Why have a pre-pointe assessment?
Dancing en pointe is an aim of most ballet dancers. It is exciting, but it does put great stress on the dancer’s body – feet, ankles, legs, hips etc.
If the dancer is physically prepared to progress, the risks are minimal, but it is important to be sure. An appropriately trained physiotherapist can carry out a very specific assessment, covering strength, core, flexibility and technique. Strength is important to control movement and maintain balance. This includes core strength, turnout strength, calf strength and strength within the feet. Flexibility is required in order to obtain appropriate body alignment, minimising demand on muscles to assist balance. Technical skill ensures the co-ordination of strength, control and range of motion.
Unfortunately, not every dancer is able to dance en pointe. For example, a bony block due to a condition such as os trigonum may prevent the ankle from achieving full pointe range. This is unusual, but it is important to be aware if such a condition is present.
Most limitations can be overcome.