What do I wear for a pre-pointe assessment?
It is important to wear something fitting (i.e. leotard and tights) so that the physiotherapist can see all your muscles. Please ensure you have bare feet. Ballet shoes are not required.
How long does a pre-pointe assessment take?
The assessment will last 30mins. You may also opt to choose an extended session (1hr) if you wish to have your exercise session (your prescribed pre-pointe exercises) immediately following your appointment.
When should I book a pre-pointe assessment?
You should aim to book your assessment at least 2-3 months before your ballet class is due to commence pointe-work. This will give you ample time to complete the required exercises and gain the necessary strength for pointe.
What age should I commence pointe training?
It is very rare for dancers to be approved for pointe under 12 years of age. This is because the body is still skeletally immature and will not be able to withstand the demands that pointe places upon the growing body.
You may still come in for a pre-pointe assessment at age 11yrs (you can get a headstart on your exercises); however, it is recommended to commence pointe-work from 12 years of age.
What is involved in a pre-pointe assessment?
In the initial pre-pointe assessment, we will take a brief history to understand your training load, previous injuries, and your goals . We will then take a few measurements (e.g. pointe range, calf length, turnout range etc.) and have a look at a few movements (e.g. demi plie, rises, etc.).
It’s a very relaxed and interactive session; it’s nothing like your dreaded ballet exams! There are no pass/fail or ‘marks’ assigned. The sessions are designed to help you plan for future success and reduce injury. The assessment is NOT designed to focus on negatives or to stop you from going en pointe. We want to get you en pointe as much as you do!
What will happen after the assessment?
After the assessment, your physiotherapist will discuss the assessment findings with you and build a plan to help to improve the areas in need noted within the assessment. You will most likely be prescribed a set of home exercises to practise daily for the next 3-6 weeks. After you have completed your homework, we will then reassess you in the coming weeks.
Will I be able to get my pointe shoes straight after the assessment?
In most cases, the young dancer will need to work on several items prior to getting their pointe shoes. Typically, dancers need to improve their intrinsic foot strength (among other areas) as this is something that is not generally covered in your dance training at an early age.
How many sessions will the dancer need?
Most dancers will need to come back to the clinic for a subsequent session in order for the physiotherapist to prescribe their tailored home exercise program. Thereafter, the dancer will be reviewed again in approximately 4-6 weeks to assess whether they are progressing in the right direction. If the dancer shows improvement in their areas of weakness, the dancer will be awarded their pointe licence on their review session.
Sometimes dancers may need another few weeks (another session) to further progress their strength. This is nothing to worry about. We want to make sure you’re fully ready before commencing your pointe journey.
Note: Given that most dancers will need the subsequent exercise session following their initial assessment, it is a good idea to book an extended consult (1hr) at the time of the initial assessment if you want to optimise your time.
Will my dance teacher be informed of my plan?
Yes! We will send the report to your dance teacher via email (with your consent).