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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Supination in eleve/releve

je danse dans ma tete

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Hi everyone!


I have second toes that are longer than my big toes (just slightly, like 1-2 mm). However, the metatarsal head of my second toe is set higher than that of any of my other toes. When I do things on demi or 3/4 pointe, I feel like I am resting just on that bone if I go up as high as possible. It is uncomfortable and sometimes painful, and as a result I can't often maintain my highest position. It's even more noticeable with one-legged balances.


It also feels like this foot shape contributes to me supinating on my highest demi-pointe. If I go as high as the front of my ankle and my arch permit me to go, I roll outward. If I lower the demi position a little, it feels like I have a broader base so not as much pressure is on that 2nd metatarsal.


I just started pointe (only about 10 minutes at the end of barre) and my teacher said she was surprised by how easily I got over my box- my shoes apparently have a hard shank- because my demi is not that high. really I think I get over the box because I am not dealing with the pain on that little bone in the sole of my foot!


Is there something wrong with my feet anatomically? Am I crazy and just not working hard enough to get a high demi- should I just bear it and push myself?


Thanks for any insights! I'm really confused and when I brought this up with my teacher she gave me a look that said 'I have no idea what you mean!'

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Top Posters In This Topic

  • Clara 76


  • je danse dans ma tete


  • luceroblanco


  • Serrée


When you're wearing flat shoes, and you're on demi - are you stretching your toes long? I know my toes tend to bunch up (more on one foot than the other) when I'm on demi pointe and it took several years for me to be able to stretch my toes out when releveing up to demi.

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I have this problem too- though my second toe is a good centimetre (perhaps at least) longer than my big toe. I am interested to hear what other people have to say!


I personally try to keep my weight centered over my big toe joint, but I cannot reach the same demi pointe as when centered over the second metatarsal. You are right though, the problem with this is that it hurts!


I also have a fifth toe/metatarsal that sits lower- in that the line where my super-long toes begin is a diagonal. I don't think this helps the supination problem at all as it feels quite natural to hold the balance with the little toe as the balancing point at the other end.


I am really interested to hear what others have to say!

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dancepig-yes, I am stretching my toes fully. Along the same lines, for anyone who is wondering I alternate three different styles\brands of ballet flats (all fitted in dance shops, all feel great) and have the same issue in all 3 so my shoes are not too tight either :D


amiaow- I'm happy to hear that I'm not the only one who knows what I mean! haha.

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You need to pad the area around the second metatarsal on the bee aa el el (phonetically spelled because software prohibits the word) of your foot so that there is something there to take the pressure so you do not supinate!! Try corn pads or any type of sticky padding; check with a podiatrist; anything to prevent the sickling.


You need to build up the areas that are lower than the second metatarsal with padding. It should work.

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Really? Wow, thanks Clara76! I'll definitely try the padding- never even thought of that before! :cool2:

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Let us know how it works, but that is what several dancers I know have to do. You may have to experiment before you get it all to stay put, but you'll get it figured out. :cool2:

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I've suggested to some of my dancers to cut a foam insole (Dr. Schol's or something similar) to fit in their slippers. :)

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I also tend to supinate in demi point, but it's because my 1st metatarsal is longer (I have a freakishly long big toe, rather than the second). I have hallux limitus, so I just can't go up very high, and it hurts to have all my weight on my big toe joint, so I tend to roll off onto the 2nd and 3rd toe joints. I've always felt that it affects my turns, since it's hard to stay forward and up on my foot. :thumbsup:

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You need to pad too then. Sickling/supination is baaaad!!!! See about some sort of half-insole for your ballet shoes or something.....you're setting yourselves up for long-term issues if you keep on supinating on demi-pointe. :thumbsup:

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Oh I know it's bad... :thumbsup: it's just hard to control because of the structural issues. But it's not like I actually hang out in supination while in demi point - it's more of a tendency that I'm always trying to control (and not just in class - I have to control it in "real life" as well, with orthotics).

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  • 1 year later...

Hello! Thank you for this thread!


I have this problem too. It is my biggest problem in ballet- and just about my only physical issue but it is really holding me back and I am obsessed with it! It's been going on for 2 years- it took me a long time to figure out what was going on. And I ignored it in the beginning because it didn't really hurt.


Thank you Clara for the idea of padding.

And je danse dans ma tete (I do too, hehe) your description sounds just like me.



(edit-- hey, please note I am a beginner ballet student and I'm really not sure about everything I write so take with grain of salt!!- and if your foot hurst see your doctor, I did)



My second toe is about 1/4 inch longer than the first. But the OP has it correct- the important part is where the metatarsal head is- if it is ahead of the first metatarsal. I am almost positive it is called a Morton's foot (or toe) (not Morton's Neuroma- that is a compressed nerve) The thing that hurts may be called second metatarsal overload syndrome. And I have read that this syndrome is common for people with a Morton's foot. It is also common for people who squat (grande plié) a lot. I don't roll onto it during grande plié, but when I squat down to say tie my shoes I do- or I did before reading that!



I think with this type of foot, the easier path is to roll onto the 2nd metatarsal- it's just more natural. So the head of the first metatarsal is actually off the floor- just a bit, you could just slip a quarter under the area. It is barely noticable- I don't think any teacher would ever be able to see it. And my suppination is barely visible if at all- it's not like I have gross sickling. That's why it took me so long to figure it all out!


Anyway, so now that I know, I can get up just as high on demi point keeping the first metatarsal on the ground- but it's hard - VERY hard- for me to get it right every time. It's easier at the barre but in the centre- say piqué to posé arabesque- that is a killer if I don't get it right. When I get it wrong, it's like I've stepped on a sharp little stone. And my Bloch slippers make it worse because the seam is in the wrong place. I am hoping new slippers and practice will help. The area isn't tender to touch- even pushing my fingers in as hard as I can doesn't hurt- but when I step on it the wrong way- ouch!. And sometimes the whole area is a little tender to walk on first thing in the morning.


Also, I have a small bunion there. I do feel some stiffness when I bend the first toe all the way to keep the metatarsal head on the ground. It doesn't hurt but it is stiff. It loosens up but the first bend of the day is quite stiff. So I don't know why it is stiff. Because I never ever bent it before in my life before ballet- it just needs to get "in shape"? Or do I have the beginnings of hallucis limitus? I really only started bending it properly about 2-3 months ago.



thanx! If anyone has anything more to say I'd love to hear it. But also, anyone with this type of foot- be careful!

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thank you


That is very helpfull to me. Those look really good!. I think I would be more interested in the ones with the full sole.



You know, I read your post yesterday and I may be dreaming but I thought it mentioned a couple of other things!


But it actually got me thinking yesterday...... I talked a lot about what I "thought" but I just want to make it really clear that I am not an expert in anything- not a physiotherapist, not a teacher, a writer and I have little ballet experience.


So when I say, for example, that it is easier for people with my type of foot to roll onto the second metatarsal- really, that is just my non-professional understanding based on a bit of reading and talking here and there. So I just got a little worried there that, who knows, someone may get the wrong idea. I was talking more like I would talk to a group of my peers- just exchanging our personal stories- from which, I believe a HUGE amount can be learnt.


It's frustrating though I must admit because I mentioned this to my GP 6 months ago and his response was 'well stay off it!"(ok, understandable). Then I went to a podiatrist (paid $75) and he wouldn't talk about anything- just wanted me to purchase $600 orthotics. Then I went to a physiotherapist (who didn't think I need orthotics and who thinks that orthotics won't help to strengthen my feet- and hey please note, just because SHE said THAT doesn't make it true!- orthotics may indeed help, who knows). Anyway, so she mumbled that it was Morton's Neuroma ($120) (oh, really, right behind the second toe?). Then I went to a walk-in clinic (free!) and the first thing the GP did was squeeze my foot widthwise and I felt nothing and he said "well, we know it's not Morton's Neuroma". I kid you not. I am seeing a new guy next week.


If ballet has taught me anything so far, it is the power of perseverance :(

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