Hello dancers and welcome back to another From The Top question and answer segment! As you all know, we host a dance Q & A about twice every year, where we answer questions sent in by you, our From The Top Family! One of the most amazing things about these Q & A’s is that you all always send in some amazing questions and they are always such a joy to seed through! BUT before we get started, just a reminder that we always make sure to keep the names of all submissions anonymous to ensure comfortability to our FTT Family. However, if you see your question below, big kudos to you! Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!
Question #1: “Hi Lexi! What is one thing you wish you knew before starting pointe?”
Answer: Hi there and thanks for writing in! The one thing I wish I knew before starting pointe is the pain.
I’m just joking!
No, all jokes aside, one thing I truly wish I had known before starting pointe was the amount of patience I would have to exercise as I began to learn this new way of ballet. Dancing in demi pointe is one thing, but dancing en pointe is another and there are some differences. In some areas it is like starting over especially in terms of balance, turns etc. However, with just a little patience and practice, you quickly find your way back on the saddle, once you do, it’s awesome.
Question #2: “How old do you have to be to get on pointe?”
Answer: This question has actually been a topic of discussion in the dance world throughout the years. It is said that the youngest a dancer can begin pointe is age 11, as that is the age where the bones in your feet are closer to reaching their full development. Some also say that a safer age to begin would be between the ages of 12-13. However, above all, more than age, ability is always the best indication of when a dancer is ready to begin pointe. Without the necessary skill set, foot and ankle strength, pointe can be extremely detrimental to a dancer physically, no matter the age. So please be sure to consult your instructor before getting your pointe shoes and please don’t try your hand at it before getting the ‘okay’. Your body will surely thank you!
Question #3: “What is the best tap shoe to use?”
Answer: In my humble opinion, the Bloch Tap Flex. They are super comfortable and so easy to move in. Articulation is a breeze and they break in very easily, and very quickly. I know of a lot of other dancers that feel the same way about this shoe, so if you are in the market, I highly suggest checking them out!
Question #4: “Do muscle rubs help with warming up before class?”
Answer: Oh yes, definitely! Especially if you’re aiding an injury. Works wonders!
Question #5: “What is the most popular dance genre now in 2021”
Answer: That’s an excellent question! According to recent research, the reigning champ is none other than ballet. Which is a huge surprise to me personally, even as a ballet lover myself. My guess would’ve been hip hop, since hip hop classes today fill up so quickly around the world. But what can I say! Ballet will always have a place in the world’s heart!
Question #6: “How early before my class should I stretch?”
Answer: I would definitely say anywhere between 10-15 min. Before class. It’s not early before the class to where your muscles may cool off too soon, and it’s not too late to where you won’t be able to take your time and warm your body up the way you need to. It’s the perfect happy medium!
Question #7: “I really like ballet but I always feel like there is so much to think about, which makes it really challenging for me. What can I do to change that?”
Answer: First things first, trust me when I say that you are not alone in this. Many dancers feel this exact same way about ballet and have successfully worked through it. I, myself, have definitely had my moments when I just felt like there was just so much to think about. My own personal advice however, would be to trust your knowledge. I take it that you are a diligent ballet student and that in itself shows that you have the necessary knowledge that you need. Body alignment, muscle engagement, terminology. These are all things that have been repeated to us for what seems like forever. But the great thing about this repetition is that it becomes engraved into our minds almost subconsciously, and that is what you have to trust. Let go of any self critiques and allow your body to take the lead over your mind. Believe me, you know what you are doing. Release every bit of “terminology pressure” and just dance.
Thank you all so much again for sending such amazing questions! It’s always a pleasure reading and answering them. As always, we wish you an amazing weekend full of love and light, and remember…