This advanced ballet class incorporates both soft shoe as well as training en pointe. Your instructor will inform you when you have reached the level in your training that will allow you to begin training "sur la pointe". This means on the points. The raising of the body to the tips of the toes. First introduced in the late 1820's at the time of Taglioni. It is very harmful to the body to begin pointe training before the body is strong enough, all students are different.
En pointe dancers employ pointe technique to determine foot placement and body alignment. When exhibiting proper technique, a dancer's en pointe foot is placed so that the instep is fully stretched, with toes perpendicular to the floor, with the pointe shoe's platform (the flattened tip of the toe box) square to the floor so that a substantial part of its surface is contacting the floor.
Proper technique is also evident from a dancer's body alignment, by visualizing a straight line that extends from the center of the hip through the toes. When a properly aligned dancer is viewed from the side, the line passes through the knee, ankle joint, and big toe joints. When viewed from the front, the line passes through the knee, ankle joint, and the joints of the second toe or middle toe or the area between those toe joints. In cases of unusually high instep or metatarsal joint flexibility, it is sometimes necessary to flex the toes to achieve proper alignment.