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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Pointing feet without pain


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Hi all,


I know there have been a lot of posts about this, but I didn't see anything that had to do with my exact question so I decided to create a new post.


I have fairly good feet, not Alessandra Ferri-level but people always compliment my feet, so I guess they must be pretty good. My ballet teacher gets on my case because she says that although I have "perfect" feet when I point them completely, I don't use them enough. However, when I point as hard as I can, it causes soreness in my Achilles tendon!


I'm at a loss-- when I try not to overpoint my feet, my teacher says that they aren't pointed (and she's right, the line looks incomplete). Could the pain be due to tight calves or have another solution besides relaxing my pointe? Is this minor pain normal?


I am aiming to be a professional dancer, so I will need to use those feet!

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I suspect that it may not be a matter of forcing your feet to point "completely", but more an issue of getting your feet to move completely from flexion to extension, and can be remedied by paying close attention to the use of the foot in tendu, dégagé, frappé, and the like. The foot should "unfold" to a complete point, then "refold" when coming back in. There should be no need to force the point of the foot, but a great need for the foot to work very smoothly while extending and retracting. The foot does point completely, but it transitions smoothly along its full range of travel.

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Okay, it sounds like I should think more about foot articulation when I take class. I will try this in my next lesson.

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