Every jump in ballet is preceded by a counter-movement, namely, a plie, and this is exceedingly effective in getting more height out of a jump (try jumping from straight legs and see what happens), not to mention protecting the achilles tendon from injury. In fact, people have studied jump height and found that maximum vertical height in a jump is higher using a counter movement than not (3). So it makes sense that we bend our knees before jumping.
Pointe Readiness and What To Expect
Every ballet dancer wants to dance en pointe. But not every ballet dancer should. How will your teacher decide if you are ready? Why might she decide you are not? And what can you expect from a pointe class?