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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Strengthening Ankles


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I moved up a level in ballet and I asked my teacher what I would need to work on in order to be on pointe and she told me that I need to work on strengthening my ankles. What are some excercises I can do to strengthen my ankles?



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Victoria Leigh

Tendus, dégagé, frappés, pas de cheval, elevés and relevés! You can also work with a theraband. If you have not done that before, ask your teacher to show you how. :) Work on your balance on demi pointe, making sure you are very well aligned and placed, using all the correct muscles, and that your ankles are very steady in the balance.

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I have a ridiculous question. (since there are no silly or stupid ones)

What's an eleve? :ninja:

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GTLS Designs

releve = demi plie to rise

eleve = flat/straight legs to rise


What I gave my dancers today:


Laying on your back, you set both feet on the floor, knees pointing to the ceiling. Now cross one leg over the other - ankle of one leg touching the knee of the other. Note - one leg is perpendicular to the floor, and the other is parallel to the floor. Now lift the perpendicular leg a couple inches off the floor and interlace your hands behind that knee (keeping the other leg crossed at the knee). You might feel a slight stretch of the turn-out muscles/butt of the parallel leg.


Now you will do ankle circles on the perpendicular leg... 8 circles out, 8 circles in, 7 circles out, 7 circles in, 6 circles out, 6 circles in... 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.


If done right, you'll feel the burn of your ankles + a stretch of the other leg. This is a win/win!!

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Thank you for explaining that. For some reason at my studio a releve is a snatching movement and a rise is any kind of demi-pointe position that doesn't move the toes, whether or not it came from straight legs or a plie. I've never heard eleve before.

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