3 Key Exercises for Stronger, More Stable Pointework

Ballet Academy East student Stella MacDonald (Erin Baiano)

It's the rite of passage every young ballerina dreams of: getting her first pair of pointe shoes. But it's important to remember that a lot (and we mean a lot) of hard work and technique-honing leads up to this moment—not to mention getting the green light from your teacher. Dance Spirit turned to Jenna Lavin, former Miami City Ballet dancer and principal of the pre-professional division at Ballet Academy East in NYC, for three exercises meant to strengthen, train, and stabilize the muscles you'll be using once you're on pointe.


Jenna's note:
"While these exercises will help your muscles and technique, it's more about the years of meticulous training leading up to pointework. These exercises are ideal for dancers just about to go on pointe. I recommend mastering them in ballet slippers prior to executing them in pointe shoes."

​Exercise #1: Roll-Ups in Sixth Position

Photo by Erin Baiano

1. Face the barre in sixth position. Make sure your core is engaged, your seat is under you, your knees are truly straight, and your shoulders are down.

Exercise #2: Roll-Ups in First Position

Photo by Erin Baiano

1. Face the bar in first position.

Exercise #3: Landing Practice

Photo by Erin Baiano

1. Face the bar in first position.



A version of this story appeared in the March 2019 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "To the Pointe."

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Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:

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