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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Achieving a better pointe


buglady

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After one year of ballet classes, my feet are a little stronger. They almost look as though they have a bit of an arch to them when I point them! :dry:

 

Seriously, I have very long (size 11), narrow feet that have been flat (pronated) since childhood, and that have flattened more in supporting an overweight body for, well, many years.

 

I just want to understand the mechanics of pointing a bit better, so I know what to work on. What do I need to strengthen, what needs to get stretched, etc?

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Victoria Leigh

With the problem of pronation and flat feet, I think, in addition to working with a theraband for stretching, you might try doing some daily rising on demi pointe exercises. Also, those foot roller things might be helpful, and the old standby of picking up marbles or pencils with your toes. :rolleyes: Elevés are very good though, and are probably relatively difficult for you because the demi pointe is not very high. Also work very slow tendus, using the floor and feeling the metatarsals push into the floor and then pointe fully, then push down the metatarsals to demi pointe, then pointe, etc. Another stretching exercise is to stand facing the barre (or kitchen counter), feet parallel (6th position), cross one foot over the other in a fully pointed position (being sure not to sickle and keeping knees straight ahead) and bend the standing leg, pressing the knee into the calf of the pointed foot and pushing it over. Better to have ballet shoes on for this, not barefoot.

 

When you work with the theraband, press the metatarsals, forcing the arch, and then the toes all the way. Be very sure not to sickle while doing this too! :dry:

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