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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Foot/Toe pain?


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I tried to do a search but didn't really come up with anything similar to what I'm experiencing.


I'm experiencing really uncomfortable pain in my toe area (all toes + small portion of the ball of the feet), especially by the end of the class when we do the center work. I'm fairly flexible but due to malabsorption of certain vitamins and minerals, my feet would sometimes get STUCK and have cramps. This I was able to figure out why and fixed it with multivitamins and banana/day, but I have no idea what's causing this toe/foot pain in class.


It feels sort of like what one would feel after wearing really pointy high heels, like how the toes are squeezed for a long time. I don't feel uncomfortable for the first half of the class at the barre. Could this just be a normal foot pain? I dont remember well but I don't think I felt this pain when I was doing ballet as a younger child.

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Are your shoes too tight? Is the pleated area lumpy inside your shoe?

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Are your shoes too tight? Is the pleated area lumpy inside your shoe?


Not really.. they're not SUPER tight, the leather is "taut." The pleated part doesn't bother me inside the shoe. I have Bloch leather split-sole (the one with canvas part in the arch: http://www.discountdance.com/dancewear/style_S0203L.html) and in Width C. I tried them on at the shop and these felt pretty comfy, and I don't feel any pain for the first half of the class when we just do barre. Shouldn't leather stretch a little by then and give me MORE comfort? I don't know. These are my 3rd pair this month and I finally felt like I got the right shoes....

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My big toes hurt a lot when I point my toes in tendu (side & back), right where it meets the floor. Like I bruised my toes or something (but I didn't! I swear!).

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Then the next thing I would be looking at is your alignment and weight placement. The fact that it only happens in the centre exercises tells me that you are probably gripping the floor compensating for something off. Try reading the stickies found here:





After reading them, let me know if any of that feels like it might apply.

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THANK YOU Clara. I think it DOES have something to do with my alignment. Coming back to ballet after 15-year hiatus, I think I was trying "too hard" to push my body into the shape that I remembered I had. Especially the turnout. I had 180 deg turn out as a kid and I can still do it at the barre, but when I was practicing by myself yesterday I noticed that when I'm off the barre, my feet rolled inward.



I do have that problem during the day when I go about doing regular chores too! I think after I quit ballet, somehow I started developing this problem with feet rolling in, so even though I don't have flat feet, I experience foot pain when I don't wear proper shoes (not too flat, not too high). I try to pay attention when I walk and hold my ankles the right way.



So I tried not to push too hard and just focused on holding myself up properly, and my practice wasn't painful at all! I'm going to try this in class next week! THANK YOU!

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Of course!


I have found as I have aged that I need arch supports on occasion, and I find that arch supports along with careful consideration of my alignment has helped.

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I'm late to this thread but a thought occurred to me, could the issue initially described be in some part be with the padding on the soles of the flats being worn thin?

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The pair I had on that day was relatively new so no but I also think maybe it just took some time for me to break them in?

I'm having much better time in class now that I finally "got" the correct alignment. Still feels a bit awkward just because my body is not used to that alignment but I feel longer and taller too.

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Guest Pas de Quoi

Hello pink_Chiffon:


Here is a great resource for all things foot related. I have used this book with great success for many, many pre-pointe/dance conditioning students. It is pricey, but worth every cent. http://www.amazon.com/The-Perfect-Pointe-Book-pointe/dp/1452857407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369367661&sr=8-1&keywords=the+perfect+pointe+book


I read from your post above that your shoes feel taut. I would suggest you try canvas, and try a size that allows you to spread your toes out, when you are on demi-pointe. I tell my students they should be able to spread their toes out "like duck's feet" when on relevé. It has been my experience that if the shoes are too tight, one cannot work correctly. I would err on the side of shoes that feel a bit loose as opposed to shoes that feel a bit tight.

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Update: My teacher finally saw that I had my hips flexed forward (tucked, rounder back) and corrected this. My OLD ballet teacher from 15 years ago didn't catch this and I guess I developed a habit of tucking in to kick higher and split more. When I read Clara's post, I realized I had to work on the correct stance again so when my current teacher fixed this in class, I was so grateful!


I took a more advanced class at another local studio. More intense, and it was 30 minutes longer than my usual class. No foot pain! (other than the old injury area and soreness hehe).

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