Recently, The BVI Dance School proudly introduced nine new dancers to the art of Pointe Dancing.

This annual ritual for a select group of students was, as always, very exciting!

Most of the nine young ladies eligible this year have been taking ballet at the Dance School, with teacher Sandy Lyons, or elsewhere, since they were toddlers.  Growing up through the ranks, the members of the Grade 6 Ballet class have been working toward this goal and “rite of passage” for many years.  It has been hard work.

Dancing in “toe shoes en pointe” is no easy “feat”.  Generally, the students must be at least 10 years old with several years of ballet training.  Even meeting these requirements, the students work towards strengthening their ankles and backs to support the body during the often painful sessions of learning to dance on their toes.

As the much anticipated first pointe class arrived, the girls gathered in a group and learned the intricacies of molding lamb’s wool around their toes, to protect them, and learning the art of tying the ribbons around their ankles.  Then it was time to stand at the ballet barre and finally go up on their toes!

“I’ve waited five years to do this” said a smiling Alexia Penn

11 year old Kali Warrican and 12 year old Jamelia Benjamin agreed.

Angelique Lettsome explained how she had been working hard at her back exercises to get to this day.

Lucie Mobbs commented how she was inspired by watching the advanced dancers of the BVI Dance School dance “en pointe” in previous performances of the BVI DanceFest.

“Boy, it is painful!”  Erin Williams commented, “but I expected that and was ready to make the sacrifice!”  All this while she flitted around the room on her toes.  Teacher Sandy Lyons noted Erin had obviously cheated a bit and been dancing around her house before getting her first “official” pointe lesson!

Nicole Munro very tentatively took her first steps on her toes.  “Uh….I don’t want to hurt myself!”

Newcomer to the BVI Dance School,  Isabelle Saunders smiled sagely at the other students.  Having been dancing on her toes at a previous school for one year, she gave them good advice.  “It hurts a lot less as time goes by and you “break in” your shoes!”