Dancers Health and Safety

“What’s the Pointe?”

Dance Best Practice

By Tania Kopytko and Nick Watson

Esther Juon has developed a career specialising in pointe shoe best practice. With Jackie Scannell she runs the Juon Pointe Shoe Fitting Service based in the Hawkes Bay. They travel extensively throughout New Zealand running workshops and providing pointe shoe fittings. Esther’s journey to New Zealand and her specialisation in pointe shoe fitting is a long and fascinating story in research and best practice.

 A fall during training severely injured her back, resulting in partial paralysis from the waist down. After a major operation and learning to walk again, which took her seven years, she returned to ballet with a different approach: a focus on safe dance practice and preventing dance injuries, particularly those caused by dancing en pointe.

Working with physiotherapist Lucy Redhead, a lecturer in biomechanics at Brighton University, Esther gained insight into the workings of the foot: if the foot has a three point support system on the flat and on demi-pointe, then the pointe shoe must also support the foot in three places: through the metatarsal heads, the longitudinal arch and the heel, combined with the ribbons.

Read the full article (Iss. 28) What's the Pointe

Further information on Juon Pointe and the Juon Pointe Shoe Fitting Service is available from the website:

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