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Ankle Issues

Guest nicoal

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Guest nicoal

I recently did a two-week intensive with my studio consisting of 4 or 5 ballet (technique, pointe, parterning, batterie, etc) classes a day along with jazz and stretch or floor barre. By the end of it, a variety of joints and muscles were pretty exhausted and my hips were in need of some rest! (The teacher went fouette crazy, every class had some sort of fouette exercise - adagio, turns, allegro and barre!)

Anyway, coming back the next week, the first class was on Thursday (they took Monday-Wednesday for a mini-vacation) and I noticed my ankles were kind of stiff and sore at the beginning of class. Once warmed up, they felt fine. I figured, like anything else it would go away after a few days (my hips were recovered by the beginning of this week). Well, it's a couple weeks later, and they're still stiff and hurt rising on demi-pointe if not warmed up into class. The first few exercises in pointe class were not pleasant...

Being stiff is pretty rare for me being that I'm fairly young (23) and over-flexible. What concerns me is that it's still painful for the first five or so minutes and my pointe classes they've just felt sloppy (I rolled over my ankles something like four times [on my strong ankle!] last class - which doesn't hurt, but it rarely ever happens to me; they really felt like jelly that time). My teacher seemed to think now that I'm stronger I need a shoe with a larger platform and a stronger construction (I use Capezio Nicolini's currently), and that's why I was having problems. I guess I'm just a bit of a nervous-nelly, but whenever I have pain over time I get anxious -- but I'm not sure since it goes away after a warmup. I'm curious what thoughts might be on this from people who've probably 'been there, done that'.

Any input would be appreciated. :)

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I'm not going to try to address specific aspects of the various physical symptoms you have experienced lately. Others may choose to do that, particularly with your questions about pointe work. Instead, I'm going to suggest that the reason for much of what you have experienced lies within one word: "intensive." Any time that a class schedule is suddenly doubled or tripled in frequency, difficulty and intensity, no matter what your age, you're setting yourself up for strain. Sure, it feels great to be so immersed in what you love. But I believe that healthy enthusiasm should be tempered by healthy caution -- that is, that progression in this respect should be done in increments.

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Sounds to me like this intensive was a bit too intensive. That is an excessive number of classes, IMO, especially if you are not use to it. Most adult students do not have anywhere near that kind of intensity. Does not sound like a pointe shoe problem to me. Sorry, but I think you just overworked.

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Guest nicoal

No need to apologize! I can definitely see going from one or two classes a day to that frequency may cause some problems.

I think I'll just try to take it easy and let things recover.

I do love my teacher, but she's from a different time and I think she pushes a little harder than modern conventions would suggest..

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I am...er...older than you, and the bad news is that there is such a thing as "too much" when one ages. Last year I strained / twisted my knee a bit on vacation, and after that I would feel little twinges when I was taking a lot of classes. This year it is the same thing but with the hips. :-(


The good news is that these things have (so far) cleared up with just a little rest, and my studio's 2-week summer break is starting soon.

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It was almost a 4 weeks since I had my last class in my intensive (3 classes a day for two weeks) and after a lot of rest the past two weeks when I haven't had one single class my ankles have been improving...I did rest for one week right after the intensive (like you did), then I started taking twice a week classes for two weeks and now no classes at all for 2 weeks!


When it was at its worst I couldn't even do a relevé on two feet without feeling spagetthi-like in my ankles. But when properly warmed up I think I pushed it too far (as I didn't feel any pain) with even more wobbly ankles as a consequence. :ermm:


So the good news is rest helps a lot!

The bad news is that they are not fully recovered yet even with no pointing or "releveing" for two weeks! Actually, I'm 23 too and I don't think I'm considered that old :green: ...I surely hope that this isn't an age issue since it seems to take my ankles more than 2 weeks of 100% rest to heal!

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