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 Post subject: pointe lessons
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
I've noticed in this forum that some people talk about pointe lessons. as i'm not a dancer myself and at the moment haven't the time or money to learn, i was just wondering, what do these lessons actually involve? is it just standing on your toes a lot, or is there more to it? can anyone put an end to my ignorance?????


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 Post subject: Re: pointe lessons
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 11:01 pm
Posts: 5
Location: shelby twp MI
I dnt think u fully understand what pointe is because it consists of a lot more than standing on ur toes. When ur on pointe u have different shoes ur not really like in ballet slippers and on ur toes ur wear pointe shoes which are made up of many different parts. . . i found a website to show u since i dnt know how to explain it n' if u want u can look there so u know more about it http://www.geocities.com/ballerinausa/parts-of-shoe.html i hope that helps some


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 Post subject: Re: pointe lessons
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Alex R, what goes on in a pointe class depends on the level of the class. Typically, a beginning pointe "class" is actually just the last 10-15 minutes of a regular ballet class. The students put on their pointe shoes (see the link in the post above - thanks, IWantCaNdy3o3!) and do their first exercises facing the barre with both hands resting on the barre. They practice rising to the full pointe position on both feet, without letting their knees bend. They learn to do this both slowly, going through the half-pointe position (standing on the balls of the feet) and quickly, in one snapping movement. They learn how to "spring up" on pointe from a demi-plié (standing with the knee(s) bent and the heel(s) on the ground). They practice balancing sur les pointes on both feet. They also practice certain exercises in pointe shoes that don't involve actually standing on their toes, for example learning how to point their feet wearing these specialized shoes.

Gradually, as strength is built up, the students rise/balance on one foot. At some point, the simpler exercises are performed in the center of the room, without the barre.

Eventually the students are strong enough to handle a much longer pointe class, separate from their regular technique class. Over the years, the exercises get more and more difficult, until finally the advanced students are performing combinations of steps that actually come from well-known classic ballets, or are at least their equivalent in difficulty. They often learn complete solos from ballets.

It's kind of hard to describe steps to someone who is not familiar with the terminology, but I hope this gives you some idea of what it takes.

<small>[ 15 July 2004, 12:03 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: pointe lessons
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2004 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
I just wanted to add that in many schools the advanced girls are expected to wear pointe shoes even in their regular classes. It's harder to point your feet in pointe shoes than in soft ballet slippers, and the more you practice wearing pointe shoes -- even old ones -- the more in control of them you will look on stage.

In the advanced class at my school, we were also expected to do as much of our regular classes on pointe as we could manage, depending on the condition of the shoes we were wearing. If they were very old and worn out but we could manage a few exercises at the barre on pointe, we were supposed to do that.

<small>[ 15 July 2004, 10:47 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: pointe lessons
PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 10:33 am 
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Joined: Sat May 24, 2003 11:01 pm
Posts: 270
Location: Birmingham Uni / UWM Milwaukee
Thanks both of you for that. it was just an area of dance i was unfamiliar with and so i was curious as to what it was all about, but thanks to you i now know.


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