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Readiness for En Pointe Work in Young Ballet Dancers Are There Proven Screening Tools and Training Protocols for a Population at Increased Risk of Injury?

Journal of dance medicine & science : official publication of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science | 6 Mar 2019

C Altmann, J Roberts, R Scharfbillig and S Jones
Abstract
To progress to a high level in classical ballet, en pointe is a requirement. The aim of this literature review was to evaluate the available evidence relating to readiness for dancing en pointe, including injury rates in the adolescent dancer population, screening tools, and pre-pointe training methods. It has been emphasized that young dancers are a demographic at increased risk of injury, especially as they progress through the growth spurt and increase their training hours. Dancers are commonly screened at the pre-pointe level, but unfortunately the majority of evidence resulting from this process, as reported in the literature, is subjective in nature. Hence, there is large variance regarding an appropriate time or level to commence en pointe training, and it remains unclear what dance teachers should be looking for in making this decision. A further paucity of evidence is demonstrated with regard to pre-pointe training protocols or instruction; in this review, no published literature was found on the topic. As such, there is a clear need for further study of pre-pointe screening and en pointe training protocols.
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