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Perspective on Pointe Class

By: Camey VanSant

By Emmie

I have always hated pointe class. It’s ironic as pointe shoes are one of the most iconic symbols of ballet as an art form. But I don’t hate pointe in general, in fact, I love performing on pointe or learning choreography on pointe, it is just pointe class that I don’t like. I always thought that  I didn’t like pointe class because it was boring because instead of artistic and expressive choreography it was just training exercises that were dry with the goal of strengthening my pointe work. But after spending the past two months taking a pointe class every day I came to the realization that my previous dislike of pointe class was not because it was boring (it’s not) but because pointe scared me. Pointe scared me and in pointe class, there was time to overthink and give in to the anxiety that I might slip and fall or twist my ankle whereas in pointe choreography there isn’t time to overthink or be scared, you just have to do the choreography.

My fear is understandable as pointe work makes the surface area of the main two contact points on the floor significantly smaller. Furthermore, those points of contact are covered in satin decreasing the friction between your feet and the floor. As my classes began in September I dreaded seeing pointe class on the schedule but I find that I am no longer dreading it. I am becoming comfortable with pointe class and there isn’t a need to overthink. So my hatred of pointe class has eased and it feels like one of the most visible improvements that I have made so far this year. I have always understood the importance and need for mental strength in dance alongside the physical aspect of it. But prior to this year, I was comfortable in my environment because I had been at the same studio for 13 years with the same teachers so long I had forgotten about some of the mental challenges of dance. This year though I am remembering how important mental grit is and the satisfaction that comes with overcoming those challenges, even if it is just my hatred of pointe class.