Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers to close ×
Ballet Talk for Dancers

Quarter point or flat?

Jaana Heino

Recommended Posts

I forgot to ask my teacher today, so maybe the teachers here could give their insight, as I am curious to this...


In my classes we have started to do more and more stuff on demi-pointe instead of flat (none of us is on pointe yet); we usually have at least one and most often several barre combinations that have demi-point sequences in them.


I can get all the way up "over my arch" (I don't know if that's the correct English expression, but on high demi-pointe, you see what I mean?), but my ankles are weak and I can't hold that position very long and it generally goes down to some sort of "quarter-pointe" (is that a word? I mean that my heel comes closer to the floor) at some point, no matter how much I work.


The question is: how do you feel, when this happens, is it better to try and stay up and work from that "quarter-pointe", or to come down on flat (we are allowed to, if we are really tired) and rest and then go up when I can again? (Assuming that all else is equal, eg. I can keep my alignment in both positions.)

Link to comment

Quarter-pointe is a real position, with its own name "à quarte". It's just not used very often, and vacillating between half- and quarter-point can play dirty tricks on your balance, so it's better, in my view, to take the demi and hang on with your teeth, if you have to. If you must, come down to flat (pied à terre) and work that way. Quarter-pointe can put a lot of stress on the achilles tendon.

Link to comment

Thank you, Major.


I usually can work on demi-pointe beyond the time when it starts to sort of feel tired or burn in the ankle (it sure feels like hanging on with my teeth :P), but at some point my strength just goes and the heel lowers, without the feeling of tiredness actually increasing. It happens later now than it did before, as I'm gaining strength, but we also have longer combinations on demi-pointe than we used to. :)

Link to comment

That's good, Jaana, and you're right, it's a sign that you're getting stronger!:) Just keep up the good work!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...