Pointe, or en pointe, is a dance move where the dancer supports all body weight on the tips of fully extended feet. It is most commonly used in ballet, but is also seen in various Hip hop dances such as Gangsta Walking.
Pointe in ballet is an advanced technique, where the shoes of the dancers are strong and supportive enough to allow them to stand on the very tops of their toes. Years of previous ballet training are neccessary before dancers can go en pointe.
Pointe is very difficult on the feet. Without proper care, dancers' feet can get irreparably damaged through dancing en pointe, and even with the maximum amount of caution taken, dancers can still injure their feet very badly.
When you dance pointe your feet go through a lot. You can get large bone growth on the side of your feet called a bunion. You can also get blisters, bruises, and may break, fracture or sprain your feet.
Pointe shoes are handmade. They are normally made out of glue, satin, elastic, leather, and a single nail, but some are made of plastic. To minimize injury when dancing en pointe, many people go to a professional pointe shoe fitter. They will determine the proper fit for you. The top of the shoe is called the Vamp. The sole on the bottom of the shoe is called the shank. The platform is what dancers stand on when en pointe. It is at the front end of the shoe, and the top of the platform is called the crown. The bottom of the platform is called the pleats. If you are going to far over the platform when en pointe you are crowning, and if you aren't getting all the way up on tyethe platform you are pleating.