What is a pre-pointe assessment?
Starting pointe work is an exciting milestone for a ballet dancer. A pre-pointe assessment is carried out to determine if the student has the required strength, control and mobility to commence pointe work, and to check that it will be safe for the student to dance on pointe. Having a pre-pointe assessment is not a foolproof method of preventing injuries, but it does significantly reduce the risk. A lot of musculoskeletal measures are performed during an assessment which can be useful to refer to if an injury is sustained. Dr Stacey Leong (chiropractor) will also discuss previous injuries and the student’s medical history.
There are range of tests performed in a Pre-Pointe Assessment.
What are the inclusions of this assessment?
Checking for swelling and discomfort around the feet, ankles and shins
Assessing range of motion/movement of the big toes (demi-pointe) and hip external rotation (turnout), as well as seeing how far the student can point their feet
Looking for calf and foot muscle activation
Checking alignment of the feet and ankles, including the big toes
Assessing ballet specific movements
The student is usually given specific exercises at their pre-pointe assessment to help develop strength, control and mobility. These are tailored to the individual student’s needs.
The student will receive a report indicating how they performed on each of the tests which can be provided to their ballet teacher.
A pre-pointe assessment usually takes 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the needs of the student. In some situations, follow up appointments may be recommended.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How does a pre-pointe assessment help?
Also, young dancers must remember to look after their bodies so that they can continue to enjoy ballet as well as living a healthy life in the future when they may have stopped dancing.
At what age should a student commence pointe work?
However, everybody is unique in terms of their physical development and ballet technique. Not all students commence pointe work immediately after an assessment.
What happens if a student isn’t ready to go on pointe?
These students are usually given a range of appropriate exercises to help develop strength, control
and mobility until they are ready. Often students continue to work on these exercises even when they have started pointe work.
What happens when a student is ready to go on pointe?
What should a dancer wear for a pre-pointe assessment?
required as we like to see the feet. If the student has already purchased pointe shoes, they should
bring these along.
What else can be done to help prepare for pointe?
By assessing movement patterns, posture and balance, chiropractors can assist in providing primary injury prevention. Many dancers, just life professional athletes, choose to add chiropractic care to their lifestyle to help them be their best with enhanced spine, nervous system and extremity joint function.
In addition, keeping a good balance between training and rest as well as balanced nutrition are important.
What is Dr Stacey Leong’s (chiropractor) background in ballet?
As a teenager, Dr Stacey Leong attended the Marie Walton-Mahon Dance Academy and The Australian Ballet School for her pre-professional ballet training. At the age of 17, she decided to study chiropractic at Murdoch University. While studying at university, she taught ballet to children in Perth. Stacey graduated as a chiropractor in 2008 and continued to teach ballet until 2012 when she moved to Canberra. That year, Stacey commenced working at Canberra Spine Centre. She also worked at Bloch in Canberra from 2012 to 2015 and trained in fitting pointe shoes. Stacey continues to be involved in ballet, participating in classes at 6th Position in Civic.