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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Increasing achilles flexibility/deeper plies


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DD is 13 and currently at SI. She is having a great time, and was placed well (she auditioned for and was accepted to 4 intensives, so she had her pick), but is struggling with "keeping her heels on the floor" and therefore her plies are not as deep as they should be!


Does anyone have any great exercises to help DD with her plies/achilles issues? She has done the "stair drop" with very little progress. She DOES have a ballet barre at home, and will be using that to practice her plies when she returns from SI

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It may not be a case where exercises will help by themselves. Check with her to see where she is placing her weight on her feet. If the answer is on the toes and paddings of the feet, the heels will, 99 percent of the time, come off the floor when trying to deepen the plié.

Edited by vrsfanatic
could not write the word I wanted for some reason it came out #####
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Is the weight supposed to be on the b a l l s of the feet? It is, right? Or more accuratley the b a l l s and the toes? I thought that it shouldn't be on the heels.

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The weight of the body is distributed over the whole foot, however, the ratio may vary with different methods. Very often it is taught as two thirds over the metatarsals and one third in the heels. Putting the heels down in demi plié is a matter of learning how to use the plié correctly. If one has a very tight achilles tendon, this is more difficult, but not impossible. The teacher needs to have an understanding of a tight achilles and how to work the plié in order to learn to use it well and get the heels down.

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