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Ballet Talk for Dancers

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Guest Ballerina567

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Hello Ballerina567, welcome to the Young Dancers' forum on Ballet Alert! Online.

 

Sickled feet are certainly a major problem for many young dancers, and it takes time and a lot of work to fix them. So, first you must be willing to really work hard! smile.gif

 

It would help us to help you if we knew a bit more about you and about your training. Can you tell us your age, how long you have studied ballet, how many classes a week you take, and also about your legs and feet, such as if you have good rotation, and if your feet have high arches and insteps or not. This will help us to know what might be the cause of the sickle, and then we can discuss how to go about correcting it.

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Guest Ballerina567

sure i have a pretty good arch and hip alignment, ve been taking dance for almost 9 years and take 7 classes a week( 7 hours)and i'm willing to work!! im 14 years old

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OK! I think I begin to see a little bit of the problem! Let's take the two terms here, hip alignment and foot rotation and play with them a little bit. What I'm driving at is, "how is your rotation from the hip?" Turnout is what we talk about when referring to how the feet end up on the floor, but rotation carries all the way up the leg to the hip. If you have good rotation from the hip, and the feet are well-turned-out, they shouldn't be getting much of that turnout from the knees - maybe 15º out of a possible 180!

Knees aren't built with much twist in them.

 

Are you standing in, say, first position, with the weight of your body squarely distributed on the foot? No rolling allowed! And no grasping the floor with clenched feet to hold onto it for dear life - it doesn't work, and this will definitely aggravate sickling in.

 

Now tell us a little more about how your feet are built. Do you have a high instep, but a low arch? Vice versa? High everything? Flat feet?

 

Does 7 classes/week mean your classes are an hour long? At your age, I would expect them to be an hour and a half. You need that in order to build strength and stamina for pointe work.

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Guest Ballerina567

hi! yes my instep is quite high, unlike my arch, and i dont have flat feet. i am going to start taking hour and a half classes but our studio just changed locations and she's only doing hour classes for every one under advanced but we will soon have hour and a half classes! so thanx for that concern!

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ballerina567, people with highly arched feet often sickle because the ankles are weak and also because they overpoint. You need to learn how to work your rotation correctly, and make the foot a part of the leg, not something separate, so that the line of the foot extends from the rotation of the leg. Work at just doing very slow tendu in each position, and hold it until it is absolutely correct, with no sickle, by using your placement and rotation. Try to feel it wrong, then right, so that your body understands how to make it right. If you don't understand, have your teacher work with you to show you exactly what it must look like in each position and how you achieve that.

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