As children learn and grow and their dance skills improve, getting into pointe shoes can be a very exciting moment.
However, it is important to make sure the child’s foot is properly developed before beginning pointe.
Although designed to facilitate dancing en pointe, pointe shoes distribute body weight very unnaturally over the foot, causing stress and strain in unusual areas. In an immature foot or a foot without adequate strength to counteract the stress and strain, significant injury and even long-term problems can develop. These problems could include stress fractures, tendon or ligament injury, severe ankle sprains, osteoarthritis, bunions and hammertoes. Therefore, a dancer needs strong, developed feet in order to combat this stress and at least reduce the chance of injury or progressive deformity
. When you figure that deformities develop over time in the healthiest of pointe dancers, imagine how debilitating or limiting the injuries could be in a foot not prepared.