Starting at 12 – can I go on pointe?

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Bethany says:

    Hi I’ve been dancing ballet, jazz, and a little bit of tap since I was three until 12. Now I am 15 and I want to start back in ballet and eventually go on pointe. Am I too old to even think about going professional since I havn’t practiced ballet in 3 years?

    • Avatar Marisa says:

      @Bethany, it all depends on your own individual talent. It’s very unusual for a girl to start so late and make it as a professional, but you do have the benefit of some earlier training so it may not be impossible.

      You might be interested in this article:


  2. Avatar Loryn says:

    Oh… Ok thank you! That link helped a lot. My mom told me just a couple of days ago that if I’m good she might get me a pair of pointe shoes! YAY!! I can’t wait!

  3. Avatar Loryn says:

    Ok, thanks a lot. My dad told me he’d actually talked to a professional ballerina and that she’d told him that it is very painful and quite intolerable. Now I think I understand why! Ha ha ha…

    • Avatar Marisa says:

      Loryn, I can believe that! In the olden days, most pointe shoe makers only made one kind of shoe. If it didn’t fit your foot properly, it was just bad luck, you had to make the best of it. That’s why so many retired ballerinas have horrible misshapen feet!

      These days when you buy your pointe shoes, the fitter will have lots of different shoes to choose from, and she should be able to find a shoe that’s designed specially for your kind of foot.

      You might be interested in this explanation of foot shape:

  4. Avatar Loryn says:

    Ok, thank you! I’ll ask my teacher what she thinks. I have also looked around on the internet for answers to the question “Does dancing en pointe hurt?” and there are loads of different answers.
    Some people said “Yes, it hurts a lot”, some people said “It doesn’t hurt at all”, Some people said “It depends whether or not you’re ready for pointe”, my friend, who’s at grade 8 in ballet told me that it hurts at first but then you get used to it, and another person said “It doesn’t hurt at first, but then it starts hurting at around your second pair of pointe shoes but then it goes away again”. I’m really unsure of which answer to trust. Which do you think sounds most realistic?

    • Avatar Marisa says:

      Loryn, it depends. If you get a perfectly fitting pair of shoes, and you’re light and pull up properly out of your feet, it doesn’t hurt. Unfortunately, you may not find a perfectly fitting pair straight away!

      Some girls use lots of padding in their shoes and if you do that, it doesn’t hurt – but it’s hard to feel the floor, which means your feet will look like bricks on the end of your legs, instead of beautiful instruments.

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