I’m 26 – can I go on pointe?
Miss Holly asks
I'm 26 and started ballet again about a year ago (I did it for a few years as a kid)-- but I've only been doing one class per week. I can feel myself getting stronger all the time, but I know I'm not strong enough for pointe yet. I just wonder if it is worth aiming for it; I've always wanted to be able to do it, even just to have a bit of a go and not to become skilled at it... but my podiatrist has said I have the beginnings of bunions and osteoarthritis in my big toe joints. Is this a big no-no for pointe work, or can it be compensated for by strength?
Miss Holly, if you've already got bunions then you're either genetically predisposed or you've worn a lot of badly fitted high heels! Pointe work won't necessarily make it worse, if you get properly fitted for pointe shoes, and you're genuinely ready for pointe.
Podiatrists know a lot about feet, but not many of them are that familiar with dancers' feet. Some are against the idea of pointe work for anyone - and I can't blame them for being concerned, because to the uninitiated, it does sound like a horrific thing to do to your toes! But honestly, my toes feel far less cramped and more comfortable in a good pair of pointe shoes than in a pair of high heels.
This article explains more about bunions.