En pointe (pointe) means "on the tip" and is a part of classical ballet technique, practised

using specially reinforced shoes called pointe shoes. The technique developed from the

desire for dancers to appear weightless and sylph-like and has evolved to enable dancers

to dance on the tips of their toes for extended periods of time.

It is important not to start pointe too early to avoid causing damage. Pre-professional

students do not usually begin dancing en pointe until after the age of 11 and will be assessed

by the teachers as to their suitability; this usually happens around Grade 4/5 ballet.

Students are ready for pointe when they can hold their turnout from the hips while performing

centre combinations, hold a proper ballet position (straight back, good turnout, etc.), pull up

correctly in the legs, and balance securely in relevé because dancing en pointe requires one

to use the entire body, including the legs, back, and abdominal muscles.

Pointe work forms part of the ISTD Grade 6 Ballet examination and grades above. Students

will be required to attend one pointe class each week. We have an Inter/beginner class for our

Grade 4's and 5's and a Senior class for Grade 6 and over. Please check our latest timetable for

class times.

Students must be fitted for pointe shoes by an expert. Please check with teachers for their

recommendations on the best pointe shoe fitters in the area.

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