Pointe

These links are intended as a resource for parents and students entering into the Pointe Program at HSMD.  Please remember that students wishing to participate in pointe must not go on pointe unless their instructor is present!  This is to prevent improper technique or injury.  

What is Pointe? 

Pointe, also called en pointe, is an advanced ballet technique in which the performer dances on the tips of their toes.  It requires a specially-structured shoe called a pointe shoe or toe shoe and diligent work by the dancer.  

The Russian Pointe Company has a comprehensive explanation of all the topics related to pointe, and it should be a parent's first stop (other than the school!) in researching pointe for their child.  
There is also a detailed description of pointe for parents and dancers from a website called We Dance Mainstage:  Everything Pointe

Pointe Shoe Fittings

A pointe shoe must  be properly fitted.  Please read any of these resources for helpful information regarding a student's first fitting.
Pointe shoes should slip on tightly and feel like a "perfect fit." They should not be painful or uncomfortable to wear. 
 
There is an excellent fitting guide, based on the Gainor Minden brand of pointe shoes.  ​

Another wonderful guide for fitting shoes, by the Russian Pointe company, and some discussion of how to know if a pointe shoe fits correctly from Arizona Ballet Theatre.

Where to Buy Pointe Shoes

Please read about Pointe Shoe Fittings before making your appointment at one of the suppliers in Anchorage. 

You can visit Bodyphlo or Alaska Dancer Emporium for a fitting.  Both require an appointment with a qualified specialist and may charge a fitting fee.

It may be best to make an appointment with both stores in order to get the best fit for your dancer.  Please do not sew on your ribbons before having Ms. Natalie check the fit of the shoes.  They are returnable if unworn.  

Pointe Readiness

The HSMD looks at a dancer's functional readiness, based on their technique and physical development.  We also prefer to take a conservative approach, not placing dancers on pointe until they are 12 years of age, generally.  

In addition to the Russian Pointe resource regarding pointe readiness, you can look at what the Arizona Ballet Theatre has to say as well.  They also discuss the first fitting in thorough detail. 

Foot care and exercises

Students will be taught pre-pointe and pointe conditioning exercises in the conditioning class on Wednesdays.  Please have students demonstrate any new exercises on the day of class.  Practicing immediately after class is the best way to ensure information is retained correctly between classes. 

There are also exercises on the Russian Pointe website.  

Pointe Shoe Maintenance

Please be sure to properly maintain your shoes.  This includes drying them completely between uses.  Please do not "break in" your shoes! If any modifications need to be made, Ms. Natalie will assist you with this.  

Some more details are available on the following websites: 
​Russian Pointe
Saratoga Dance
Pointe Shoe Care