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Ballet Talk for Dancers

My 7yo Daughter's Feet

Claudia's Mum

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I have been following these boards for a while and finally decided to sign up!


My 7 yo daughter's ballet teacher as told me my daughter has great feet for ballet. What is it that a teacher looks for in feet? I have been searching online but find some conflicting information.


I have included a link to a photo if anyone would like to offer any feedback.



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Claudia's Mum, I had to remove the photo, as we do not allow photos on the board. You are welcome to put a link to an online album, though.

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I guess I would say don't get too excited. My DD also has cashew or banana feet but then she has other things that she has to work on.


Ballet appears to challenge everyone, even those blessed with certain genetic gifts.

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I am not a teacher and I am sure they will be able to give you a much more in depth answer or correct me if I am wrong. My daughter has "those" feet that instructors go wild over. From what I gather, it is a foot that has a high arch/instep/top of foot which creates a "banana" look. The feet are very flexible and it would not be uncommon to see a dancer with banana feet be able to sit on the floor and when flexing their feet downward, the toes can go to the floor. Because of the flexibility, they can also take longer to gain the strength necessary for pointe work and for having the foot show the complete flexibility in pointe shoes.


I think it is great that your instructor told you this and I am sure it is encouraging to your daughter. Our DKs can always use encouragement. There are so many things that do go into an excellent dancer, but at your daughter's age, if she is enjoying her classes, that is all that is important. No need to worry about the other difficulties. They come soon enough.

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I saw the photo before it was removed and they weren't 'banana' feet. They looked like they were strong though and were flexible enough from what I could tell. If you do post a link to the photo it might be worth doing one with her standing on Demi-pointe (tiptoes), she might have a nice high position which you can't really tell from the photo you posted. She did look like she might have been sickling a little but hard to tell from the angle and may have just been a shadow.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My daughter has an okay arch but definitely not "banana feet." Should I be worried? At least they're not like mine - the outsides of mine are completely flat! But I'm worried her arch won't be high enough.

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My DD has normal feet - a decent arch, not sickled, strong, and flexible. Her feet are not perfect, but they are not "bad" (flat and sickled like mine :) ). She stretches and works on her feet to give them a better appearance for ballet. Some dancers are gifted with great feet, and some dancers are not, but that's the last thing I would worry about at such a young age. Right now, I would just let her enjoy ballet. JMHO

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would agree with everyone to just try and not worry about the feet issue. It really IS such an obsession in the ballet world, but your daughter is so young yet! Lots can (and will) change as she grows.


I'm someone who had a totally 'wrong' ballet body, from my feet to my build to my thighs to my height. It's too bad that I was also 'blessed' with a real passion for it! So it's always been an uphill climb for me. I have pretty terrible feet for ballet, actually....inherently flatfooted, with minimal instep, then spent years at a terrible school that forced my turnout at a really young age and didn't correct my pronation, which completely ruined my natural arches. Sigh.


I used to be so jealous of the girls in my class with banana feet, and mine would be flat wide things. Terrible! Here I am a few decades later, and deciding to go back to ballet, I really started to work on my feet (not because I wanted that perfect arch, but because I needed to get strong for pointe). And funny thing is, as my feet got stronger, they also got arch-ier and my instep got higher! My feet also got narrower as they got stronger. All of this is because I was training those intrinsic foot muscles, and as they got stronger my feet changed. I won't ever have a banana foot, but my foot is looking pretty darned good these days compared to the way they were before.


So, in a nutshell, things WILL change. Through normal growth, puberty, but also through the work of ballet itself. It's great that your daughter's teacher likes her feet, but I really wouldn't worry about it too much. It's possible to have perfect physical facility and no heart for ballet, and vice versa too. There are pro ballerinas with gorgeous feet, and pros without. Who knows what the future holds? The most important thing is to let your daughter have fun in developmentally appropriate classes and see where it takes her. Ballet is a life long journey for many of us!

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