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At Grace Christian Dance Company, we are committed to our dancers’ safety. Recognizing that dancing en pointe can put significant stress on a young body, we adhere to a training process that may take several years before the dancer is strong enough to wear her first pair of pointe shoes. Below is a rough timeline for how we safely and effectively prepare Company dancers to dance en pointe. We are committed to progressing dancers through each level only if their body is strong enough to avoid injury, they are dedicated to quality at-home practice, and they attend year-round classes faithfully. We do not rush this process. 

For the safety of the dancer, those pursuing pointe must have a healthy BMI and a strong physical body type with no repeated sprains, strains, fractures, or other injuries.

Please read each level’s description carefully. If your dancer is not ready to make the commitment to the full process, we still strongly recommend all dancers attend Foot Strengthening Class as an addition to their regular classes. This will strengthen and improve their feet and legs, which is crucial to all dancing.


CLASS REQUIREMENTS: In order to pursue Pointe, dancers must be enrolled in Company and an additional Ballet class, with near 100% attendance. Dancers that drop one or both of these classes become ineligible to continue Pointe.

HOMEWORK REQUIREMENTS: Pre-Pointe and Pointe dancers are required to complete at least 5 hours of strengthening homework per week. These 5 hours include time spent in Foot Strengthening, Pointe 1, and Pointe 2 classes.

If homework requirements are not met, the dancer will return to the previous step (ex. if they were in Pointe 2, they would return to Pointe 1), for 3-6 months before they may return to their class. If this lapse in homework happens while preparing for a performance, the dancer may lose their eligibility to perform. 


To join Foot Strengthening, the dancer must be at least 9 years of age.

This class will strengthen the dancer’s feet and legs for beautiful pointing and relevé. This is a great add-on class for all dancers. 

For those with the goal of dancing en pointe, this class is the first step in that process. Foot Strengthening will help create a strong, safe base for the stresses that will be put on those areas of the body. Dancers will participate in this year-round class for at least 1-3 years before moving on to step 2 in this process.

To join Pre-Pointe, the dancer must:

  • Be at least 12 years of age
  • Have spent at least 1 year in the following GCDC classes:
    • Foot Strengthening
    • Company
    • Ballet
  • Pass an evaluation. In this evaluation, teachers will look to see if the dancer:
    • Consistently demonstrates 180° plantar flexion in elevé and while pointing the foot (see photo below). Knee must be able to fully straighten while maintaining 180° plantar flexion in elevé.
    • Consistently demonstrates proper body alignment, coordination of heels and knees, turnout from the hip, and the strength to maintain balance and repeated elevés
  • Be mature enough to handle the responsibility and accountability of putting in quality at-home practice time on a daily basis


Pre-Pointe class will increase the level of strengthening, and practice meeting the homework requirement, needed for future pointe work. This class meets during Foot Strengthening and requires 5 hours of independent documented work, including time spent in Foot Strengthening class. 

Dancers will participate in this year-round class for at least 6 months before moving on to level 3 in this process. Progress is based on the dancer’s continued physical development and strength, as well as consistency in homework.

To join Pointe 1, the dancer must: 

  • Be at least 13 years of age
  • Pass a reevaluation
  • Have shown consistent commitment to quality at-home practice time on a daily basis and documents these sessions for the instructor
  • Have had close to 100% attendance and effort in Foot Strengthening Class


Pointe 1 Class will start the dancer on specially designed pointe shoes. This will require scheduling a pointe shoe fitting at Tutu in Bridgeville with a fitting specialist and purchasing the required items, which can cost $80-$150 yearly.

This class will take place on a supportive barre and consist of drills and simple combinations to prepare the dancer for further pointe repertoire. While there is no minimum time requirement before moving to Pointe 2, dancers should be prepared to participate in this year-round class for at least 1 to 2 years before moving on. 

To join Pointe 2, the dancer must:

  • Be at least 14 years of age
  • Continue in Foot Strengthening class in addition to Pointe 1 class
  • Have had close to 100% attendance and effort in Foot Strengthening 
  • Have shown consistent commitment to quality at-home practice time on a daily basis and documents these sessions for the instructor
  • Be found ready to handle pointe work off barre, per teacher recommendation


Pointe 2 class will move the pointe dancer off of the supportive barre and into the centre for more strenuous pointe work and choreography.

In this class, pointe dancers have the opportunity to perform in a Christmas Show and possibly the Spring Show, if the production allows.

To remain in Pointe 2, the dancer must continue to:

  • Attend Foot Strengthening, Pointe 1, and Pointe 2 class year-round
  • Have close to 100% attendance in all of those classes
  • Maintain quality at-home practice time on a daily basis and document these sessions for the instructor
  • Show themselves ready for pointe work off barre