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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Low Relevé


icancalifornia

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Hello !

I started ballet in September and I can't seem to get my heels more than an inch or an inch and a half off of the ground in a relevé. I've been practicing (on the edge of stairs) to try and rise higher, but my ankles and feet just don't seem to want to bend that way.

 

Is there anything else I can do to help it along?

 

*Also, I find that I'm having trouble balancing in relevé, almost like my body is too far forwards. :grinning:

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It's all right, you had a late start, and you're only two months into the mission. When I first started, my feet were so stiff that I nearly looked like I had a club foot when I pointed my foot. (I sickled in badly, too!) Keep practicing relevé (the steps aren't necessary) and work for now especially carefully on the battement tendu, both with and without demi-plié. Remember that it means "stretched beating" and what is being stretched is the connective tissue over the top of the foot, which is probably what is restricting your relevé at this time. Then when that's better, we can start talking about battements degagés and every other battement, temps, or pas where you point your foot, which is well-nigh just about everything!!! :grinning:

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You're wonderful ! Thank you so much for the quick reply.. I'm working on point(e)ing my toes right now, but my teacher told me to "point" my ankle as well. Is that a major in it, or is it just connective tissue over the top of my foot?

 

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Well, when you think about it a minute, the anklebone's connected to the...footbone! :grinning:

 

Yes, it's all a part of a central core of energy that sort of radiates out from the general area of the solar plexus. We had a teacher tell a wonderful story on the board about having a pre-schooler who would resolutely curl her foot when told to "point her toe". The teacher then had her take her shoe off, and see if there were some malformation that was causing the curly foot. Then the Bright Idea struck! "Point your foot." All normal and copacetic!

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I raised my relevé ! Not by too much, but I can feel a difference and I feel more on balance ! :thumbsup:

 

 

I'm afraid it's just a one-good-day kind of thing though, and tomorrow my muscles are going to be tight and it will lower again...

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Since you've done it once, you can do it again. Keep at it! Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never give in!!! (Sir Winston Churchill)

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  • 3 weeks later...

:) For anyone who is interested, I just started using Therabands seriously to help my ankles and toes and they are great! If you go onto the Theraband website (I think it's called Theraband-academy or something similar... *it comes up if you type it into Google...) there are several exercises that you can use to help strengthen different muscles!

 

I was doing two that involved wrapping the band around the ball of my foot, taking up the slack and holding it with my hands to keep my foot flexed, and then "pointing" my foot to help with ankle strength. There is also another one that involves wrapping the band vertically over your foot and then bending just your toes.

The resistance really helps if you are interested in improving weak ankles and/or foot ("toe") strength. :)

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I just wanted to pop in and add some encouragement. I got a late start with ballet, too, so I know what it's like to feel like my body just won't move a certain way, and that progress is slow!

 

I'm lucky in that my feet just sort of bend well and are fairly strong, but I'm not naturally very flexible at all. I can relate to feeling like a success is just "one good day," but at least with stretching, I've found that if you don't give up on the bad days, a good one will come around again eventually! Keep at it!

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