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Ballet Talk for Dancers

problematic left foot...

Guest BethJ

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Guest BethJ

I am having problems with my left foot. I have noticed lately that it tends to sickle slightly in retire(my computer doesn't seem to want to do the accent). It also happens in developpe en avant. I don't notice it any other places. It also does this wierd thing where the toes get all crunched up when I point my foot. This only happens to my left foot and I have noticed that it is causing my left pointe shoe to wear out faster than my right one. Do you have any advice on how I can get both the sickle and the toes to straighten more as I point? Any exercisexs or things I could do to improve it would also be helpful. Thanks



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OK, Beth, first things first! That "crunching" of the foot is what we mean when we talk about "clenching" the foot. I bet if you take stock of things, you'll find that you're probably doing it while standing on that foot, too! All you have to do, (heh, heh!) is retrain the left foot to point straight through, without curling over at the toes. It's difficult to do, and you may have to stop yourself many, many times while you're working to achieve that straight-pointed foot. It sounds as if you're knuckling over on your left foot en pointe, and that's the reason the shoes are going so fast.


One exercise you may want to try: Stand facing the barre, and do a nice correct tendu derriére. Then, making sure the toes stay pointed nice and straight, press down on that pointed foot, so that the midline of the foot forms a straight line between the knee and the tip of the big toe. Also, while standing on that foot, make sure that your weight doesn't get too far back toward your heel. It'll almost guarantee a clench! Let us know how that works? :(

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Beth, you might also try some work with a theraband. Place it under the ball of the foot, with the top of it loose over the toes, hold the ends and pull them towards you and push through the foot to a full point but not allowing any break in the toes. A fairly strong theraband would be best to help this.

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  • 5 years later...

Hi Beth,

I have just this problem too. My left foot tends to sickle slightly. So thanks for asking the question, I'm going to get working with a theraband keeping my ankle very straight.

I wondered whether, for me, it could be as a result of not being so turned out in the left hip. Certainly in retire I feel I have to push back the left knee more and this means the ankle bends. There is more tension in general down my left leg because I am trying harder to get good turn out on that side and I think this means more tension in my foot and ankle too, even though I'm not turning out from there.

I have decided I really need to correct it as I have just started pointe and it now seems absolutely crucial (although I know it was before too, but it is only slight) to have correct alignment.




Sorry - just realised this thread is from 2001!!!

I'm not with it this morning. :thumbsup:

Edited by K123
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