Ballet/Dance & Podiatry

Dr. Lucy Gillivour and The Foot & Ankle Clinic (TFAAC) are proudly bringing specific Pre-pointe and dance assessments to Gippsland.

Before graduating with a Masters of Podiatric practice, Dr. Lucy Gillivour danced for 18 years with the Mill Park Ballet Centre – 5 of those were en pointe. Lucy was also a ballet teacher for 6 years with training from the Laurel Martin Dance system. Lucy also enjoyed a place in The Young Dancers Company.

With all that experience, Lucy understands the demands ballet places on the body and especially the foot. Unfortunately, in 2008 Lucy had to stop dancing due to a severe foot injury, which has made her very passionate about providing the right education and advice for young dancers so this doesn’t happen to them too. Lucy has personally undertaken further study to be able to conduct pre-pointe and dance assessments.

What is a Pre-pointe assessment?

A pre-pointe assessment is an evidence-based evaluation of the dancer’s strength, flexibility, posture and joint mobility to determine whether or not the dancer is ready to begin dancing in pointe shoes. This assessment is also useful for those dancers already en pointe to make sure they are not at risk of injury and to help identify any injuries before they become serious.

Being a Podiatrist – Lucy has an in-depth knowledge of the structure and function of the foot and can clinically assess a dancer’s readiness to dance on pointe.

What is included in the assessment?

The assessment involves an hour long biomechanical assessment of the lower limb, ballet technique, pointe shoe advice and a tailored “prehabilitation” plan to prevent injuries from occurring.

Dance-Ballet 7The 1 Hour Comprehensive assessment includes:

  • Ballet postural assessment
  • Lower limb and foot assessment
  • Ballet-specific exercise assessment
  • GaitScan during walking and demi-point
  • Strength and flexibility assessment
  • Pointe shoe recommendations
  • Pointe shoe customisation and “breaking in” techniques
  • Advice on padding and taping to prevent injury

At the end of the consult, your Podiatrist – Dr. Lucy Gillivour – will develop a personalised prehabilitation plan to strengthen and improve your technique as well as provide you with a copy of the assessment report.

Most students will undergo a course of prehabilitation depending on the findings of the exam which varies from dancer to dancer. This prehabilitation program will be accessible through the free downloadable app – PhysiApp – which helps both dancer and Podiatrist keep track of their progress. Your Podiatrist will prescribe exercises and stretches based on your individual circumstances and these will be updated fortnightly and sent to your app.

Another service The Foot And Ankle Clinic is proud to announce is pointe shoe advice, recommendations and customisation. Lucy has trained under The Australian Ballet’s Podiatrist; combined with her own personal experiences with pointe shoes, Lucy can assist with advice on darning, elastic placement, padding and shellac.