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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Tired Arches


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I take a technique-oriented jazz class once or twice a week, which sometimes includes a long adagio. We do the entire sequence -- 12 counts of 8 -- on one foot before switching to do the other. I definitely feel it in the muscles holding my turnout (and others...), but I get most tired on the underside of the foot of my standing leg. If I had to pinpoint it, I would identify the soreness mostly in the arch, up near the metatarsals.


I suspect this is mostly a strength issue, something relevant to all of the dance that I do but noticeable only under these "extreme" circumstances, and I would appreciate suggestions for supplementary exercises to strengthen my feet to help me along.


I pay close attention to my feet in tendu, degage, etc., and this tiredness/soreness doesn't quite feel like it is in the same muscles worked in the usual theraband exercises. Might it have more to do with the intrinsic muscles of the feet? Can the muscles even be differentiated in this way?


In case it influences any potential answers, I'll add that the alignment issues I have to work most at are avoiding pronation and avoiding having my weight settle backward through my shoulders (which is where I carry stress in my body). Also, my knees are slightly hyperextended, but I think I've mostly overcome that one in my technique.


Many thanks!

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I get that when I take Jazz too.....I always found that it helped me to relax the arch by massaging it and rolling it around on a tennis ball prior to class. My guess is that it has something to do with jazz shoes, but I may be wrong.

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Make sure you're not clenching your toes too during that long combination. Think about spreading all 5 toes flat on the floor.

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Yeah. I wondered that too. Tension is a naughty thing.

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Thanks for the suggestions that have been offered so far. It's definitely not jazz shoes for me, because I do that part of class just in socks! But I do sometimes try to take note of whether I'm gripping the floor with my toes or not (and to let go if I am doing it). From what I can recall, I tend to do it in other parts of class but not in this one. I'll have to think about it more deliberately the next time I'm there, though.

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