All you need to know about your Pre Pointe Assessment

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Has your Ballet teacher has asked you to see a Physiotherapist for a Pre Pointe Assessment or you are a young dancer hoping to dance on pointe soon?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, please read on to found out all about Pre Pointe Assessments undertaken at Peak Performance Physiotherapy

Why have a Pre Pointe Assessment and what does it involve?

A pre pointe assessment allows a qualified physiotherapist to determine whether your body is ready to begin pointe work. It is also a safety measure that aids in the prevention of injuries.

During the one-hour appointment your physiotherapist will assess numerous outcomes including pointe range, foot control, abdominal control and turnout range and compare these to the appropriate values for your age. Review of technique, general body awareness and control as well as the degree of joint hypermobility will also be undertaken during the assessment.

When should I have a pre pointe assessment?

Whilst there is no specific age or time that suits everyone, as physiotherapists we generally recommend not undertaking an assessment until a minimum of 11 years old due to growth related changes.

At this age your dance teacher who is familiar with your ballet technique and progress may suggest seeking a pre pointe assessment. Generally, this will also align with the level of ballet you are studying and when pointe work is introduced in the syllabus (for example RAD ballet introducing pointe work at Intermediate Foundation), however this is not always the case.

What should I wear?

Similar to a ballet class your physiotherapist will need to see your posture and alignment during the assessment. Any tightfitting clothing or dance wear (leotard, crop top and shorts etc) that is comfortable and that won’t restrict your movement will be helpful for your assessment.

How can I prepare for the assessment?

Make sure that you apply any corrections from your teacher during ballet class. If you are unsure of things to work on ask your teacher after class.

It is very important for dancers to have strong feet and ankles to ensure both stability during double and single leg work as well as power when jumping and rising onto pointe. A way to improve this is by doing regular heel raises on one leg and trying to increase the number that you can do.

Will I find out if I can start pointe during the assessment?

Yes, we will let you know if you can be fitted for pointe shoes following the assessment. If you are ready after your first assessment or if you have areas to work on to ensure you are safe, your physiotherapist will provide you exercises to help any areas identified during the assessment to allow you to get onto pointe safely and/or to improve your strength and reduce the chance of any future injuries.

Can I have a copy of the assessment?

During the days following your assessment your physiotherapist will prepare a report summarising your assessment. It includes values of the essential criteria for pointe work and a comparison to the appropriate normal values for your age as well as comments on your performance and areas for improvement. We will email a copy of the report to you as well as your dance teacher.

What if I’m not ready to dance on pointe?

If you are not ready to begin pointe work after your assessment then your physiotherapist will explain to you any areas of improvement needed to be safe to progress onto pointe. We will give you specific exercises to target these areas and assess these in a realistic timeframe to achieve improvement. It does not mean that you will not ever dance en pointe, just not yet.

For further information about our Pre Pointe Assessments or Dance Assessments please contact the clinic. Assessments can be booked online via our online booking form or by calling the clinic on 8544 1397