Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers

two questions -- pointe and toes/head


pleiades

Recommended Posts

I've been away from these boards for quite a while, adjusting to changes in my professional life that impacted my time for class. It's such a pleasure to be back, both here and at ballet with some (although a little less than before) consistency.

 

I have two questions -- the first is that I've recently, at the suggestion of a new teacher, begun actively using my toes against the shank of my pointe shoes and found that it makes a tremendous difference in terms of my ability to balance. I'm puzzled as to why no one has ever mentioned this to me before, and whether it's 'common practice.'

 

Also, I've realized that although I generally keep my head elevated, I, almost infinitesimally, look down either directly at my feet, or lower my head to see my feet in the mirror for split seconds at a time. I'm noticing that this throws my alignment off so I'm trying not to do it, but at the same time, I want my head and neck to move fluidly and appropriately. Help?

 

Thanks

Link to comment

I'm assuming this is when you are not en pointe? Assuming it is so, I think it has to do with the distribution of weight. To push your toes down you must be forward onto the ###### of your feet, especially if you are splaying your toes down flat and not curling them over. Curling over would be lifting the ball of your foot up and pushing your weight backwards.

 

Also, flattening the toes down increases the size of your balancing platform by spreading your foot out a little in your shoes and keeps it from rocking back and forth.

 

I don't commonly hear this advice from my teachers, either. But one great teacher told me to do it and it really did help me back when I first started pointe work. It helps to do it in flat shoes as well. Apparently it's not an official technique correction but it is something that experienced dancers have learned over time.

Link to comment

it is when I am en pointe and just standing flat -- actively pushing my toes against the shank of the shoe -- not curling them, but more actively using/engaging them.

Link to comment
it is when I am en pointe and just standing flat -- actively pushing my toes against the shank of the shoe -- not curling them, but more actively using/engaging them.

 

 

Yes, it sounds the same as what my teacher taught me. Don't you think it helps because it stabilizes your standing leg and gives a more firm platform as well as keeping your weight forward on the ###### of your feet?

 

Ask your teacher why, I would love to hear what she or he says.

 

This is similar to balancing in retire releve, like in pirouettes. It helps me to push the working knee back and push the foot into the standing leg's knee, locking it in, while imagining the standing leg pushing into the foot of the working leg. They push against each other and feel more stable that way. It seems much easier to balance.

Link to comment
Locking the knees is a VERY bad habit!!! If that is what you are actually doing stop it.

 

 

Do I hear yelling? :thumbsup: Are you referring to what I said, Nuts?

 

If you read my post again, you'll notice that I'm speaking of the working leg not the standing leg. And I'm not referring to locking my knees but getting a secure fitting of my working foot into the retire passe position against my standing knee. That's what I meant by locking it in. Keeping it secure against my standing leg and not letting it wobble around.

 

So I'm not advising someone start a new and very bad habit. I'm repeating the sound advice I've been given by experienced teachers.

 

Candi

Link to comment
I have two questions -- the first is that I've recently, at the suggestion of a new teacher, begun actively using my toes against the shank of my pointe shoes and found that it makes a tremendous difference in terms of my ability to balance. I'm puzzled as to why no one has ever mentioned this to me before, and whether it's 'common practice.'

 

Maybe your teacher means that you should be able to feel the floor (more)?

Link to comment
I have two questions -- the first is that I've recently, at the suggestion of a new teacher, begun actively using my toes against the shank of my pointe shoes and found that it makes a tremendous difference in terms of my ability to balance. I'm puzzled as to why no one has ever mentioned this to me before, and whether it's 'common practice.'

 

I think by doing this you're stretching your foot, which is what you need to do when en pointe :(

Link to comment

I like the ideas put forward in this thread. Although I did sort-of know them, I'd forgotten them, and have been trying them again. Working the toes as suggested, I find not only improves my balance by giving me a bigger platform to stand on, but improves everything else too. I guess because the extra effort going into the toes means that I use all my muscles in my foot and up into the leg better. I think I'd got into the habit of using "only just enough" muscle action, and wondered why I wasnt getting stronger or doing better. Many thanks for the suggestions,

 

Jim.

Link to comment

i don't think i get it...so if i was wearing normal people shoes and was trying to point my toes - that feeling? like when i'm trying to bend my shoes with my foot? how do you do that in pointe with your weight on your toes w/o knuckling them? visual?

Link to comment

it is also sur le pointe. what i've found is that if I actively work my toes so that i am using the shank much as I would use the floor. i'm doing it now with shoes off so i can see what my feet look like -- it actually prevents me from knuckling over and seems to keep my toes elongated rather than scrunched if that makes any sense whasoever.

Link to comment

Hi,

 

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but sometimes I have found that when I am en pointe--standing on the tips of my pointe shoes--I can feel my three smaller toes sort of standing on the sole of the shoe, gripping (not curling) the inside of the shoe. It feels very secure.

 

Is that like what you mean?

 

Desert Lily

Link to comment
it is also sur le pointe. what i've found is that if I actively work my toes so that i am using the shank much as I would use the floor. i'm doing it now with shoes off so i can see what my feet look like -- it actually prevents me from knuckling over and seems to keep my toes elongated rather than scrunched if that makes any sense whasoever.

 

 

Yes, that makes perfect sense. Pulling up and out of your pointe shoes and stretching your foot keeps you from resting too heavily on the shoes. Makes your pointe shoes last longer, too.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...