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Hi everyone - more foot talk!

Guest cygnet2

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Guest cygnet2

Hi to all you adult ballet students - I'm a new girl to this site, but I've been taking classes for about 3 years in London. Totally addicted!


I was fascinated to read the conversation on foot shape started by Boots. I don't like my feet either! And Antbobby, it sounds like my feet are very similar! I have "Egyptian Feet", my big toes are 1/2 an inch longer than the 2nd toes, and then they taper from there. My feet are mediumish in width - certainly not wide, and my toes are also quite fat!


My question to any of you with the tapered foot thing, or indeed any of you - do any of you have a lump developing nicely on the side/top of the joint in the big toe? This part of the toe gets the pressure in tendu back, and on a lunge. Is there anything I can do to treat it, or will it gradually get more deformed?


Also I believe Danielle, you would have suggestions for shoes, especially as I have recently started pointe work. How do I find that part of the site?

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  • Administrators

Hello cygnet2, welcome to the Adult Ballet Students' forum on Ballet Alert! Online :)


For pointe shoe information and help from Danielle DeVor, go to the Pointe Shoe Topics forum, which is located in the Teens section of Ballet Talk.

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Guest podiumstar

I have the Egyptian feet thing too, Cygnet2 - and on my right foot I have a small bunion (the protrusion you mentioned). I am 37 and have noticed this bunion for the last 10 years but anyone looking at my feet wouldn't really see it until I point it out by comparing it to the left side. I have regular osteopathic sessions to keep my body in good alignment because I really don't want that bunion getting any bigger! I see the fact that I have a bunion on one side as indicative of some assymetry in my body and I don't want to aggravate that.

I don't hate my Egyprian feet - in fact I think my feet are really pretty - but I am just starting to realise that functionally (for ballet) they do make some things more difficult. Doing any type of port de bras with a pointed foot (devant or derrierre) is hell for the pointed toe!!! I try not to put weight on it of course, but when you do the exercise a number of times - ouch!!

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Cygnet2, I have that lump on my big toes too. (You mean the joint near the end of the toe, not the bunion joint, right?) I think it is from pointe rather than general dancing, as that bit is where I feel pressure when I am on pointe, and that part of my toe is not on the floor in a tendu - I tried it and I think I would be turned in if it was (on me anyway!) But I would rather have that lump than get blisters.;)


Where do you do class in London?

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Guest Tibbit

From what I have read, the bunion forms as pressure pushes your toe out of alignment, usually squished towards the other toes. You can try some sort of toe spacers to try to keep your toe in line. That should help. Also you can always consult with your doctor or a podiatrist. (of course they will probably just tell you to quit pointe)

Someone posted a link one time (at another site) of little massaging exercises you could do to your feet and toes, one of them was for preventing bunions. It might have been at the pointe magazine website, but I am not sure. You could probably search google for toe exercises or something like that. Also there is probably a lot of information here if you check out the pointe forum.

Good luck.


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welcome Cygnet!


I don't have a bunion on my big toe - I do have a bunionette on the outside of my foot south of my little toes which is pronounced. I have had it since I was very small. My big toe is extremely sensitive to movements which slide along the floor in the back and apply pressure to the toe in soft shoes. I'm still trying to figure this one out. It actually hurts.


I'm using tape and also moleskin (any drugstore) to place on spots over joints or places on toes which get sore from pressure, both in pointes and flats. The moleskin is really nice and sticks pretty well, and gives a tiny added layer of padding. My biggest problem so far is the top of my little toe and the 1st joint on my big toe. I've discovered that tapered boxes hold my feet best on pointe, and using the moleskin helps deal with the snugness without bulk problem and the friction.


Egyptian feet are beautiful



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My sister had bunions on both feet and she went to a podiatrist who got inserts for her shoes made. The bunions were caused by the way she walked. She also got taught some pilates-type exercises to teach herself how to walk and stand differently. They aren't going to get any better, but they won't get any worse now.


I would recommend going to a podiatrist just to see what they say. They might not tell you to quit pointe - they might make other recommendations.


But I'm no expert - I can just base my advice on my sister's experience.

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Hi cygnet2


I just want to ask something..you say that "This part of the toe gets the pressure in tendu back, and on a lunge'. Technically speaking there should be little or no pressure on the foot in tendu, even in a lunge. If you are placing weight on the foot in tendu then there might be a placement issue that you should definately ask your teacher about and of course this might help your bunions.

Is this correct Ms Leigh or Mjr.Johnson? As I was always taught to never place weight/pressure on the foot in tendu.

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I have a term/language question. (I'm not a native English speaker, so please bear with me)


If I had a bump or protrusion in the foot, on inside edge, in the joint of the big toe it would be called a bunion? And if I had a similar bony bump on the outside edge of the foot, in the joint of the smallest toe, I would have a bunionette?

Did I understand correctly?


(I don't have bunions and only very, very small bunionettes, but if my relatives are any indication, I have the genes for truly freakily enormous cases of both. :) )



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Hi Cygnet2! As for the egyptian feet thing - I never said I don't like them! ;) I was just curious, since they seem to be less common and can cause problems when shoe shopping (ballet and otherwise).


I don't have bunions, but from my own experience with the "big toe issue" I have to say, buying roomy, comfortable shoes is KEY. My experience has been that it can be harder to find a shoe that fits because of that big toe poking out all over the place - and if your foot is like mine, if you find something that fits at the front end of the foot, it's usually too loose in the heel.


anyway - sorry I don't have any real bunion tips, but I would agree with the tips on the toe alignment. Maybe try some separators, and maybe try getting a ballet slipper that is roomier at the front, so that the toes aren't all squished in there. :(

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According to "The Pointe Book" yes, the small toe side is a bunionette, the big toe side is a bunion.

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Guest cygnet2

Thank you all for your replies!


I'm still not entirely sure about the whole bunion thing, since it's not a bunion as I understand it, just a lump on the joint of the big toe. Whether it would be there anyway or whether class makes it any worse I don't know. Class certainly makes us all more aware of our feet than the average person! Obviously I must try not to put weight on the bump, but the toe just being on the floor means surely there is some weight from the leg on it anyway.


Lolly - I usually take class at Danceworks in London. Do you?


Antbobby - I will try the moleskin! And you seem to know exactly what I mean about the toe getting pressure when sliding along the floor to the back in soft shoes. I think you're right, it's the sliding rather than the tendu itself that hurts! Let me know if you have a breakthrough with how to deal with it! I don't have your little toe thing though - sounds painful!


Boots - I have recently tried soft shoes a size up and that does seem to help, the big big toe is not jammed up and pushed sideways. And I think you're right it, the Egyptian Foot does seem to throw up different fitting problems with shoes of any type. I will also try the toe separators.


Finally it appears that I must try to regard my feet as beautiful, not ugly!!!

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Try this for toe pain,


The tip of my big toe in soft shoes when in contact with the floor in sliding back in long motions gets very painful. I think it is just very sensitive. If you use one of the "big tips" which are made by bunheads for pointe padding, or one of the types of padded tubes like it which you can find in orthopedic shoe places (looks like a small sleeve tube with a gel pad) it will give extra protection at the tip of the big toe. You could probably find other things as well, just keep them thin - such as 2 bandaids wrapped over and then around the tip of you big toe - not tightly to give just a tiny extra cushion. This helps put a little extra protection between you and the floor. You can also put moleskin on the tip of your toe and then a little tape.


Good luck!

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  • 1 month later...



Cygnet2: A bunion is characterised by that "lump" on the side of your big toe. It's almost like a knuckle on the inside of your feet, by the large toe. Sometimes the skin on this "knuckle" looks red and inflamed.


My doctor diagnosed me with bunions and straight away said that I would have to go for an op! I, of course, refused to believe her (I've never done pointe, and seem to have woken up one morning with this condition!!!), and consulted my boss, who is a doctor.


He basically told me that bunions are caused by a "design flaw" (his words!) in the foot, are exacerbated by the way we walk (if you're prone to them, you're prone to them!) and that I would have to have surgery to correct them. All I know is that, even tho they hurt like the dickens, I'm not having an op at the beginning of summer! Six weeks in plaster, I don't think so!


If yours don't hurt yet (mine hurt when going onto demi-pointe), I would suggest that you see a podiatrist in order to prevent them from progressing to that point.



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