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A pre-pointe assessment is an appointment a young dancer has with a podiatrist to assess their suitability to progress to dancing en pointe.
Essentially the podiatrist takes the dancer through a series of tests and exercises to ensure that they are physically capable of progressing to dancing en pointe.
Getting that first pair of pointe shoes is a momentous occasion in a young dancer’s career.
However the developing feet of the junior dancer need to be strong enough and flexible enough to be able to manage this difficult technique. Progressing too quickly may leave the dancer at risk of injury or hamper their development as a dancer. For this reason, Ballet dancers should have a pre-pointe assessment in preparation for their pointe work training.
Ideally a pre-pointe assessment should take place 3-6 months before a dancer wishes to begin their pointe classes. If you have already started dancing en-pointe however, an assessment can still be useful. This is because, despite have sound technique, not everyone is capable on progressing to pointe classes immediately. So an early assessment enables dancers that have strength or mobility limitations adequate time to address any areas requiring further physical conditioning.
No matter the dancers experience, a pre-pointe assessment is a useful screening protocol aimed at ensuring a dancer is safe and has the physical capability to progress to dancing en pointe.
Assessments are conducted by CSSM Podiatrist, Genevieve Scott, who is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science. Genevieve has a special clinical interest in dance injuries as well as foot and lower leg mechanics.
The session begins by compiling information about the dancer. This includes their dancing history, goals as a dancer, longevity of their training, growth development and previous injury profile. From there the dancer will perform a range of tasks and exercises. These are designed to assess their postural alignment and technique. Looking specifically at strength, flexibility and range of motion available at joints and turnout. From there an assessment is made on the dancers suitability to progress to pointe work.
The appointment will take approximately one hour. There will be time for feedback and for you to ask any questions. If you would like time to warm-up before your assessment it is a good idea to arrive a little early and let our receptionist know when you arrive.
What should I bring to the appointment?
Dancers should wear comfortable clothing such as you would wear to a dance class. Most dancers wear leggings or shorts which is ideal for the podiatrist to see your legs. Also you will need to bring in all your current dance shoes.
Once the appointment is complete, the podiatrist will write a comprehensive report for you and your dance teacher. If all the exercises were completed satisfactorily there is no need for follow-up appointments and you are ready to begin pointe work.
If your podiatrist recommends that you need to improve in some areas, they will develop a plan to address your needs, this may invlove recommendations to attend our in-house Pointe Preparation classes or alternatively a home exercise program for which we will supply a video to take home to practice with. Once you feel ready you can make another appointment with the podiatrist and she can check that everything is correct. She will then send the report to your teacher explaining that you are ready to commence pointe work.
Podiatrists are the experts in foot health. Podiatry comprises the study of the feet and lower limb and no other profession studies feet in such detail. Feet are complex and injuries to the feet require different treatment to other parts of the body. During your appointment, the podiatrist will also check your skin and toes and give you any advice that might be helpful for you to care for your feet.
The team at Camberwell Sports & Spinal Medicine have developed expertise over several years of working with adolescent dancers. Understanding the rigours of performance and practice which creates an injury risk profile unique to participants. All the while forming a detailed understanding of the management and treatment of these lower limb injuries.
Our passion is making sure our dancers are ready for the demands of ballet en pointe. We are well aware that rushing this process can be problematic for the dancer and hinder their progress. So we are comprehensive in guiding you through the process of progressing to dance en pointe.
At CSSM we have amazing facilities ideal for dancing. Our dedicated space fitted with mirrors, barre and sprung floor which we use only for our dance assessments.
Podiatrist Genevieve Scott is our primary practitioner for Pre – Pointe Assessments.
Appointments can be made with Genevieve by calling the clinic on 03 9889 1078. Alternatively appointments can be made via our online portal at our website www.cssm.com.au
A comprehensive pre-pointe assessment can take between 30 – 40 minutes. We allow an hour for this appointment to enable time to go through the results of the testing and formulate a plan with the dancer. Any follow up appointments (if required) will be standard 30 minute appointments.
Bring any scans, correspondence, and reports from your health practitioner or dance teacher.
Dancers should wear comfortable clothing such as you would wear to a dance class. Most dancers wear leggings or shorts which is ideal for our practitioners to see your legs and hips. Also you will need to bring in all your current dance shoes
Not at all. While we work closely with many Dance Teachers and Instructors who are seeking the best care for their dancers. However a referral isn’t necessary. All you need to do is call to make an appointment.
Depending on your level of cover our treatment is covered under the ancillary or extras cover of most major health insurers.
Camberwell Sports & Spinal Medicine is able to offer “on the spot” rebates via HICAPS.
The pre-pointe assessment costs $180. The cost of the appointment also includes your comprehensive report prepared for you and your teacher; as well as videos of any exercises you may need to practice to prepare for ballet en pointe. Podiatry services may be claimable on private health insurance if you have appropriate extras cover.