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Ballet/clearance for pointe

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Question
I am a physician and have been asked to clear an 11yo for progressing to point.  Her sensory, motor and strength are all normal.  Should she have xrays to be sure growth plates have matured prior to beginning pointe?

Answer
Sorry for the delay in response.  I wanted to let you know that x-rays are usually not needed.  The best way to tell if she can progress to point is through an assessment by a competent ballet teacher.  If she has the strength in her feet and ankles and works with good alignment and good technique she should be fine to begin pointe work.   However, simple work on pointe should be stressed.  The teacher should begin teaching pointe work while students are holding onto the barre.  Unfortunately, it is the teacher's methods that matter more in the student's risk of injury than whether or not her growth plates have matured.

If she is feeling nervous you could press her to investigate the background of her teacher.  Also, I would recommend theraband exercises (pointing and flex the foot, winging and sickling the foot, all with a resistance band).  I hope this helps with your situation; let me know if you have any further questions.

Ballet

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Connie

Expertise

I can answer lots about ballet, specifically the Vaganova syllabus. I'm still training, but both my parents were professional dancers, so most answers will be coming from them, not me. :) They're the experts. Obviously, questions about difficult technique, etc, would be better answered with someone else, but if you're just becoming interested in dancing, or are having problems with basic steps, like pirouettes or plies, then I may be able to help

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I've seen ballet since the age of 0, because of my parents, and I am training to become a professional dancer now.

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School.

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