Pre-Pointe Assessment

March 2022
Brianna Lock (Physiotherapist)

Did you know that we offer dance physiotherapy and pre-pointe assessments?

Are you ready to take the next step in your dancing journey? The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science have released guidelines for what is required to take the next step into your exciting future and possible career as a dancer. These guidelines recommend that a PRE-POINTE ASSESSMENT is completed with your physiotherapist to help assess your readiness to begin safe en pointe work.

Why do I need this?

This high demand sport can have a lot of physical stresses on the body involving high repetitive load on muscles and bones which can often lead to injury if not adequately prepared for this type of functional demand. Did you know that ballet shoes increase the load through the foot by 4x the dancer’s body weight (eg; dancer is 30kg, that is 120kg!). Pointe work increases these forces up to 12x the dancer’s body weight! You can imagine what this could result in with training 2x a week for 1-2 hours a session.

Common injuries in dance:

• Overuse injuries; stress fracture & tendinopathy

• Spondylolysis

• Patella-femoral pain syndrome

• Ankle Sprains

• Labral tear

• Snapping hip syndrome

• Bunions, callus & blisters

• And many more…

What is involved in the assessment process?

The physiotherapist will assess the dancer in detail looking to identify range of motion, foot control, turnout range and pelvic stability, core control and the application of all of these in basic ballet steps.

Examples of things we look for:

• Pointe range: 180 degrees of ankle and foot movement

• Demonstrate correct technique, alignment and pelvic stability in plié, relevé and tendu devant, derrieré and a la secondé

• 20+ single leg toe rises maintaining alignment

• Balance on relevé with the body correctly positioned over the supporting leg for 20+ seconds

• And much more….

After the assessment, your parent and teacher will receive a report, outlining what was found and the steps required to achieve your goals. The dancer will be given exercises to address the findings in the assessment and the dancer will need to complete these exercises until the next appointment.