What’s the Pointe? Reasons why Pre-pointe is important!

When you think of being a ballerina, you think of the image of a graceful dancer, up on their tippy-toes! This the dream for many young dancers, but the road to get to pointe shoes is not as simple as one may think! To ensure aspiring ballerinas are ready for pointe, many schools require students to take a pre-pointe class separate from regular ballet. It is usually a combination of experience and age that a studio will use to determine if a student is ready to start in pointe shoes. Pre-pointe dance classes allow teachers the time they need to work with and help students build the strength and alignment necessary for pointe class. It also helps them with readiness so they are less prone to injuries. We want to make sure that all of our students at Omaha School of Music and Dance are ready to take the next step and make sure that they are doing so safely.

Pre-Pointe also teaches students things they need to know that they may not learn in technique classes. Many pre-pointe classes incorporate specific exercises performed with the use of a Thera-Band. Using the Thera-Band for resistance, dancers are instructed to pointe and flex their feet in parallel. The teacher might also lead the class in specific exercises that help improve turnout, which is also important for pointe. Flexibility exercises might include drumming the toes. Drumming is lifting the toes off the floor and lowering them one at a time. Abdominal work will probably be included in the class, because core strength helps loads with pulling up while dancing in pointe shoes. The class teaches the difference between Quarter, Half, Three Quarter and Full Pointe.

Pre-pointe helps with students flexibility. Rather than a typical ballet class that focuses on the moves, there is a increased time dedicated to stretching to make sure that all students can hit the moves. Stretching and flexibility are as important in dance as they are in other activities like gymnastics. Stretching also helps to prevent injury.

Pre-pointe helps students to strengthen their abdomen, which is a very important muscle that all dancers use to balance. Pre-pointe teachers will tend to focus a lot on abdomen exercises and stretching to help with flexibility. Pre-pointe class last 45 minutes at Omaha School of Music and Dance. The Pre Pointe class is for students ages 11 and up. Students taking Pre-pointe are preparing to start Pointe class in the upcoming years, so it is important to focus in class and to practice exercising at home and eating healthy.

Before The student is placed in Pointe Shoes the teacher will do an evaluation looking for pointe readiness, some of the things they are looking for are.

Core strength: Dancers are asked to plié and grand plié in the center. Teachers watch for strength through the abdominals, ankles, and feet, and make sure ribs are over the hips.

Rotation: Teachers will watch to see if dancers can sustain turnout from the hips without compensating.

Alignment: Teachers may check the ability of dancers to maintain proper placement by leading relevé exercises in first position.

Balance: Dancers might be asked to sous-sous and degagé the back leg side, so it closes in front. Teachers evaluate strength and placement through the core and legs.

Once the student can complete all of these things they will be ready for Pointe class! Pre Pointe at Omaha School of Music and Dance is on Monday nights at 7:30. We keep our class sizes small to ensure that students get better experience. Our dance teachers are here everyday teaching students and love getting new students.

Omaha School of Music and Dance in Omaha, Nebraska is a year round facility so students can start at any time. We have a state of the art facility and offer music and tumbling classes as well. We are conveniently located right off 144th and Dodge in West Omaha, Nebraska. Our exact address is 14505 California St, Omaha NE 68154. Give us a call at 402-515-9639 to learn more about our classes!

You can email us at info@osomad.com with any questions as well!

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