Readiness for Pointe

Does your daughter dream of dancing on pointe? Is she ready? Determining when a dancer is ready for pointe is more complicated then you may realize. Usually a teacher will make the initial suggestion. However, it is important to make this transition as safe and successful as possible while trying to minimize injury risk.

Dr. Shah authored the first article published in a medical journal to determine when a young dancer is ready for pointe. Based on her research and own experience as a dancer, Dr. Shah has created a comprehensive screening to evaluate dancers’ readiness for pointe. Multiple factors determine when a dancer is ready, hence the need for private screening. Often a dancer will have certain deficits that are easier to recognize in a clinical setting when the dancer is evaluated one-on-one by a physician with dance medicine expertise. These deficits will not usually preclude a dancer from going on pointe, but a personalized program can be created to improve the dancer’s ability to transition to pointe.

Dr. Shah spends one hour evaluating the dancer with a parent present. Based on her findings, she then discusses areas that need improvement with a Dance Medicine Pilates instructor. The instructor then spends one hour with your dancer on a tailor-made program to target problem areas. The dancer then has homework to do and comes back for a second more advanced individualized Pilates session. The dancer will see Dr. Shah for a final check-out some time after the dancer has had time to work on the exercises from the second session.

Please come in your ballet leotard, tights, and shoes ready to move as if you were in ballet class!

(To read more from Dr. Shah about evaluating a dancer’s readiness for pointe, please see her guest article on the topic on the 4dancers.org blog.)

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