Written by: Dr. Meagan K. Robichaud, PT, DPT
There comes a time for every young ballet dancer to be gifted the opportunity to finally begin pointe. This is one of the biggest rites of passage for every dance student and is undeniably a very exciting time in their life. However, this excitement can quickly turn south if the dancer starts pointe work too early and without proper preparation, putting their bodies at risk for injury due to insufficient bone development, inadequate ROM for pointe, or lack of strength needed to support the body while dancing on pointe.
So, how do you know when you are ready to go on pointe? Many factors must be taken into
account including technique level, hip/knee/ankle/foot alignment, mobility of the ankles and
feet, turnout quality, proprioception, trunk and abdominal control with dancing, and frequency of dance training. Our dance medicine specialists at Magna PT offer pointe readiness assessments for dancers that look at all these factors and determine the physical ability to maintain the demands of pointe work without injury. We offer these assessments in our Avon, CT clinic but we also would love to bring our services to your studio for on-site assessments!
What’s involved in the Pointe Readiness Assessment?
The pointe readiness assessment is an hour long one on one session with one of our skilled
dance medicine physical therapists. First, we discuss the frequency at which you dance along
with your goals, previous injuries and if you have taken any pre-pointe classes at your studio.
As a prerequisite to pointe work, it is recommended that a dancer participate in 4 ballet
technique classes a week in order to ensure that they will be able to manage the intensity of a pointe class on top of their technique schedule. Then, we move into the evaluation portion of the session where we comprehensively assess the dancers full body looking at range of motion, strength, postural habits, joint mobility, balance, dance technique, and cardiovascular fitness.
At the conclusion of the assessment, the dancer is provided with a detailed summary of areas of strength and weakness, overall readiness for pointe work, as well as an individualized exercise program addressing limitations in order to become fully prepared to start pointe work and prevent injury in the near future.
A pointe readiness assessment at Magna PT is not limited to just young dancers anticipating the start of their pointe career. If you are already on pointe and feel that you are lacking the
strength or mobility to maintain the demands, then this assessment would also be a great way to learn about your weaknesses and be given the tools to improve them and heighten your dance career in the process.
To learn more or to book your individualized session, please visit our website or call to speak
with our dance medicine professionals today!