Yes. Because dancing en pointe requires increased muscle strength and balance, there are several activities and exercises that will prepare a dancer for these new stresses.
- Make sure you spend adequate time on ¾ pointe or demi pointe. You should be very comfortable on ¾ pointe before you attempt to move into full pointe. Taping the toes can also help to protect them from the strain and rubbing of wearing pointe shoes.
- Participate in regular balance exercises with the goal of standing in passe en releve on each leg for 30 seconds without utilizing a bar.
- Stretch and warm up properly to ensure joints of the feet and legs are functioning properly. A good pointing of the foot is imperative for the ability to move into full pointe dancing.
- Muscle strengthening is also an imperative. Dancers are notoriously strong and can be seen as high level athletes, but the increased stress and strain of dancing en pointe requires even greater strength of the foot and ankles.
There are some stretches and exercises that can help strengthen foot muscles and prepare ligaments and tendons to support the new weight distribution of dancing en pointe.
Toe resistance band - Use an elastic band as resistance when doing range of motion or other exercises of the foot or ankle. This is a great exercise to increase the strength of the foot and ankle.
Find more exercises to strengthen the ankle here.