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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Cupping My Toes

Guest RML

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One of my dance teachers tells me that I am cupping my toes and that I need to relax them when I tendu. The only problem is when I ask her how to stop, she gives me a half baked answer that I don't even understand. I am hoping that you can help me with this problem,


ps. how do you post things in specific sections?

pps. what even is cupping your toes?

Thank you very much for your help

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RML, it sounds as though your teacher thinks that you are curling or gripping your toes too tightly when you point your foot. The toes tend, all by themselves to curl under when the foot is pointed. My foot, for example, has the third, fourth, and little toe curled under when I point my foot. If I were to go on pointe, I would have what are called two "carrying toes". This curling of the outside toes is not something you can do much about. But, if you're curling the big toe under, too, then you are gripping the foot, and that's counterproductive. When the foot points, there has to be a straight line between your knee and the point of the big toe. (If you're bowlegged, it doesn't have to follow the line of your shin)


Try pointing through your foot and watching the whole thing articulate from the ankle right down to the toes. Don't let the big toe fold under. The rest can, but not that one.


PS. You seem to be doing all right so far in posting to YD 13-16. What sorts of problems are you having in posting to other forums?

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Thank you for your help! I will pay exra attention to my foot extention. I was having a computer issue posting in the pointe section, but now it is fixed.

Thanks again


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At first when my teacher talked to us about this I was a little bit confused. What helped me understand was thinking of not pointing/crunching my toes, but "pointing" my ankle and relaxing my toes. I mean, technically you can't "point" an ankle but it helped my picture what I needed to do. I hope this helps. :blink:

Edited by OperaDeParis
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