When Coach Doug, who leads the online Eldergym classes, learned I was a dressage rider he sent me this cartoon. Ah yes, the ballet dancing horse en pointe, and I hope I don’t look as fearful as this rider .
But can you imagine my surprise when the 2021 US Dressage Federation Member Guide arrived! Look at the cover!
I looked up what Wikipedia had to say about the technique of dancing en Pointe .
Pointe technique (/pwænt/pwant) is the part of classical ballet technique that concerns pointe work, in which a ballet dancer supports all body weight on the tips of fully extended feet within pointe shoes. Pointe technique encompasses both the mechanical and artistic aspects of pointe work. In particular, it is concerned with body alignment, placement of the feet and the manner in which a dancer transitions to and from en pointe.
So, the important similarities with Dressage are that the “classical” technique is featured and the look; alignment, placement, and transitions are of prime importance. Wikipedia also goes on to say that dancers must have reached an age where they have sufficient development of their bones and muscles to do the advanced en pointe work. Just as horses can only perform the advanced movements of dressage when they are old enough and strong enough.
So the ballet pointe shoes are not such a far fetched analogy for the dancing horses of dressage.