biggest disadvantage of going up so eatly is that as soon as her shoes were fully broken in she was ready for a new pair angry. Thankfully, now she's 13 her shoes are lasting longer. we are drowning in her old pairs here, she's reluctant to part with any.
I must admit I have her very first pair, kept in a box with her first pair of shoes.
Interestingly, in her class it seems very much a lottery over who suffers most. DD1 has never had any major discomfort, unlike some of her class mates who only have to look at their shoes before their faces cringe in pain grin
Have to agree with others and say I was bursting with pride when I saw her en pointe for the first time on stage. many a tear fell, even her rufty tufty Dad couldn't help himself. Made all the hours of lessons worth every penny

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 06-Jan-14 14:03:16

Annaliesy- as your dd is following RAD you could perhaps look into whether there is a monthly RAD associates class near to you. Dd used to travel to Birmingham once a month

Her previous teacher took them through the grades very slowly. Also there was recently a change of syllabus in RAD so dd to

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 06-Jan-14 14:06:51

Dd took her grade 2 exam at the age of 9 but when she moved into the grade 3 class the rest of the class were almost ready to take their exam - so she spent 6 months on the old syllabus before starting the new syllabus. Various other factors including the biannual dance show meant she didn't actually get to take her grade 3 before leaving for full time dance school at age 11.

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 06-Jan-14 14:10:43

Remind me again - how old is your dd - it's worth looking into summer schools too.

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