In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm a strong dancer on flat, but once I put my pointe shoes on, everything falls apart. I've been studying pointe for four years now, and I'm still not comfortable! What do you recommend?
Pointe shoes certainly take time to get used to. I remember feeling like I had foreign objects on my feet when I first started!
To get comfortable on pointe, you need to have extremely strong feet and ankles. Do as many stabilizing exercises as you can. Even something as simple as a daily series of relevés at the barre, or a five-minute Thera-Band routine that you go through before each class, can make a huge difference.
What helped me most was taking class on pointe consistently. When I started at the School of American Ballet, every single class was on pointe—I don't think I even owned a pair of flat shoes! It's not the most fun thing in the world at first, but it makes a huge difference. Over time, you'll begin to feel as if the shoe is part of your foot, a natural extension of your leg. And you'll get so strong.