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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Higher demi-pointe?


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So, on one side (my left, my stronger side) I am relatively happy with the height of my demi pointe. It's up all the way, nice 90 degrees with the toes on the floor, etc. I can find good stability and balance in retire, etc. Well, I certainly have a lot to improve, but it's good relative to my level.


My right is a different story, despite working on it at least as much. On two feet, it's where it should be, but immediately sinks as soon as the left foot leaves the floor and I'm relying on my right side as supporting leg It's not totally terrible, but I hate how it just starts to sag and is visibly different from the other foot. I also have balance problems on it in retire, which I assume is due to overall weakness yielding instability.


On pointe, no problem. In fact, once fully up (or totally flat), I prefer my right side as supporting leg! Weird, huh?


Any suggestions for how to make this better? Or reasons why this might be? I am adding a second pointe class per week this week, so maybe I'll just gain strength that way?

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My DD and I were just discussing higher demi-pointes yesterday. An image that one of her summer instructors gave her was to think of pulling her heels up to her calves. I just tried it and can feel a difference from what I've been doing.

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The only thing is that I am not sure it's so much a visualization issue as a true strength issue. I have a good idea of what I want it to look like, I just simply lack the strength to get it there!


Ugh, I really hope this is not one of those terminal strength issues that older dancers have to deal with. My other fear is that my extension is never going to get higher simply because I'm older and you can't expect to maintain (or, in my case, develop) super high extensions after age 40.

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It could also be a restriction issue - are your calf muscles tighter on your right side? An overly tight or tense muscles can lose power as it loses it's ability to contract the muscle fibers as powerfully due to the inherent tension in the muscles. Tight calves will also restrict the range at the front of the ankle which affects demi-pointe position.

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