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Uneven plie


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I have been having a problem with this probably as long as I have been dancing, but it has recently been getting more on my nerves than usual. My plie is very uneven, meaning that I can go much deeper on one side than the other. When I asked a teacher, she said it was probably an issue of a tight achilles, however, the restriction seems to be coming from something running along the front of my ankle, not the back. Any insights?


I tried doing a search on this, but couldn't find anything, if someone could direct me to a similar topic I would be greatful :D

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Ashat, I'm not sure there have been any posts about this particular topic on BA! There has been lots of talk about plié, but I don't remember anything about a restriction in the front of the ankle. I also don't really know anything about it, except to guess that maybe there is something impinging on the joint at that part of your foot. Have you ever had it X-rayed? It would be interesting to find out what the problem is.

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Thanks for your attempted help Victoria :) The only thing that I could think could be the problem would be the fact that I used to have a lot of twisted ankles when I played soccer back in middle school/high school. Maybe it's just tight from that, but now I'm perplexed! :sweating:

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Hmmm. History of twisted ankles, eh? Might it be the annular ligament, that wraps around the front of the ankle and goes down the side of the foot by the ball of the ankle? That's giving ME some back talk right now, and I know it's from a twisted ankle, although I can't remember when I did it!

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I had (have) a similar problem with one side. When I would plie on that leg, you could put a hand on the front of my ankle and feel a tendon or something engage at the front of the ankle. I'd get halfway to the bottom of the plie and it would just stop, and hurt, like there was something in the way. When I asked my teacher, she said that the front of the ankle should stay "soft" in a plie, and to shift my weight more towards the ball of the foot. It took a lot of concentration to learn to plie without engaging that, whatever it was.


I'm sorry, I wish I could explain more clearly. Anatomy is not my strong suit, and I'm not sure exactly what I was engaging, just that it took a lot of thought and feeling my ankle as I plie to figure out how to not engage it.



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I know this is (the plié being more shallow on one side than the other, creating a lopsided effect) something we were specifically told during the RAD Teaching Certificate to look out for. It was specifically for children though, and in development (because the femus bone can grow unevenly... so until both are grown the same length, we teachers have to look out for the unevenness of the plié and rectify it). I suspect in your case, you also should look out for it, and make sure the plié is evenly distributed on both legs (because obviously, everything else stems from the plié: balance, jumps, relevés etc...)


Now, as you're not a child anymore, it could be a more long term problem (have you had your bones examined and length of legs?... Some people have one leg longer than the other). That could be one answer. The other, you mention an old injury, could be linked to that...


Otherwise, I could see why you would need to relax the front of the ankle. If that tendon looks very tight then you need to learn to relax it (it looks like the tendons in your neck... Where you look like you have a coathanger inside your throat when you really tighten them -try attempting to lift the chin to your nose, that should look like that).


At the bottom of the plié, stay there, and now relax the whole leg (I know you're not supposed to 'sit' in your plié, but maybe you're attempting to make it look too worked on). You should go a little deeper. Make it soft and really go as far as you can without lifting the heels off the floor (you may lose a bit of turnout, but at first, that doesn't matter as long as you feel the depth of the plié).

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