Guest Blog by Jeremy Hunt
M.Phty(GE), B.App.Sc.(HM), Dip Pilates APAM
Polestar Pilates Educator and Examiner
Physiotherapist for Bangarra Dance Theatre
Member of International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS)
Starting to dance en pointe is a rite of passage for any aspiring ballerina and a very exciting time in a dancer’s early career. However, this is not a typical function of the human foot and you need to make sure she is ready for the demands of dancing on her toes to prevent pain or lifelong injury.
Areas that need to be assessed include classical ballet technique, foot and ankle strength and flexibility, postural control, core stability as well as turnout range and strength. Any major deficits in these areas will predispose a dancer to an injury if not addressed before going en pointe. Studies have shown that 36% of chronic injuries in Australian professional ballet dancers commence before 18 years of age.
The best way to see if a dancer is ready, is to have a pre-pointe assessment with a physiotherapist. The assessment is used develop an individualised exercise program that ensures the dancer progresses onto pointe safely and improves their dance technique in general. The exercises prescribed will compliment the dancer’s current training thus producing a stronger all-round performer and increasing the longevity of the dancer’s career.
According to recent studies , there is no significant difference of incidence before and after starting pointe work, but rather pain and dysfunction are related to years spent dancing with poor technique.
If you’d like to find out more about pre-point assessments, call Jeremy Hunt on 02 9968 3424 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SquareOne Pre-Pointe Assessment is based on the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) criteria combined with an in-depth orthopaedic assessment to identify areas of weakness that may predispose a dancer to injury.