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  • Writer's pictureDPA KEC

Tips on Preparing for Pointe Work

Author: Crystal Lee (RAD Registered Ballet Mistress at Dancepointe Academy Singapore)

2021/2022 Northeast TAC Ballet Ensemble (Photographer: Leong Kit Yee)


 

A Dancer's Journey


Embarking on the journey en pointe is a milestone in every ballet dancer's journey – a moment that symbolizes years of dedication, discipline, and unwavering passion for the art form. Yet, before a dancer can gracefully rise to the challenge of dancing on pointe shoes, meticulous preparation is essential. In this newsletter, we'll explore the multifaceted journey of a dancer as they prepare to take their first steps en pointe, delving into the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of this transformative process.



Dancer: Lee Hao En - West TAC Ballet Soloist (Photographer: Kuang Jing Kai)


 

Strength Building


The foundation of a successful transition to pointe work lies in the development of strong, stable feet and ankles. Dancers embark on a rigorous regimen of exercises designed to strengthen the muscles that support the arches and stabilize the ankles. From TheraBand exercises to relevés and foot articulation drills, each movement is carefully crafted to build the resilience and endurance necessary for dancing en pointe.


Dancer: Magdalene Ong - Northeast TAC Ballet Soloist (Photographer: Leong Kit Yee)


 

Dancers: Charlene Quek - Northeast TAC Ballet Soloist (Left), Gisele Wee - West TAC Ballet Soloist (Right)

(Photographer: Kuang Jing Kai)



Refining Technique


Beyond physical strength, dancers must also hone their technique with precision and finesse. Years of training in classical ballet provide the technical foundation upon which pointe work is built. Proper alignment, turnout, and placement are essential components of a dancer's preparation, ensuring that they can execute movements en pointe with grace and control.


As dancers progress in their training, it's crucial to cultivate a deep awareness of their bodies and listen to the signals they provide. This means understanding the difference between discomfort and pain, knowing when to push through challenges and when to rest and recover. Injury prevention becomes paramount, as dancers learn to prioritize self-care and seek guidance from teachers and healthcare professionals when needed.


Dancer: Kong Yan

Dancer: Kong Yan San - West TAC Ballet Soloist (Photographer: Kuang Jing Kai)



Mental Preparation


Transitioning to pointe work is not just a physical endeavour; it's also a mental and emotional journey. Dancers must cultivate resilience, patience, and determination as they navigate the highs and lows of the process. Setbacks and challenges are inevitable, but it's how dancers respond to them that ultimately shapes their journey en pointe. Visualization techniques, positive self-talk, and a supportive community of peers and mentors can all play a crucial role in bolstering a dancer's confidence and mindset.


Dancer: Heelori Rawat - Northeast TAC Ballet Soloist (Photographer: Kuang Jing Kai)





Dancers: Megan Pang - Northeast TAC Ballet Soloist (Left), Olivia Cheng - West TAC Ballet Soloist (Right)

(Photographer: Kuang Jing Kai)


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