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je danse dans ma tete

very high heels...

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je danse dans ma tete

I recently heard (from a pre-pro 17 year-old dancer) that wearing high heeled boots (so high that they approximate being on 3/4 pointe) strengthens the arches and insteps for ballet. Is this true? I really need to do something about my flat insteps or I'll never get en pointe... my teacher says it's the major thing holding me back!

 

Thanks,

 

Lauranne

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Victoria Leigh

je danse, I would not recommend the high heel boots at all, except maybe for special occasions where you will not be on your feet very much. They will not improve your instep, and they could tighten up your Achilles Tendon. Any very high heels can do that, if worn for long periods of time or a lot of standing and walking. Not good for dancers on an every day basis. Save them for the theatre and maybe special parties. :blushing:

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Redbookish

Hmmm, Je Danse, :blushing: that sounds to me like a bit of a story!!! A good excuse for fashionable boots, perhaps?

 

I'm sure the teacher-mods will come in with the technical detail, but I should have thought that readiness for pointe is not going to be helped by wearing very high heels. Very high heels do things to the level and alignment of your pelvis and your spine. Have you read Ms Leigh's really informative sticky on pointe work in the pointe forum?

 

One of my sister's teacher at national professional training school she attended used to recommend a low heel as it relieved strain on the Achilles, but I'm not sure that even that advice is current best medical opinion or practice ... This particular teacher was old-school Russian.

 

Whoops! Ms Leigh & I were posting simultaneously. Cross-Atlantic timing!!

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citibob

je dance.... how long have you been studying ballet? Please read the "facts about pointe work" on this forum. I believe it takes at least four years of high-intensity study to get to the place where one is ready for pointe training.

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Laschwen

Don't give up on developing those flat insteps. They may not change a lot but I have seen a difference in mine in less than 2 years. I do point and flex a lot outside of class...watching TV, while in the tub, whatever.

 

Be careful with those heels.

I found some boots that actually have an arch support in them and have a 3 inch heel, but they are for when I put on a dress and go someplace where I sit down.

Also, if you have a small foot a 3 inch heel is going to feel a lot higher than the same heel feels on my size 12 feet. I know I don't exactly "need the height" but sometimes a girl needs to dress like one and sometimes I just don't find flats that work.

Some people who hardly ever wear a heel and are not too flexible might feel a stretch in the instep when they put one on, but I wouldn't count on that story about strengthening anything.

 

Best of luck,

Laschwen

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odile53

:clapping:

 

This is a dance urban legend. Excessively high heels, worn for extended periods of time, will put pressure on your metatarsal heads, leading to bunions (especially if the toes are pointy,) and will shorten and thicken your Achilles tendons, setting you up for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis. Additionally, the fall hazard may give you a sprain or a ballet-ending Achilles tendon rupture.

 

You are far better off doing frequent sets of very slow releves and eleves, also tendu battements, to give you the foot and arch strength necessary for pointework.

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Arizona Native

I was pleasantly surprised and interested to see that the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recently made specific recommendations with respect to foot and ankle strengthening for dancers: http://www.aofas.org/i4a/pages/Index.cfm?pageID=4570 . They make the point, too, that foot and ankle care is for the long haul.

 

My own experience is that my feet and legs feel lots better, since I gave up daily wearing of heels, and now limit them to occaisional wear.

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Pirou

I couldn't say this has to do specifically with arch or instep strength, but as an interesting side note: in the summer, I learned to do Argentine tango, which involves wearing sky-high heels, balancing on one foot on demi-point with the heel of that foot barely trailing along the ground, and having your partner pivot you around in a variety of positions and movements. After several weeks of this kind of activity, my balance in ballet class, including during turns, improved tremendously!

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Clara 76

Pirou-

The renewed strength and balance is likely because the movements in Argentine Tango tend to strengthen the inner thighs- adductors- which will naturally assist with ballet!

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Pirou

Couldn't I say the shoes helped a little? I have to justify that expense somehow!

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skyish

Since it's mentioned I'd like to ask.

 

I'm not really good at wearing and walking around in high heel shoes; and I'm moving to another country. From my researches through internet, I've got the idea that in the city where I will move to, there no adult ballet classes but there are adult contemporary dance classes which include a little ballet which will not be enough for me. So panicking about this, I'm planning to take latin/salon dances besides pilates if I cannot come up with a better idea to stay fit (and I'm desperately hoping that those dances could help me with turns just like Pirou observed) but now teacher/moderators of this board said that it was kind of dangerous for ballet dancers to wear those, shouldn't I take those dance classes?

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rshevin

Well, my first thought was to take a few of those contemporary classes and dollars to doughnuts some of those ladies will know where you can find an adult class.

 

My understanding of this thread is wearing high heels all day, every day is bad for your feet. Wearing them on occasion (say to synagogue/church, occasional meetings, interviews, etc) is no big deal if you're taking proper care of yourself otherwise. If you have existing feet and ankle problems, maybe the Latin classes aren't a great plan, but if you don't, doesn't it fall into the occasional use category? If it's just a class and not a performance, I wonder if you can wear lower heals?

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Redbookish

I don't think anyone's said that wearing the appropriate shoes for Latin dancing or salsa is dangerous -- it can't be too much more dangerous than wearing pointe shoes!! But that for dancers, wearing high heels, other than occasionally, may not be good for the feet and ankle long term. After all, we wouldn't recommend that people wear pointe shoes in the street! So I wouldn't have thought that wearing the appropriate footwear for a different kind of dance, while doing classes etc in that dance style, would be a problem.

 

And from what Pirou says, it sounds as though learning Latin-style dance didn't hurt her ballet!

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skyish

However, please define "occasionally" before using exclamation marks.

 

We ballet dancers may dance on pointe up to 5 hours a day (maybe more); and though I do not know anything about latin dances, I do know that they get to perform and what if I get to perform in a recital too by some luck and if I get to dance on high heels everyday for at least 2 hours? I was just asking this question to Victoria Leigh as she said:

 

je danse, I would not recommend the high heel boots at all, except maybe for special occasions where you will not be on your feet very much. They will not improve your instep, and they could tighten up your Achilles Tendon. Any very high heels can do that, if worn for long periods of time or a lot of standing and walking. Not good for dancers on an every day basis. Save them for the theatre and maybe special parties. :innocent:

 

 

Oh rshevin, I just saw your post, yep I think it is good idea to make a market research by sneaking inside, thanks for understanding my question (seeing that you mentioned performance) =) :shrug:

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Mel Johnson

Two hours a day, several times a week, would fall into "occasional" in much the same way as wearing pointe shoes by a beginning pointe student. And the thought of an untrained person wearing pointe shoes is just too ridiculous to contemplate. The same would go for stiletto heels worn by a person with weak ankles and feet.

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