Charlesworth Ballet School offers a Pointe Preparation programme as well as Pointe training to students between the ages of 10 and 17 years old. Pointe technique is an element of Classical Ballet, where dancers perform on the tips of their toes in specially designed shoes. The pointe shoe was a result of the desire for ballerinas to move gracefully, whilst appearing weightless.
Charlesworth Ballet School’s Pointe Preparation syllabus is made up of three lessons per year with each class running for 45 minutes. Each class begins with the students working barefoot on strength and alignment of the feet, ankles and knees. Following this, the students will put on their ballet shoes to progress to barre and centre practice.
Charlesworth Ballet School’s Pointe training syllabus, very similar to the Pointe Preparation, is also made up of three lessons per year with each class running for 60 minutes. Each class begins with the students working barefoot on strength and alignment of the feet, ankles and knees. Following this, the students will put on their pointe shoes to progress to barre and centre practice. Those new to pointe will spend more time at the barre until they have developed the strength to perform in the centre.
Going en pointe requires a dancer to support their weight on extended feet and pointed toes, whilst executing movement. Therefore pointe technique is very challenging and comes with a heightened risk of injury. Extensive pointe preparation work and ongoing practice are vital to ensure students are developing the required strength and technique to dance on their toes safely. Therefore, Charlesworth Ballet School has a thorough Pointe Approval procedure to ensure the safety of their dancers.
Pointe Approval Procedure
1. Students to sit a pointe screening, possibly outside of class time, with the teacher and OT Katie Chown. This screening will be arranged by the Principal. Students will be rated from 1 – 4 on the Pointe Readiness scale:
1. Ready for pointe
2. Close to ready
3. Not ready
4. More detailed assessment required
2. Students receive a report via email regarding their screening, detailing their rating and the requirements that come with their rating, such as one-on-one therapy session/s with Katie or a more thorough assessment of musculoskeletal concerns, postural concerns or dynamic movement performance. All reports will also be sent to the Principal of CBS and the student’s teacher.
3. Once students have been approved for pointe training by Katie Chown, they will be given permission to go and purchase their first pair of pointe shoes by the Principal.
4.Students may then visit one of the recommend dance stores listed on the Uniforms page to be fitted for their pointe shoes.
5.Students must bring their new shoes into pointe class to their teacher for assessment. The teacher will determine if the shoe style purchased is suitable for the student. Students must NOT sew ribbons and elastics onto their shoes until they are first checked by the teacher. Dance stores will allow the shoe to be returned if necessary.
6.Once teachers have approved the style of the pointe shoe, ribbons and elastics can be sewn on and students can begin wearing shoes in class. Full participation in pointe shoes will be at the discretion of the teacher.
*Students who already have their pointe shoes, may also be asked to attend the pointe screening if the teacher has some concerns regarding their strength or alignment.