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When can I start pointe?

This is a question I get asked a lot, especially towards the final years of primary school. Every girls ballet dream is to go on pointe, and every parent can't wait to see their child get their first pair of pointe shoes. It's a highlight of their ballet training. They've watched so many older students before them glide gracefully across the stage in their pointe shoes in show dances and can't wait until it's their turn.

When to start

It really is different for everyone, and there are so many factors to consider. One thing we are insistent about at Linzi Grace School of Dance is not allowing children to go on pointe until they are ready. Not only is it costly, but it can also be extremely dangerous to their development to start too soon.

I have many children asking when it's their turn, "because their friend at a another dance school went on pointe when they were in year 5." They then assume that this child must be a better dancer than them, as they were allowed to start earlier.

I can assure you this is definitely NOT the case!

All dance schools have different policies and values, and we strongly value the children's safety over the "wow factor" of being told to start at a young age.

The RAD (Royal Academy of Dance) who's syllabus we follow, discourage pointe before the age of 12, and pointe work is not included in any of the grades - only in the vocational levels.


Pointe shoes are expensive! They need fitting by a specialist. There aren't any pointe shoe shops in North Wales and our dancers travel to Prescot to get their shoes fitted. There's also the cost of the ribbons, gel toe pads, suede protectors and often other accessories like toe separators and gel toe caps. It's much better to wait until the feet have either stopped growing, or at least slowed down, or you could be spending up to £130 on new shoes every few months.

I know todays social media generation are all too keen to get quick and easy results. But I encourage you to please trust us as your teachers, trust the process, and know that we really do have your best interests at heart. It would be all too easy to give in to pressure, to keep everyone happy and allow children to go on pointe when they want, or at the same time as their friends in other dance schools. But we'd much rather keep out integrity and follow what we know to be the best and safest practice.

Keep working hard in ballet class, listen to your corrections, and when we feel your old enough, strong enough and have the technique in the elements required, you will soon get the go ahead to get pointe shoes.

You'll be pleased you waited - trust me!

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