FAQS about dance training
Pointe work-Dancers usually go en pointe only after several years of good training, in which their feet, ankles and legs
are strengthened to handle the unique and difficult demands of pointe. A competent teacher will rarely allow a girl to dance
pointe before the age of 11/12. At this time, the pointe shoes come out for the last 10 to 15 minutes of class,
and the dancer works up to wearing pointe shoes for the whole class over a period of several months. Growth plates in
the ankles and feet do not fully mature until around the ages of 11 - 14. A good turn out, pointed feet and strong backs
and cores are required for pointe training. Starting pointe work too early or on an undertrained student can cause injuries
to the feet, knees and lower back that can end a dancers career.
what age should a child be allowed to try a back bridge in gymnastics?
The USA Gymnastics "Kinder Accreditation for Teachers" program recommends that children not be required to do bridges until
they are at least 5 years of age. 1) the effect of bridges on very young spines is unknown,e, 2) there are other ways
to work on shoulder and lower back flexibility. Therefore, a bridge is not strictly necessary at a very young age, 3) children
with sufficient balance and flexibility can learn a bridge at any age. There is no advantage in teaching it prior to age 5,
4) the proportion of head size to arm length during early childhood makes it quite difficult for some children to maintain
control of the bridge position, 5) Back bends into a bridge should be strictly avoided. The back bend increases stress on
the spine and puts the head in a very precarious position should the child lose balance. Rather, early bridges should be performed
as a push up from the floor.