tuk's great article, and the discussion which ensued, touched off lots of thoughts on this subject. people came at the subject from different angles, which i found valuable.<P>moving on from that, i would like to start a thread on the actual teaching of pointe - in it's BEGINNING stages.<P>can we restrict this discussion to, say, the first term of pointe, or the first 3 months, or better yet: starting at the absolute beginning? that way we can narrow the focus to be all really talking about the same things, not too many different ones... <P>i am happy to leave to tuk -for his next article, i hope - descriptions of placement and nitty gritty and detail - what i am geting at here is actual exercises which are valuable in the ballet class.<P>can we also aim for some SHORT POSTS? i am feeling a bit intimidated by the length and campaigning posture of some writers in other threads. so i think it's fair to assume that others may be, too? it stifles discussion, and that's a regrettable result....<P>i'll kick this off with two things.<P>one is the 'stepping up onto pointe in parallel' which barbara fewster uses in her 'Pointe by Point' instructional videotape (very good, especially for young teachers insecure about beginning to teach pointe).<P>as the name suggests, the student faces the barre in parallel, and lifts the feet, one at a time, onto pointe in parallel, remaining for a second on both pointes (i use this to tell them NOT to 'rest' there, but to check/adjust/re-assess posture and/or pull up even more.)<P>then roll down through the feet to flat. may be repeated or combined with demi-plié in parallel in-between. may also then be done in 1st, but i find it most useful in parallel, because there are less different sensations to concentrate on, with parallel being a somewhat more natural position for a human. (mind you, it's surprising how often you have to actually 'teach' awareness of what's parallel - it's not just LESS turnout!)<P>the second suggestion i have would of course come much later, insmuch as it requires leaving the barre. i pinched this from bek last week! she talked about having students walk across the room, maybe en diagonale, presumably with a fairly natural degree of rotation (not parallel, not fully turned-out). if it was me, of course i'd start with one crossing of the room -i'm not sure what bek does. maybe she'll tellus again. but what i DID like was her rule that if the student was not strong enough to stay up en pointe, they simply were not allowed to continue to work en pointe for that session.<P>i think this would work, not just as an incentive/motivating factor, but also in the truest sense that if the student cannot maintain that strength, they are far better to come off pointe and do other strengthening work - perhaps continuing in the class doing everything on demi-pointe (whether in pointe or soft shoes).<P>so there's my tuppence worth, and i've probably broken my 'short post' rule already!<P>good luck seeing if you can be briefer than me!