Starting at 12 – can I go on pointe?
I have something to ask that is quite important; I'm 12 and I've only just started ballet, but I'm not entirely sure whether or not I'm ready for pointe. Is it possible for a 12 year old girl who's only just started ballet to just put on a pair of pointe shoes and bouree across the floor in them? LOL I know that sounded a bit weird, but would it be possible? I can balance on quite a high demi-pointe arabesque with a slight arch on my foot (I have what look like quite flat feet) and also in passe position on demi-pointe without wobbling, but I'm still not sure if I'm strong enough to dance en pointe. Do you think I am?
Loryn, that's a difficult question to answer. I started ballet late and yes, I have to admit, I did just put on a pair of pointe shoes and bourree across the floor! But that's certainly not recommended.
It will come down to what your teacher thinks. If he/she says you're ready for pointe, trust her judgment. It sounds as though you have strong legs and feet, and have good balance - but the thing that may stop you is your turnout. If you've never done ballet before, you're not used to using the muscles that hold your turnout, and you have to develop them before you go on pointe.
This video shows one of the best exercises for the turnout muscles (in my opinion). Watch it carefully, because most people do this exercise completely wrong - I know I did! Doing the movement incorrectly means you'll be able to lift the knee further, but that's not the object of the exercise - the goal is to strengthen those muscles!
If your teacher says you're not ready yet, please don't be tempted to buy a pair of shoes and practice at home, because you can get into bad habits.