One of our passions at Inspired Physio is advocating for safe dance practice and that’s why we have a structured Pre Pointe assessment to show students, teachers and parents the minimum requirements to progress en pointe to minimise future injuries. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about Pre Pointe Assessments:
1. Why does my child need a pre pointe assessment? Can’t their teacher judge whether they’re ready?
We recommend a trained dance physio conduct a pre pointe assessment where specific measurements of the hip and ankle are recorded and particular strength such as rises strength (calf strength) with good technique / foot muscle strength are tested as well as overall functional movement within ballet technique. The ballet teacher still plays a part in this process because they see the student in class and can make a better judgement of the student’s maturity and technical capability however their eye isn’t train to see what a physio sees.
2. How many session will be needed? Is it just a once off?
The pre pointe process is just that, it’s a process. Just like a concert dance, it takes a couple of sessions to develop the skills and strength and with each session we re-assess how well the student has progressed and upgrade their exercises accordingly or do some ‘hands on’ physio to help them progress. The number of sessions will often be dependent on the students background in dance (how long they’ve danced for, where they learnt ballet) as well as the student’s dedication to doing the exercises prescribed.
3. What’s involved in a pre pointe assessment?
The initial pre pointe assessment will start with taking a history to find out about previous injuries, experience in dance and goals with dance. We then assess their technique by going through some simple moves such as demi plie, grand plie, rises in first, etc as well as take some measurements such as turnout measurement and pointe range. Once we got those measurements then we can prescribe the appropriate exercises.
4.What happens once we’ve been approved for pointe?
Once you’ve been approved for pointe we provide you and your teacher with a letter to let them know that you’ve achieved what you needed to achieve. You then book in for your pointe shoe fitting at whichever store your teacher prefers and the preferred pointe shoe fitter (this can take a week or two depending on the store and how busy they are). Once you’ve got your shoes and your teacher is happy with them, come back to the clinic for a follow up appointment where we will show you easy to do home exercises that are safe and won’t risk breaking the shoes or injuring you!
5. Should I continue my pre pointe exercises even though I’m en pointe?
YES! It’s a ‘use it or lose it’ principle. If you don’t continue to practice your exercises at least 3x a week you will not maintain the strength required to continue to do pointe and increase your chance of injury.
If you have any more questions about pre pointe assessments please feel free to email the clinic on email@example.com and we’ll add it to the blog and send you an email!