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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Relaxing the front of the ankle


Chinafish

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Yesterday in class, my teacher told me that I'm "activating" the tendon in front of the ankle while I'm in plie.

 

And that it needs to be soft rather than "hard", otherwise my plie is going nowhere!

 

It all makes sense, and now when I am made aware of it, I start to be able to feel when I'm doing it. But how do I switch them off?????

 

I must be using the wrong muscle / have the wrong weight placement somewhere. What can I think about to help switch them off?

 

Thanks!!

Fish

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You may have been working previously with your body weight too far forward, which will automatically tighten the connective structures at the front of the ankle/instep. You have to maintain the weight within a control zone that starts at the back of the ball of the foot and goes back to the front of the ball of the heel. That will allow you to disengage the top of the foot so that you can sink into a nice, gooshy plié.

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Hm... this is strange!! Up till now even, I've always been "reminded" in class that I'm keeping my weight too far back. Would this be a case of over compensating?

 

Thanks Major Mel! I'll keep this in mind when I go to class tonight!

 

Fish

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It can happen that way too, especially, but not exclusively, to students with hyperextension, who often have the weight shifted ALL the way to the back of the ball of the heel. Then the front of the ankle engages, to keep you from toppling over.

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I have also had that happen from being too far forward in a demi plié. It might not happen from just standing with the weight too far forward, but if you plié, especially on a jump landing, that tendon can definitely get very upset.

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A-ha!! All makes perfect sense. Can't wait for class tonight! Thanks!!!

 

Fish

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