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The Perfect Pointe Book: All you need to get on pointe, stay on pointe and be the very best dancer you can be! Paperback – November 2, 2006
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About the Author
Lisa Howell is a physiotherapist specializing in the education and treatment of dancers. She owns and runs the Perfect Form Physiotherapy practice in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and also lectures internationally to various ballet schools and sporting institutions on exercise rehabilitation and safe technique. Lisa's aim is to develop a series of resources to allow dancers, athletes and the general public - wherever they are in the world - to have access to vital information that may change the way they work with their bodies. She enjoys working with dancers because of the responsibility they take for their own management, and their drive to achieve, or return to, full capacity as quickly as possible. Lisa began dancing at the age of 5 and she continues to use her involvement with dance as a constant learning tool. She loves to have a close interaction with her clients, so please feel free to contact her through the open blog at www.theballetblog.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
After working through the book I highly recommend this for ballet students preparing for pointe or those already en pointe looking to improve existing technique. This book does an excellent job explaining how and why strength and flexibility in certain areas is so important to have a successful experience en pointe. I particularly appreciated that the exercises went beyond foot and calf strength to include the turnout muscles and core. Everything is presented in a very systematic format with checklists to track your progress (I recommend making photocopies of those pages).
There are certain areas I wish were better in the book. There are some typos and I feel that there could be some more detail in some sections. I highly recommend that anyone who purchases this downloads the videos that go along with each stage (these are free with purchase). The videos really flesh out what the student/teacher should be looking for in pre-/post-testing and how to do the exercises properly. However, the overall cost is well worth it for the injury prevention and self-care information provided within.
I'm not a ballet dancer, but I got into ballroom and latin later in life. I like spins and turns but can't control them as well as I'd like. I figured, whatever it takes to enable one to dance on pointe, can't hurt for ballroom spins and turns. Besides, ballet is the grandmother of most all western dance and there's definitely ballet elements in the ballroom dances.
I'm no couch potato, I work out seven days a week including an hour long weight lift routine 3X per week that is (I think) a decent full-body work out. I felt that my spins and turns problem was at least partly a lack of the right kind of leg strength, but I couldn't figure out how to work the right muscles. I take private dance lessons weekly and have been trying to improve my spins and turns, but it seems I've been stuck on a plateau for six months now. Need to break out of the rut. That's why I bought this book.
So I got the book a few days ago, went through it, and grabbed every exercise that looked like it might hit muscles I'm not already working on. Wow! In the very first workout my body said "Now those are the muscles you're using when you dance." My turn out muscles as she calls them (never head of them before) are weak, and the foot muscle control exercises are incredibly hard for me right now, but they seem awesome. I knew I needed foot muscle control for spins and turns but never knew how to develop it. I think this is going to help a lot.
I haven't had time yet to go download the stuff you get with the book, and don't know for sure if it'll help my dancing. I suspect it will. I will try and remember to update this review in a few months and let you know how it's worked out for me.
It is true as another reviewer said that the graphics quality is not top notch, Time-magazine grade stuff. But the graphics are still good, far from poor in my opinion, and more than good enough to convey the intent. I'm giving this a solid four stars just because it undoubtedly is hitting the dance muscles. If it improves my spins and turns, I'm going to upgrade it to five stars.