the 4 stages of pointe

stage 1  Takes pointe class 

stage 2  Does Barre in regular class en pointe 

stage 3  Does whole class en pointe when they feel like it  

stage 4  Pointes come out for centre 

I was thinking about the process of learning pointe a while a go and  sort of came up with the four stages of the Dancer's progress in their Pointe Journey. 

All this assumes /presumes that the dancer has been fitted with a suitable shoe by a competent fitter and has been advised properly on padding, ribbons and elastics. if they are new to pointe that the shoes once prepared have also been checked by their teacher. 

So when does Stage 1 happen?

That depends on the age of the dancer and how long they have been taking class.  For the Young Dancer there are some  increasingly firm gudelines setting the age somewhere  between 11 and 13 to start pointe to allow time for sufficient bone maturation. Where as for adults that is far less of a consideration.  

However it's not just a matter of age for the Young Dancer and for all dancers it's about strength, technique and mindset... You need to have the strength to hold that releve and the understanding of weight placement.

Some dancers never progress beyond Stage 1, whether that's an adult dancer who  takes a beginner's pointe class or the young dancer who doesn't get beyond Inter Foundation or arguably Intermediate Syllabus work with regard to pointe work. 

When Does Stage 2/3/4 happen?

A lot of this depends on the dancer and the teacher, and also the hows, whats and wherefores of how you dance / train? 

If someone is predominantly doing Syllabus work  they might not have the opportunity to do this all that often, where, ironically the adult recreational dancer has the wider opportunities perhaps nearly as much as those in vocational training as women. Or Perhaps i'm just  really lucky in that the teachers I have have trust in me and confidence in their ability as teachers to let me achieve stage 2 and 3 and the mutual trust and to allow me Agency.  

Stage 4 is still an aspiration for me , especially as Lockdown  hampered progress. 


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