Progressing to en pointe is a milestone in any dancers life, however, making sure that you progress at the right time is important in preventing injury & pain, in both the short and long term.
Why does my daughter need a Pre-Pointe Screening?
Every Ballet student needs some sort of assessment before progressing to en pointe. The reason for this is that it can be difficult for the dance teacher to analyse as much detail that is needed in order to determine if it is safe to go on pointe, in a class environment.
As podiatrists, we understand your passion for dancing and want to help keep you active now and into the future. As part of this, we want to be able to help you look after our bones, joints, muscles and ligaments so that you can have a long and successful career in the style of our choice, en pointe or not! Learning more about your strengths and foot function is an invaluable in helping reduce risk of injury and improve your dance technique.
I myself danced as a classical ballet dancer for many years. Pre-Pointe Screenings didn’t really exist. Looking back, I think that this would have helped myself and many other dancers to understand a bit more about our bodies. It is so important not to compare ourselves to other dancers as we are all so unique and require different advice.
When should you have a Pre-Pointe assessment?
Ideally it is best to undertake your Pre-Pointe assessment 3-6 months prior to purchasing your pointe shoes. This enables you to build adequate strengthen & develop technique, to help prevent pain & injury now and long term.
What do I look at in a Pre-Pointe assessment?
As a Podiatrist, my perspective of a pre-pointe screening is to gain a baseline understanding of your child’s overall strength and mobility and communicate this with the dancer’s teachers. I consider their level of injury risk and whether or not it is safe for them to progress to en pointe, based on various biomechanical reasons.
This will include the following
- Taking your history including previous injuries, current exercise and what dance lessons you are participating in as well as what your goals are with your dancing
- Assessing mobility and strength of the feet and ankles, assessing basic dance movements as well as considering core and turnout control and the upper body.
- You may then be prescribed specific exercises for areas of your body that require improved mobility or strength
- You may require follow up sessions to progress your management before you are encouraged up onto Pointe
The dancer is provided with a management plan, which may consist of a recommended exercise plan as part of helping them to achieve their goals and my findings.
If you have any questions in regards to Pre-Pointe Screening or if your child should see a podiatrist, please feel free to contact us or make an appointment online.
When booking in for a Pre-Pointe Screening, please write the name of the Dance school and the name of the teacher recommending the Pre-Pointe Screening.
Please wear or bring your dance attire (stockings and leotard).