As podiatrists with a special interest in Dance Medicine, one of the most common questions we are asked is at what age should a dancer start dancing en pointe.

When a dancer is en pointe, their toes carry 10-12 times their body weight and if a dancer commences pointe training too soon they can cause major injury. Common injuries include bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, bursitis, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains and foot fractures.

Many of these conditions can impact a dancer’s career and lead to chronic injury as an adult.

Pointe Podiatry encourages dancers to work on both intrinsic foot strengthening, correct technique placement and control through movements in order to progress safely onto pointe.

We specialise in pointe assessments for dancers and work closely with the ballet teacher and parent to determine readiness for pointe work and offer ongoing monitoring and follow up appointments.


Our role as both dance teachers and podiatrists is to look at the whole child and take into consideration many factors when considering readiness for pointe work.


  • dancer in equivalent of grade 5 ballet or above
  • pre-pointe exercises and training has been undertaken in the preceding 6 months
  • dancer is at least 11 years of age
  • a minimum of two ballet classes per week are taken
  • has been studying and dancing ballet for a minimum of 5 years
  • has the maturity, knowledge and commitment required for pointe work
  • understands the importance of foot and lower limb health, has a basic understanding of the anatomy and recognises the importance of ongoing care and management of the body
  • is able to take feedback and instruction from the ballet teacher and practitioner and apply it into practice

This is a guide only and a students technical ability and strength may supersede the above criteria.


  • turnout is maintained whilst dancing
  • shows strong core control and postural alignment when dancing and when in stationary positions.
  • exhibits adequate foot control
  • demonstrates an understanding of correct ankle and foot alignment to eliminate rolling in or sickling.
  • releves onto one leg with strong control
  • is able to perform a minimum of 20 single leg rises, maintaining alignment and without fatigue


Our assessment services vary depending on the requirements of your child. They are 1 on 1 sessions in the clinic to work through technique and correct foot placement as well as strengthening.

We like to see dancers in the 6-12 months before they are to commence pointe work to determine what level of strengthening and technique work is required. Throughout this process, we work alongside your child’s dance teachers to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Your first appointment will usually consist of a pre-pointe assessment that involves a comprehensive functional and physical assessment to examine a range of exercises and ballet steps. This will give us an idea of the pointe range, turnout range, core strength, leg strength and foot control.

You will then be given a range of exercises to help with your pre-pointe training and is reviewed accordingly over the following months. 

Our PRE-pointe assessments take 60 minutes, during which your Podiatrist will consider your history, conduct the full physical assessment and provide relevant exercises as appropriate.

Please notify our receptionists when making a pre-pointe assessment, so we can allocate appropriate appointment length or book online via the enquiry button below

You can  also receive your private health insurance rebate instantly through our HICAPS direct claiming system.

Once your Dancers teacher feels they are ready for Pointe work we will do a finial Pointe Assessment this appointment checks all the eliments required for pointe work and gives the green light to buy their first pair of pointe shoes!

POINTE ASSESSMENTS is a 45min appointment.