Bonjour mes amies! Today, I thought I would do a blog post on ballet and my journey to going “en pointe”. I thought I would do it in the form of a Q&A, so I hope you enjoy ♥
Q: What is “en pointe”?
On/En pointe is a French term describing the type of dance where the ballerina is fully supported on the tips of his/her toes. This is accomplished by lots of practice, extremely strong muscles, pointe shoes, and hard work. Pictured below is Misty Copeland, the female principal dancer in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre.
Q: How are the ballerinas suspended on top of their toes? What supplies are involved?
Pointe shoes are made of tightly woven material surrounding a stiff midsole (called a shank) with a hard oval box enclosing the toes. Despite the strength of these shoes, alone they are not enough to support the dancer. Strength and technique are what really allow the dancer to stand tiptoe for extended periods of time. Pictured below are my Chacott pointe shoes and my toe pads that provide a cushion for the toes.
Q: Does it hurt? Is it hard?
Tbh it does hurt at first, but after warming up and more experience you begin to feel less pain (but it is sweet relief to take the shoes off at the end of class).
Q: How long did you do ballet before going on/en pointe?
I did ballet for four years before buying my first pair of pointe shoes. The time varies for each student and it can depend on the criteria of the teacher, but most ballet instructors agree upon at least two years of prior ballet experience.
Q: Is it fun? Can I do it?
It is so fun! The feeling of being suspended on your tiptoes is magical. I feel as if I can take on the world and that if I lift high enough I could float up and away. Can you do it? Of course! Ballet is for everyone! There are many options for all ages, from classes for children to adult classes. If you are interested in getting a workout and trying ballet, fitness studios like Pure Barre offer the best of both worlds (but trust me, even a normal ballet class will give you a good workout).
Feel free to comment below any more questions you may have or your favorite thing about your sport ♥