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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Weak Ankles?


Perfect Performer

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Sometimes when I go to step en pointe, My foot does this sickling thing and I fall over. It only happens when I go to step en pointe and never on flat shoes. Am I just not paying attention to what I'm doing or do i have weak ankles? This is my second year on Pointe.

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Guest Christina_ballerina

When I first began pointe I also had that problem. It's like rolling over en pointe. It's really scary. That's why when you begin pointe, you stay at the barre, because your ankles aren't strong enough to support your body weight en pointe. You just have to strengthen your ankles. I find that changements do this quite well. I think that's what they're called. You jump straight up from 5th position and change your feet in the air. EX: You start with your right foot in front in 5th position, plie, jump, switch your right foot to back in air, land, then repeat. Do that 4 times then when you come down the 4th time you plie and open to 2nd and then close with your right foot in front, open in second, then close again in 5th wih left in front. Do this several times to build strength. Make sure before you leave the ground you always plie, and when you are in the air your feet are pointed. Also do trois releves. You developpe to the side, raise your heel, and lower your heel, w/o lowering your leg. I hope I have not confused.

 

Christina, the ballerina

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I have very wobbly ankles myself and I remember when I first started pointe (years ago) having similar problems. I would recommend really concentrating on how your ankle and foot is placed when practicing releves at barre so that you can find a really strong position (not sickled, but not rolled) that your foot will get used to going to everytime you pointe your foot. That way when you pique onto pointe you won't sickle and won't fall over. Another strengthening exercise I have found that helps weak ankles is working your feet with a theraband, both up and down motions as well as side to side.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Julie

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  • Administrators

This is a technique question, not a pointe SHOE topic question. Moving it to YD 13-16.

 

Perfect Performer, it sounds to me like you are not moving your body weight to make the piqué. This means that you are probably stepping out with your foot, leaving your body behind and not pushing from a good demi plié to get to the top of the piqué. It could also be weak ankles, but it sounds more like incorrect technique. This needs to be corrected at the barre.

 

To strengthen your ankles for pointe work practice relevés and elevés at the barre, two feet and one foot, both on demi pointe and then on pointe. Rise slowly with elevé, and roll down through the feet keeping the knees very straight both up and down. For relevés use a good demi plié, spring up, hold, and lower to demi plié. These are the best things for developing pointe strength. Also practice your piqués at the barre, and there are lots of different ways of doing this, which should be given to you in your pointe classes.

 

I am deleting the other two posts that were here, as they were advice posts from other students, one of which was very confusing and not the best advice, and the other was not really about piqués.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest goingforsatin

I have fallen on my right ankle twice in a week. I definitely didn't hurt it either time. It sort of collapsed both times. I'm wondering if I have a weak ankle? What would that be caused by? Now I'm apprehensive of doing an arabesque on pointe because I don't want to fall. Also, I don't have pointe shoes yet- I'm just wearing flats when this is happening.

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  • Administrators

I'm sorry, but I don't think we can know that without seeing you. It could be a weak ankle, but it could also be your technique, placement, and strength of other muscles involved. I would suggest that you work with your teacher to try and determine the cause of the weakness, and then you can do some specific work on strengthening whatever the weak area is. Learning to work with a theraband, or perhaps some Pilates or Physical Therapy would be in order, but first you need to determine the cause.

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Also, don't overlook the possibility of your weight being outside of your "control zone" in demi-pointe, and the foot just sliding away or in back of you!

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Guest tigger_fan_ann

if you've sprained or hurt your ankle before, maybe it is a weak ankle but if you just forget about control most of the time, maybe you just need to concentrate more. I sprained my ankle last December and it didn't heal properly. So now I have a weak right ankle. But i'm working on it. :P

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Guest goingforsatin

I never sprained anything *thank goodness!*. The problem sort of went away, but I'm still being verrrrrry careful on that ankle.

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  • 11 months later...
Guest Giselledancer513

Hello again,

I think I have weak ankles, and it is very hard for me to plie away from the bar. Do you have any ideas for me to build them up or something? Thanks

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  • Administrators

Giselledancer, a ballet barre is not the same thing as a "bar" ;)

 

Strengthening the ankles is a part of ballet training. It is done in the classes, with all of the exercises that you do. However, if you need additional work I would suggest Pilates.

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  • Administrators

With Pilates, it is very important to learn how to do the exercises exactly, which means you really need a teacher at first. The tapes are fine, AFTER you have learned from a teacher how to do everything.

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Guest primaballerina13

i have weak ankles too(although they aren't as weak as they used to be!). To strengthen mine i would do ALOT of releves on one foot a little bit away from the barre. it helped a lot.

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  • 3 months later...

well i have low arched feet, weak ankles and having beening working with them a lot, but i was wondering if there were in specific exercises to strengthen them.

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