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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pointing your foot

Guest Matti18

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Guest Matti18

Ok, so back to as basic as you go, but something I don't think is actually covered after a certain level in ballet, and if like me you're not lucky enough to have done pre-ballet or Primary ballet, you're just expected to 'know'.


So, anyway just a few questions for people...


1) Cramping under the arch/slightly under big toe, why is it and how to fix it?


2) Toe curling en pointe, annoyingly new habit, but tricky to fix, any tips.


3) One weak ankle (the more flexible one) any exercises to strengthen it?


I have spoken to my teachers, they don't know about the foot cramping, they said 'work on' the curling and just rises and releves for the ankle, which I am doing, but wanted to know if there was more to be done.


Any help appreciated



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Matti, I moved your topic here because it is not a question for non-teachers to answer.


Cramping is caused by several different things. You could be gripping some of the muscles when you point it, instead of using the energy through the whole leg and continuing through the foot. Or, curling your toes could also cause it. Or, you could have a dietary deficiency of potassium and magnesium. (Try eating a banana before class for this.)


Toe curling is probably not just on pointe. If you do it in pointe shoes, you probably do it soft shoes too. Work barefoot for a while, even if you have to do at home, and learn to point the foot by lengthening it, using the energy from the core of your body down the leg and out through the toes. On pointe you must lift out of the shoes, not push into them. The same lengthening of the toes must happen.


Work with a theraband for the weak ankle, and also the elevés and relevés on pointe, but just be careful not to do too much at a time and cause an overuse injury.

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Guest Matti18

Thanks so much, that's really helpful, sadly bananas are not an option but I'll find something else potassium rich/use supplements, I do toe curl sometimes in flat shoes, but I think it's a product of ill fitting pointe shoes that has become an annoying habit. Hopefully fixing the curling will help with the cramping, and help strengthen my ankle correctly, half term at the moment, so I'll be able to practice without classes and avoid overuse :)

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Thanks so much, that's really helpful, sadly bananas are not an option...


Orange juice, then, or a baked potato, or raisins!

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I am also glad to find out there is such an easy way to help the cramping under the arch. I have had the same problem occasionally. Must go get some bananas before tonight's class!

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