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Ankles Issues


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I just started pointe work a few weeks ago. The class I am taking is an adult advanced class and she invites people to wear pointe shoes at the barre if they wish. (If no one wears pointe shoes there is a more standard barre, if everyone does there are alot more releves!) I was encouraged to start pointe work and my teacher is very good about individual instruction for me, the only beginner. We are to take off our pointe shoes whenever we feel we have reached our maximum. Some girls dance the whole class, I usually do the half of the barre- because a lot of it is not en pointe (30 minutes). (I take them off before pirrouttes)


After three weeks I have noticed that the only pain I have is when we have releve arabesques or releve posse (at the barre). Is it normal to be sore because I have never worked this area of my body before, or is this a sign of weakness?


When starting pointework should you stay on two feet for a certain amount of experience (not necessarily time) before even attempting to work on one foot? I'm not wobbly and don't roll or sickle, but it does hurt afterwards.


I trust my teacher and believe she does have my best interest at heart, but I also know she has a lot of levels in her class and might just be forgetting to tell me I should have removed my pointe shoes for flats.


Thanks for the advice or antecdotes about how much you hurt when you were just starting!

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Probably just not enough experience yet to be trying one foot relevés, Skittl. Give it a bit more time on two feet, or with piqué to pointe, but not one foot relevé yet. :wub:

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Thank you Ms. Leigh. Thats kind of what I figured. I'll have to remember to get my shoes off before we start into that from now on.



I just didn't want to not try it because new things are supposed to be difficult and I thought I would be wimping out or something. :wub:

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I'm not a pointe expert, but I suspect you should also be doing lots of releves in soft shoes as well. A therapist gave me a great exercise:


In sixth (first paralell) position, place a tennis ball between your ankles. Your feet should remain paralell, a few inches apart for the ball. Do 30 releves, three sets. You will need to keep your weight over the big toe and index toe, or the tennis ball falls out. If you use one ankle more than the other, the ball will fall out.


This has helped me stay on releve on my weak leg, I never thought I would be able to get up and stay on releve, but now I can.

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Guest prokofiev



I had the same problem! One of my teachers took some time with me to look at different things and talk about where it was hurting, and we figured out that it was just using new muscles I hadn't been working as hard before.


I do the tennis ball exercise MJ recommends, as well as Theraband flex-and-point tendu-ish exercises, and a "winging" motion exercise my teacher recommended to me to really target the sore area (that one I don't do the same days I have class, btw, so I don't overwork anything, but the others are nice warm-ups). These have helped a lot and even after a few weeks I'm noticing a major difference - more strength, less soreness.


However, I don't take a full barre in pointe - we have 1 1/2 hours of technique class followed by 1/2 hr pointe, and so far we're just doing loads of releves on two feet facing the barre in lots of different combinations, with the occasional pique, like Ms. Leigh suggests above.



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I'm pretty sure it's a new muscle thing. I have no problem in flat shoes (and still take 2 classes a week in them) and I really don't have any problems unless I releve on one foot. I think I will just take Ms. Leighs advice and stick with releve on two feet and pique to pointe on one. Our instructor does the barre in a way where I can easily slip to different shoes before we start doing the releve on one foot.


I'll also have to make it a point to exercise my ankles more.


Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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