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Curling under and Sickling

Guest dragonfly7

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Guest dragonfly7

I can't seem to stop from doing either! Does anyone have any mental exercises to help with this? I always think I'm doing it right but then my teacher calls out, "Don't sickle! Don't sickle!" and in my head I'm like, "I'm not! I swear!" But then she walks over and places my heel correctly -- THEN I go (with a mental DUH) "OH, I thought I was doing THAT all along!"


I guess with repetition, time and practice it will happen automatically some day, I was just wondering if anyone had tips to make the getting there easier (if there is such a thing in ballet).

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Dragonfly, it's not ever going to happen automatically until it gets "grooved in" and becomes a habit to shape the leg and foot correctly with every tendu and dégagé. You will need to first be sure that you are working your rotators so that the leg is shaped well. If you do that, and follow the line with the foot, it should not sickle. Spend some time in front of a mirror every day just placing your tendu in each position. Start with front. If it is good there, then take THAT tendu to the side. Don't change it! Then take that tendu to the back. Move the LEG, not the foot! Work on it until it's not only right but until you can FEEL it right without looking. Remember that even though YOU understand what a sickle is, it takes a lot more time to make your body understand. YOU = smart....BODY = dumb. It takes repetition, repetition and more repetition, added to time and lots of patience! This is something you CAN fix. :)

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Originally posted by dragonfly7

I guess with repetition, time and practice it will happen automatically some day, I was just wondering if anyone had tips to make the getting there easier (if there is such a thing in ballet).


What you're talking about is called "kinesthesia" and it means an awareness of where your body is, and what exactly all the parts are doing. And there is no shortcut.:) Even some top-level professional dancers have coaches to help them out with problems in kinesthesia. Of course, their corrections are of a briefer nature. A dancer with draggy turns to the right will get "left shoulder front", for example, and know exactly how to fix it.

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Hi dragonfly:D

I too had the sickling problem and the only remedy I found was what Ms Liegh said about turning out your leg rather than your foot. It was definately an alignment issue in my left leg and foot that was causing my sickling, and I have a weakness there that I have to work hard at strengthening continuously.

Do not expect overnight chnages or even chnages after a few months. Think probably about 6-9 months of constant reminding and working hard at turning out the entire leg. Lots of theraband exercises also helped place my foot in the correct alignment.

anther good exercise to actually strengthen the ankle joint to prevent sickling on demi pointe or any misalignment was to place a tennis ball between your ankles, so it is held there by both feet and then rise onto demi pointe still keeping the tennis ball gripped between your feet. Sounds simple, but if you have a weakness you may find your ankles wobbling and your foot sickling and the tennis ball won't stay where it is.


Jeanette x

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