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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Split sole debut ---> foot pain?

The Fat Lady Dances

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I realize this isn't the place to ask for a medical diagnosis, but I don't think I need one -- I'm just curious.

 I am now the proud owner of a new pair of split-sole slippers. I had been wearing 30-year-old full-sole slippers that were very tight. 

Last night's class was the first time I wore the split-sole slippers. This morning was the first time I woke up with foot pain (left foot) after a class. The pain is in the sole/arch area. It's not severe, and I can walk on the foot, but it has me a little freaked out. 

Anyone else experienced this after switching from a full-sole to a split-sole shoe? I didn't experience any pain while dancing -- just the morning after.

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I think you have to sort out for yourself whether this is "good" pain, or pain. "Good" pain is actually just muscle soreness from unaccustomed use. If it's this sort of "pain" (it's not really pain is it?) then it could be that by using the more flexible split sole shoes, you've really started to work through your feet. This is good! The foot is packed with muscles, bones & ligaments all in close quarters, and (for me anyway) it's a challenge to keep it mobile and flexible. Working in very soft flexible shoes helps me to work on articulating all parts of my foot.

If it's actual pain, it could be worth checking out of it persists.

Some ways to help actual pain (I learnt these after a bout of plantar fasciitis after landing a perfect double pirouette): a foot roller - wooden ones are good. Or, fill a 250ml bottle with water (use an old plastic drink bottle) and freeze it, and use that as a foot roller. Also maybe do some simple conditioning exercises outside of class, in bare feet (walking as much as possible in bare feet is good for them) such as simple rises to demi on two feet in parallel. 

As a side note: my teacher (who is trained in dance health science as well as ballet) says it's quite important to work in parallel to counter the stresses of turning out, particularly for adults learning ballet. We do a weekly class in the Progressing Ballet Technique system, and also start class with a warm up exercise facing the barre in parallel.

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Thanks very much. At this point I'm not sure whether it's soreness or real pain, but I will try all these. Working in parallel was not something I'd think to do since I'm working so hard on my turnout.

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