The Perfect Pointe Book

All The Tips, Tricks And Exercises You Need To Know About Starting En Pointe

Lisa Howell – Perfect Form Physiotherapy

Lisa Howell (B.Phty) is a Physical Therapist (Physiotherapist) based in Sydney, Australia, who specialises in the assessment and treatment of dancers of all ages, from young students to professional level, and teachers. She is dedicated to the education of dancers to help prevent injury, and to develop optimal performance at every level. She produces a FREE weekly dancers newsletter with tips on all aspects of dance to help spread her knowledge to the world. To find out more about “The Perfect Pointe Book” or to receive the newsletter, go to


  Shay wrote @

What is the best method for treating sore/strained muscles? Is there any way to speed up the recovery? wrote @


  Tissia wrote @

I’ve heard that you are making a DVD about splits, is it true? if so, when is it coming out?
And, thank you for sharing your expertise with everyone!!

  perfectpointe wrote @

Hi Tissa

Yes! It is finally done!

Its called “Front Splits Fast!” and you can hear me talk all about it here…

It is veruy different to a normal flexibility dvd in that it is not really about stretching. It is all about Neural mobility and fascial tension (I explain what that all is!) and how you can get more mobile without strong stretches!

I am sure that you will love it!


  Karin Nicholas wrote @

HI Lisa! Im looking for a good stretch for the Iliofemoral ligament. Im a student on the RAD’s CBTS program and we’ve been studying turn-out. I’ve read that a shortened or tense iliofemoral ligament can make it difficult for the pelvis to lie balanced and therefore not allow the leg to fully rotate in the hip socket.
My students love the turn-out exercise you show!!

  Christine Seidel wrote @

Hi Lisa I’ve been looking at your website since I wanted to be on pointe shoes. I am curently in the united states. going to the Jordan Academy of dance in Indinapolis Indiana. in the untied states. I love the instruction there. because they help you if I’m doing something wrong. and they will work with you if you have a disability. with learning Ballet . I don’t have a physical disabilty. but I have a Mental disability. with understanding how to do a new Ballet step with Me its like the teacher shows me and explains how to do a ballet step. but almost everyone else understands the step before I understand the step. But I love my teachers at the Jordan Academy of Dance in the united states. in Indinapolis Indiana . are there any tricks you can give to help me with my Balence? because My Balance is where part of my problem. is with learning some new ballet steps . email me any tips tricks or segestions you have I love your ballet videos. and don’t worry I’m not 1 of the girls you find on youtube in pointe shoes. I’m age 18 incase it makes a differece with you segestions about pointe for Me.
hope you can help Me.
Christine Seidel.

  Anna Crichton wrote @

hey lisa,
am still in nyc, get back on monday!
wanted to check up see how things r!!
miss u

Will have to arrange a time to see u wooo can’t wait

Anna xx email me at
xx 🙂

  Amber wrote @

I’m 22.
I danced a lot when I was younger but took a break in college.
I have always wanted to be a dancer.
I’m taking a beginning ballet and a modern class in fall (but I’m not sure I need to be in the beginning section).
Am I too old to ever get to pointe?
I’m moderately flexible for a dancer, I’ve lost some during college but in the last 6 months
I’ve been getting back into it and it’s coming back.
Am I too old to ever be able to properly execute all those standing leg splits and such?

I have no comittments keeping me where I am right now, if I were free to go anywhere in the world, where would be the best place for me to be able to really work at this? Is there a good place that will teach adults how to get back into it where they left off?

Thanks for your time.

  Monika wrote @

How can i improve my arch? wrote @

I would like to receive your newsletter.

  Allison wrote @

I had a friend glue my pointe shoes and the glue dripped from the soft spot that she was gluing (which was the tip of the box) and went onto the side of the pointe shoe, which isn’t hard at all. So now, I am trying to soften the glue, but hammering it won’t work!! Any suggestions?

  Qi Xu wrote @

Hi, this is for Sally

Me and my daughter came the other day to see you and i didn’t want to say it in front of my daughter so i’m sending this but why can’t she get her pointes? You didn’t really say why on Wednesday. I called about 4 or 5 times on friday and the receptionist said that you were busy or out to lunch. I was wondering if you could help me because Taylor has been acting rather negetive after that appointment and i’m really worried. Many thanks!


Qi Xu

  Caitlin wrote @

Hi lisa,

I love the perfect pointebook and all the tips are great. I was just wondering what courses you took in university to become a dance physiotherapist? Is it any diferent from learning to be a normal physio?



  perfectpointe wrote @

HI Caitlin

Thanks for the comments on The Perfect Pointe Book!

I have actually written an article on how I became a Dance Physiotherapist so here is the link to it on the blog…


  Camille Montagne wrote @

Hi Lisa,

I regularly go onto your website to check out for tips and find the questions always wonderful. My parents bought me your online book about two years ago for that we had to bind ourselves, but I must say I feel a bit sad to see all the great offers on your webpage that I cannot access, like the PDF report on 10 top questions about pointes, or the newsletter that I never seem to receive. Also I tried to send in my questions about why are my knees clicking so badly after ballet classes but never had any answer. Hope you receive my email and we can fix our communication problem. Also, do you pan to come over to Hong Kong for a workshop one day? 🙂 Thanks. Camille

  perfectpointe wrote @

Hi Camille

I am so sorry that you have not been able to access the download. I sent out a loink to everyone but you must have missed it! I will send it out again today and hope that you get it!

I will probably be going to Singapore next year, but as yet have not got any plans to visit Hong Kong, but if your schools is keen to host a workshop, then get your teachers to contact me and we can see what we can work out!

Talk soon,


  m wrote @

I am a student and i was wondering if there is a specific school one must go to , or classes to take to become a dance physiotherapist. I am interested in physiotherapy, and would like to know more about this aspect of the field.
– thank you

  Daniela Aires wrote @

Hello Lisa,
I´m a brazilian ballerina and I also study Translation and Interpretation at college from which I´m going to graduate next semester. I´d like you to know that I´ve just got delighted when I first saw The Perfect Point Book. It´s an amazing creation which I´ve tested myself and it has my total admiration!!! I had to choose a book to translate for an assignment at the university, and I picked yours!!! I do respect your work, and I believe that all the ballet dancers here in Brazil would enjoy and benefit from your work!!! Would you like to visit Brazil?? Moreover, would you like to publish a portuguese version of your book?
I´m looking forward to meeting you!!!
Next year, I´m planning a trip to Autralia in order to improve my English skills, and I´m going to visit you, ok??
Best regards,

  perfectpointe wrote @

Wow Daniela! That is amazing! Thank you so much!

We are actually in the middle of translating the book into spanish at the moment so it would be wonderful to also have it in portugese!

Please do contact me and we can discuss further 🙂

I would love to meet you when you come to auatralia!

Talk soon,


  Daniela Aires wrote @

Hi Lisa!!!
I´m really glad that you are fond of the portuguese version of The Perfect Pointe Book!
I´ve already translated the first stage of the book for the college assignment ,and I intend to have it all done by the time I arrive there…around September, 2010…so that I can show it to you! What do you think?

See you soon,


  Campanola Watches wrote @

It was so interesting for me to read your website. I think the information about when girls are ready for pointe is SO crucial for moms to read because they always want to get their kids into pointe as soon as possible.. it hurts more than it helps! Wait until they are ready and strong enough– thank you for the advice!

  Rebecca wrote @

Hi Lisa,
I have been suffering form coccyx pain for a few months. Physio and voltaren gel did not help. It is worse after I sit but balllet and dance don’t affect it. Are there any special exrecises you can recommend ?

  Dance: Ankle Stability Help « Gia On The Move… wrote @

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  sophie wrote @

hey lisa!!
i love your videos on youtube! they have helped me soooo much and i really just want to thank you so much!
im going to get the perfect pointe book within a few months and i cant wait! but i just want to ask you what are the physical requirments for pointe work? i am willing to wait to get en pointe but i just want to know what i need to work on. i know that most studios are different in what they want out of someone thinking about starting pointe but i just want an expert opinion.

thank you soooo much!!

  Fabiana wrote @

Hi Lisa, I was very happy to find your center of prevention and rehabilitation for dancers. I am a physiotherapist in Brazil state of Santa Catarina, in the School of the Bolshoi Theatre, and therefore also work with dancers for 5 years. We have very little literature that talks about injuries in dancers, and it is extremely difficult to work here for that reason. We have to follow the line of treatment for sports injuries, and is especially football by the relationship with the lower limbs. But we know that the ballet has many peculiarities and needs very specific study. When I say I was happy, in fact I was very happy to meet you and your work, and I am interested in your travels, you intend to take courses in Brazil? I would love to be able to go on my vacation Sydnei and do an internship with you would have this chance? I have a friend coming from U.S. this week and asked her to buy his books, but do not know if you only sell through your site? Sorry by the English, still need to improve, but I hope it was understood. Congratulations for your work! If you want to know our school is the site and who knows if he comes to Brazil to give us the pleasure to meet you personally?! Thank you!

  Donelle Bomont wrote @

Hi, I have alittle bit of sculiosis which makes my back curve. I am trying very hard to get onto point and make my back straighter. Do you have any exersises that would help? ( forgive my spelling!)

  Maddi wrote @

I am 14 and a half years old, i do classical ballet, contemporary and jazz.
I have recently started pointe this year, and i dont think i have really good feet for ballet 😦 😦
I think i have a very low arch, and not a very good instep.
I would like to know how to improve my instep, and get it stronger.
I would also like so know how to improve my arch. If i could get it to be a higher arch when im on pointe.
Is there any excercises that could help me do this, and to get my feet stronger and better for pointe !
Thankyou, please get back to me !

  Kathy wrote @

Hi Lisa,

We live in Sydney and would love to send my daughter to one of your workshops. How can I find out when and where these workshops are?

  Cara wrote @


My 10 year old daughter is always being told to stretch her feet more and point them harder. What exercises do you suggest we do to help her improve this. She is not on ponte, does ballet, jazz and lyrical..
She tries hard to stretch and point but it looks as though she isnt doing it.

Please help with some suggestions.

Thanks for your help.

Regards Landis

  Katy wrote @

I am almost 15 yrs old and have some questions. Well, I danced for quite some time then quit for about 4 to 5 yrs, but I continued to participate on a school dance team. This past fall I picked up a lyrical, jazz, and ballet class. I love pointe and have hopes of some day geting some where close. Problem: I have flat feet, hyperextended knees, and my knees and ankles tip in. I try very hard in ballet class, but I still wonder…

Do you think I will ever be able to achieve pointe?

And could “The Perfect Pointe Book” help me?

I would be so happy if you could reply,. Thanks!


  netra khangaonkar wrote @

Hi Lisa,
i am a physiotherapist.Interested in conducting a research in dance related injuries.may i know how can i contact you?will be very thankful to you for your help.My Email ID is-

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  eliza wrote @

hi LIsa:) i dance ballet for almost 6 yrs now.i stopped dancing for a year and now i am back i dont feel that flexible as right back upper thigh hurts when im doing the heel stretch.I feel like theres a rubbere band stretched to its limit.and it also affects my right splt:(is it a muscle cramp?what should I do?its not the frst time that experienced this:( thanks Lisa ths wll be a great help:)

  Louise wrote @

I have a low arch and i find that getting right up on to pointe is difficult. Is this because of my low instep or is it to do with strength. I would appreciate some help, thank you. x

  Jena wrote @

I have been en pointe for 2 years and Im currently wearing the royale shoe by prima soft. I have fairly flexable feet that tend to knukle over, but the royales keep my feet from kuncling over. Although the hard box started giving me pain on the outside joint on my right foot just under the 5th toe. i’ve done some reserach and it seems that i have the symptoms of a bunionette or tailors bunion. what are some padding/treatments i can do to make pointe work less painful with this problem?
Also my royale’s are very new and work very well for my left foot so getting a new pair is not an option. and i have a pair of balance european’s but they are toooo soft for my feet.

thank you

  Caitie wrote @

I woke up with my leg and foot hurting and stretching didn’t do anything. It pops and crunches in class and my ankle keeps giving out. I just got back into ballet so I don’t know much but I was wondering you would know about any stretches or excises to help me get back to dancing normal?

  Bethany Marc-Aurele wrote @

Hi Lisa,
Do you offer workshops? I am interested in having you guest teach conditioning and stretch classes as well as talk about rotation.


Bethany Marc-aurele

  BelleM wrote @

Hi Lisa,
Last term I moved ballet schools and commenced a much more intense and physically demanding full time ballet course than what I have been undertaking for the previous couple of years. I found that my feet really struggled with the demands in stamina and speed of classes, and were feeling fatigued. I acquired a minor case of tendonitis on my tibialis anterior which I successfully overcame through the term with appropriate physiotherapy assistance (warmup, calf, arch and weight placement work plus strengthening and awareness exercises). The foot fatigue isn’t so prominent now (although it’s still present) but I’m finding that after a certain number of classes I reach a point where I can’t use/control my feet efficiently any more due to total fatigue. A teacher suggested elevating my feet for 10 minutes before the class that they struggle with, and I ice bucket and roll my calves and feet out thoroughly every day. Did you have any useful suggestions to help ease this interfering fatigue? Thanks for your time and consideration, Lisa!
Many thanks,

  Quilla wrote @

After class if your feet are sore and feel week a foot soak really helps, massage your feet after the soak when your foot muscles are relaxed and your feet should loosen up, you can do this before class too
If you go to a normal pharmacie you can purchase special mixtures and salts that help release tension and tightness in your feet, they are usually four dollars or so, just add them to the foot soak and it helps SO much 🙂 good luck

  Raina wrote @

Hi Lisa!
I’ve been having lots of ankle and foot injuries. Technically I’ve recovered, but I’m much weaker than before and I keep reinjuring myself. Can you recommend some exercises for strengthening ankles?

  Blanch Jerich wrote @

When i get some bad muscle cramps, i would just take some OTC pain killers and food supplements that helps and healing the joints and muscles. ;*”‘.

Take care

  Crichon ligament | Sejuiced wrote @

[…] Lisa Howell – Perfect Form Physiotherapy « The Perfect Pointe BookIm looking for a good stretch for the Iliofemoral ligament. Im a student on the … Anna Crichton wrote @ August 15, 2008 at 11:08 am. hey lisa, am still in nyc, get … […]

  Mamta Rajput wrote @

hey lisa-i m doing my internship in physiotherapy hospital in india,gujarat.i m interested in working as a physio for dancer’s but i dont have a guide ,so please can u help me establishing my aims,,

  Quilla wrote @

I can do my right front split, an over split actually but I can’t even get close to my left front split, any ideas why and stretches that would help?I can ALMOST get my center split,about an inch away,can sometimes do it when I’m super warmmed up
Any tips help 🙂

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  emily wrote @

love yourr work lisa

  Luke wrote @

Hi Lisa,
I’ve been suffering from patellar tendonitis for over a year and after different treatments of anti-inflammation drugs, physio, and a cortisone injection (3 months ago) and still having problems, I have been recommended a treatment of ‘needling’ where my doctor would (under sterilised conditions) make small damages to the tendon in order to stimulate growth and repair. Do you have any experience or knowledge about such a procedure and if so would you recommend it to a professional dancer before a 2 month holiday from work?
Thankyou for your time and help!

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  Ritika Chandra wrote @

Hi Lisa,

I would like to tell you that I love the work you are doing for dancers! Absolutely remarkable.
I am a ballerina from India and have had neck discomfort for many years. Lately it’s been getting worse, I get headaches very often which always start with the neck getting very stiff. Also when I tilt my head backwards I feel a little dizzy.
Please let me know what I could do to fix this.

  Angela Ireson Dance Theatre Hobart wrote @

Hello Lisa, What do you think about the wooden foot stretcher to improve arches? Can you suggest the best type or if you do not agree with any of them. Cheers, Angela Ireson

  Suzanne wrote @

Is there a difference in your books the perfect point and the ballet conditioning book?

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  Marisa wrote @

Hi! I’m a mexican physical therapy student about to finish! And I would love to specialize in ballet rehab! I love dancing and I love PT so I thinks that’s perfect for me. Do you know where I can study to accomplish this? I don’t mind traveling outside my country!

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  Julia Beecroft wrote @

Hello Lisa & staff ,
My 13 old is on pointe and didn’t haveca physio assesment
As our studio don’t require one (it’s left to their teachers to decide after doing 6mths approx of pre-pointe work . Although the 13yr old hasn’t injured herself as yet ,we would like to know what we can do to keep the ankles strong and prevent injury .
Secondly ,my 11.5 yr old is strong but so small for her age and I would like to bring her in for an Assessment before she goes on pointe at 12 yrs . ,also are there any exercises to prevent further build up of upper thigh growth on a very little body . Thank you 😃

  Kerry wrote @

Hi I had paid for my daughter to do the work shop at ids dance studio in Hallam and she was in able to attend due to injury.. And I had paid for that and the manual… I had asked if she could stil have the book as I paid for it and the msg I got back was that she didn’t attend so she is notable to get it… I feel that is not fair as I paid for it… Is there any way that I can still get it? Kerry

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