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My naughty feet!


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I have these disobediant feet; they're not flat, they have quite an average arch, which I do need to strengthen and lift, but that's only part of my problem. I swear my feet are different to every other dancers, I will take a pic of them pointed and post it soon. When you've seen it I'd really appreciate some good exercises or tricks of how to get them pointing more convincingly, it's so frustrating at the moment! It's dificult to explain, but I will try...basically, the part where your ankle and foot meet on the front of your leg (to form a right angle when standing flat), lies stright or curves the other way when good dancers point their feet, yet mine seem to find it really difficult to even get straight. Ugh, pic coming soon!!

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No pic yet, but I spoke to my ballet teacher yesterday. I have a low INSTEP. This makes pointing my toes look less pretty.


When I do excercises to help strenghthen my arches (peeling foot of floor, rises) I find I sickle my feet very easily due to this instep...it's really difficult to tell when I am though because it all feels the same. I am 18, so just an adult really, I don't think there is A LOT I can do to increase the flexion of my ankle concerning the instep, but at my age is there any improvement I can make?


I realise that I will probably never be able to pointe, though. Which has made me pretty upset, it feels as though I'm being restricted by my own body. =[[[[

What I'd like to know is...are my feet unsuitable for ballet full stop? Would my HORRID feet prevent me from progressing grade wise? Because I love it so much!!!

Edited by Katthe1st
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I don't have typical "ballet feet" but I was taught really carefully by one teacher to use my feet on the floor in tendus, glissés and so on. And twice since, on starting a new class with a new teacher, I've had the complment "Good use of feet." so it's about how you use your feet, not what they look like in repose, it seems to me ...

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I was born with flat feet, and an instep that went so inward I spent the first year of my life in a special brace and shoes to make my feet straight.


I've been dancing for over 30 years, including pointe.


I'll be very honest and say that if you are looking for professional work, perhaps ballet is not the thing, but if you're looking for personal challenge and enjoyment, stick with the ballet. I don't believe ballet is unsuited for anyone, really. It can only help a low instep, or an arch, in my opinion.


Right now I'm experiencing serious issues with my ankles, due to a sprain on one during the Richmond camp and a break I had two years ago on the other. But I ain't stoppin' the dancing - just modifying what I can do.


I, too, was taught really carefully about how to use the feet, and I think that's made all the difference. Keep at it - and see what happens! :)

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Wow, thanks for your help. That's very inspirational! Are you saying that people with low insteps can do pointe work if they train properly beforehand? I was never looking to be a professional ballet dancer, I just always dreamt of one day being able to dance en pointe. I will have to talk to my teacher again about my feet, during class its usually the last thing on my mind, especially as the mirrors in our studio are oddly placed.




Edited to remove the unnecessary quotation of entire preceding post. Please use the Add reply or Fast reply buttons at the bottom of the thread.

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Based on personal experience (my own) and seeing the miracles my current teacher is performing with pupils whose feet are far worse than mine are, I think if you want to go for it, then go for it. If you decide subsequently that it's not for you, then you will make the decision not to continue.


I keep wavering not due to the arch but due to my painful ankles. I don't think I'm fully recovered from the break two years ago (sure of it, actually) but I really SO want to continue as I'm actually finding pointe easier now than when I was a teenager. I know I was properly trained before, and am being properly re-trained now, but I have low confidence.


As we probably all are aware, too, I think fear is the biggest factor. When we were teens, we were fearless, or just about. Now we know what can happen so it holds us back.


My teacher is firmly of the belief that everyone deserves to try it. She believes pointe work will help to develop the arch. She's talking from experience because apparently she had similar issues with her arches, and she's a professional dancer now with feet that are utterly amazing. (And she puts us through ALL the exercises that she had to do, to develop those feet - owie!!!). It's only been about 2 weeks and I've already seen major improvement in the arches of one of the girls. Amazing!

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  • 6 months later...

I have the SAME problem with my feet. I am doing all I can do with pointing and e demi pointe, but it's not enough. I think it looks horrible. I was in a performance last year and when I watched the video, I was literally yelling at myself to point! I was, it's just hard to see.


BUT, I am not going to let this bother me and keep me from the one thing I love. I know that I may not go en pointe, but it's ok. I can dream and keep working toward that goal.

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