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Plies: pointe vs. flats


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In my class yesterday of 1 1/2 hours technique followed by 1/2 hour pointe, my teacher asked us to wear our pointe shoes for the whole class this time and let us go without the 1/2 point at the end. It was a really good class and fun change.


Our first exercise in the center--just to warm up--were grand plie, eleve 2x in 1st, 2nd, and 5th. Easy enough, right? Except for one problem--you can't roll through your shoes the same way. I'd get stuck almost all the way down and then my feet wouldn't budge to peel of the floor because of the shoes. I'd push harder and then--wow--too much push. I was getting a little better hang of it be the second side, but does any one have any suggestions of making it smooth? Why was it so different in pointe shoes something that isn't even "en pointe" and that can be done with such ease in flats?

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There's really nothing for it for student dancers. That's why you take technique first, then, move on to pointe. That way, you'll be properly warmed up first, and the rollthrough will be natural. It just takes time and more pointe and when you are functioning at the proper level, you'll be able to do that almost cold. It's not something you can rush or hurry up.

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Guest Hazel

I always thought when I had this problem that it was to do with the shank being to stiff and not broken in properly. Is it that as you get more experienced you get strong enough to resist the shank and achieve a proper roll through?

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Grand plié in pointe shoes, especially in the center, is definitely more difficult to accomplish smoothly. It takes a very strong and advanced dancer to do it well, and even she will struggle if the shoes are not well broken in!

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest IrishKitri

We do our entire barre in the center once a week (I go to class 3 times a week), with pointe shoes. It depends on which of my shoes I wear (I struggle with the Blochs but do well with my Grishkos), but usually the grand plié is no problem. I agree though, in the beginning is IS very hard not to sickle and stick your bum out. What helps a bit is to lean forward with your upper body in a hardly noticeable way - and to KEEP THOSE BUTT MUSCLES tight :D

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I think I know what you mean, but I really distrust the word "lean" in most ballet applications. Most folks will do it too much, and end up REALLY sticking the backside out into empty air in order to counterbalance. What has to happen is that the bosy weight is distributed evenly between two "control zones" in your feet which start at the back of the ball of the foot and goes back to the front of the ball of the heel. If you keep your spine lengthened and think of that weight distribution and it should work for you.

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