Going en pointe is a common goal and an honor to many aspiring dancers, but it is difficult and can be dangerous. Dancers desiring to go en pointe should understand the seriousness and dedication that is required to advance to this level of technique. TVDA has strict rules and requirements that must be met before and after awarding a student an okay to get pointe shoes. TVDA believes in a conservative approach when it comes to pointe work and we will not put any student en pointe if they are not ready, no matter how great the desire. It’s never too late to put a dancer en pointe but doing so too early can have detrimental effects on both their progress and their physical development. When it comes to awarding a student pointe shoes all TVDA staff must agree that the student’s technical ability, anatomical development, strength and maturity meets TVDA standards. When a new student comes to TVDA who was awarded pointe shoes from a different studio they will have to take a review class before TVDA will accept them as a pointe student. This means that they might not be prepared for pointe to TVDA standards and therefore will not be allowed to wear pointe shoes at the studio until TVDA standards have been reached. If a student is interested in pointe work they should acquire from the office a pointe shoe prerequisite packet to see if they meet the eligibility requirements. All students must be approved by the studio director, whether they think they meet the eligibility requirements or not. Some feet are not constructed to put a dancer en pointe. This is a hard message to receive but can be confirmed by a medical professional. If the minimum flexibility is not passed by a dancer then we may recommend they see a professional to see if it will ever be a possibility. We will not put a dancer en pointe if this structural issue is a compromise. TVDA does offer many other dancing options besides being en pointe and many dancers have very successful careers without dancing in pointe shoes.
*Please see the appendix for a copy of our pointe shoe contract
This said, TVDA does not believe that learning to dance in pointe shoes is an essential requirement for becoming a good dancer. If a student doesn’t want to dance in pointe shoes they should not feel pressured to pursue it. A student may advance to the advanced level of ballet without committing to pointe shoes.