In my son’s ballet class today, their teacher asked the kids how old they were. Most of the girls indicated that they were turning 10 this year. When the teacher realized this, she told her students that they needed to have 3x per week classes starting July. She stated that in Classical Ballet, a dancer’s time is limited and that upon reaching 10 no time was to be wasted. Before even getting their first acne treatment, the teacher intends to start them on pointe work. She says 3x per week training would ensure that the kids are strong enough to do more demanding pointe routines.
While it is good to get kids on pointe shoes soonest, it is normally not advisable for them to do this before 10. Doing so would lead to growth problems because children’s bones are more cartilagenous in nature. They also must have demonstrated strength in routines done on regular ballet shoes. The bleeding toes are definitely not for the faint of heart.
Pointe shoes are the distinguishing mark of a ballerina from other dancers. The seemingly effortless moves on stage result from years of tears, dedication and hard work.