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Why Have a Pre Pointe Assessment:

A pre pointe assessment allows a qualified podiatrist to determine whether a ballet dancer’s body is ready to begin pointe work. It is a very important assessment to prevent lower limb injuries and foot and ankle trauma.

Often the ballet teacher will suggest to the student to see a podiatrist to have the ‘feet checked’ before going onto pointe and purchasing pointe shoes.

The pre pointe assessment will include:

  • Lower limb and core strength.
  • Flexibility and ankle range of motion required to go onto pointe.
  • Skeletal maturity.
  • Turnout.
  • Experience and technique.
  • Foot shape and posture.
  • Long term and short term goals
  • Previous injuries and injury prevention.

This information facilitates appropriate advice and a plan of stretching and strengthening exercises combined with liaison with the ballet teacher to prevent injuries and maintain a long dance career.

What Does It Involve?

For injury prevention and a long dancing career it is vital a pre pointe assessment is undertaken to check your body is ready to go onto pointe.

During the appointment your podiatrist will assess many variables, which include;

The pre pointe assessment will include:

  • Lower limb and core strength.
  • Foot and ankle control.
  • Flexibility and ankle range of motion required to go onto pointe.
  • Skeletal maturity.
  • Turnout range.
  • Experience and technique.
  • Foot shape and posture.
  • Long term and short term goals.
  • Previous injuries and medical history.

The above assessment will allow the podiatrist to come up with an individualised strengthening and mobility program which will be sent to you and your ballet teacher to prevent injuries and maintain a long dance career.

Pre Pointe Assessment

When Should I Have a Pre Pointe Assessment?

  • 6-12 months prior to having to go on pointe, which is around 11 years old.
  • The average age to go on pointe is 12 years old, but this is based on strength and technique of the dancer.

What Should I Wear?

  • The podiatrist will need to see your posture and alignment during the assessment.
  • Please wear what you would to dance class (leotard, crop top and shorts etc).
  • Clothing that is comfortable and won’t restrict your movement will be necessary for your assessment.

How Can I Prepare For A Pre Pointe Assessment?

  • Work on any technical errors or ask your dance teacher on any improvements that need to be made prior to your assessment.
  • Work on your lower leg strength- preforming heel raises on one leg and trying to increase the number that you can do is a great start.

Will I Find Out If I Can Start Pointe During The Assessment?

Yes, you will be advised if you are ready to go on pointe directly after the assessment.

What If I’m Not Ready To Dance On Pointe?

If you are not quite ready and safe to go onto pointe, the podiatrist will explain the areas that need to be worked on and will give you an exercise program to improve your strength, flexibility and risk of injury. You will then be reassessed in a suitable time frame based on your assessment.

Common Dance Injuries

Foot and ankle injuries are very common in ballet dancers due to the repetitive stress that is placed on the lower limb muscles, joints, tendons and bones. The feet have to conform to extreme positions while jumping, landing, balancing and turning out.

Foot injuries can hold a dancer back or even end a career. This is why it is important to see a podiatrist with proper knowledge and training who can evaluate management and rehabilitation dance injuries.

Some common dance injuries we see at the centre include;

For further information about our Pre Pointe Assessments please contact the centre or make an online booking.

If you have any questions before making your appointment you can email us at contact@wellheeledpodiatry.com.au.