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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Can someone comment on the position of feet in this picture please?


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Please, if not allowed to use this picture as an example (as it is a link to a picture from twitter) I apologize. However I bring it here because I am seeing poses like this often and I have a sincere head scratching question. The position of the dancer/ model's feet is my concern. Now I understand that this is a still picture and intended to be a piece of stand alone 2D art. But, as I am a new to ballet parent I am trying to understand OK v. not OK in all areas for my child. If I were to take her for a photo shoot (there are some incredibly talented photographers locally) and someone asked her to pose like this my worry would be that her lower legs are so far over and beyond her toes, is this not a dangerous position to hold for a shot? It makes for a lovely photo for sure, but is it sacrificing the dancer's safety for the shot? I see so many lovely photos and the dancers positions, while sometimes somewhat contorted, never concern me. I am noticing this sort of (forgive my ignorance and for lack of a better word) excessive lean in various forms in catalogs, posters, magazines, etc. . Again, I'm a new to ballet parent so I realize perhaps this is just new to me. Anyway, would love to hear some words of wisdom from those who know more about this.

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Noel, links to blogs are not allowed; this includes Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook. Please refer back to our rules before posting links that you are unsure of. 

Since I have seen the image you linked, the best that I can say is that you have a while before this is an issue for your young dancer. The image was an older, experienced, dancer in "dead" pointe shoes showing her extreme hypermobility... which is more of a circus trick than an example of technique. Is it proper? No. Will it create injuries? Only if this is how the dancer regularly trains (which we can assume isn't common). Should we be worried for the dancer? For a quick image, I don't think we need to worry. 


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My daughter has a highly followed instagram account and I take a lot of dance photos of her and her friends.  She always uses dead shoes (they start dead and then she uses then until they practically have holes in the boxes) because they make her feet look super archy and we only have to get a fraction of a second to catch the picture.  Her feet do not look as archy in the studio as the pictures I take  because she doesn't go over her boxes on purpose and wears properly maintained shoes.

When I take other dancers out I don't ask them to do anything they couldn't do in the studio, and again we're going for a fraction of a second so if they fall over into the grass after the shot it's ok because I just delete that picture.  No one is holding anything longer than they can handle.

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Without seeing the photograph, realize that a photograph may be capturing a movement. 

Dd had a professional photoshoot with a very well known dance photographer. She has at least one photo where she appears to be posed impossibly over on her shoes. That photo was actually a split second out of a movement. She was not posed like that. In fact, she went down to her knees during most of the movements. Hope that makes some sense. While photos do not lie, they also can be deceptive even without photoshop.

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Thank you, GTLS designs. I apologize for forgetting the rule. I appreciate your comments. It's good to have a better understanding of just what is happening in a pose like that.

Thank you, meatball77. Again, good information to have. While my DD may be too young for this to be a worry, I don't necessarily trust that all photographers would take the time to understand that and I don't want to take her in for pictures this year and allow or not allow things without good reason.

Thank you, MelissaGA. It makes sense. It's all just so new to me that even imagining this (best that I can describe is lower leg forward, knee well past toe box, ankle proper well in front of toe box, weight appearing to fall well to the front most part of the box, to my eye most of the box proper is off the ground) as a split second of time I can only imagine that the dancer must fall forward onto their knees or perhaps be pushing up off the ground from their knees.

Just the concept that they are posing in "dead" shoes is new to me. Never would have occurred to me. DD is still at the stage of learning when her shoes have died, let alone worrying about posing in them, but poses like this leave me wondering just what is happening. I appreciate the effort to try to explain it to me.

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