Students meeting the following requirements are considered eligible to audition for Pointe 1:
- Minimum two years of ballet experience
- Eleventh birthday has passed before the first week of ballet classes (age twelve preferred)
​​​​​​​One pointe audition class is scheduled in the weeks leading up to a new dance year. The purpose of the audition class is to determine students' pointe readiness by assessing their foot, ankle, and leg strength, their foot mobility and articulation, core strength, balance, and dynamic control. Students who pass the audition will be invited to enroll in Pointe 1. Students who do not pass will be given feedback on which skills to develop and asked to re-audition the following dance year.
Dancers are not required to prepare for the audition in any way; however, students wishing to prepare are encouraged to practice the following skills:
- Élevés/Relevés
- Planking
- Foot stretching
- Passé retiré balancing
- Piqué turns
- Single leg jumps
Buying Pointe Shoes
Once a student has passed her pointe audition, she will need to get fitted for her first pair of pointe shoes. Here is some information to help guide you through the process:
Proper fit is very important. Pointe shoe sizes are different from street shoe sizes, and need to fit correctly both in length and in width. The "box" (or toe) of the shoe needs to be roomy enough that the toes aren't crushed together in plie, but if the shoe is too wide, the dancer will sink into her shoe when standing en pointe, not getting enough support and putting too much weight on the big toe. The idea is to find a shoe that's narrow enough to give support (but not too tight), and roomy enough that all five toes are flat on the floor when standing normally.
Therefore, while subsequent pairs of pointe shoes may be ordered online, it is crucial that a dancer's first pair of pointe shoes is fitted in person. We recommend setting up an appointment for a fitting at Empire Dance Shop in Spokane.
- During the fitting, the dancer will likely be asked to try on many different pointe shoe brands and models offering various shapes, degrees of shoe resistance, and different "break" points for the dancer's arch (closer or farther from the heel). Once the dancer has decided on a shoe that feels comfortable, you will be sent home with the ribbons and elastic straps to be sewn onto the shoes, which helps customize the fit even more.
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