Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ballet Pointe Shoes - Get Foot Control For The Forefoot Area

Dancing in ballet pointe shoes requires special training aside from your ballet barre exercises. Working the foot, pressing it into the floor for resistance in all your battements tendus and any brushing type of foot movement, builds up strength in the foot and lower leg.

Yet there is a part of your foot between the heel/ankle area, and the toes, that can be strengthened further.

Isolating and working this area, six days a week, is simple to do, and will prepare you for the control you will need in your ballet footwork. If you are among the boys in ballet, the same exercises improve your jumps.

"Doming" is an exercise in which you isolate the part of the foot that will provide tremendous support to your toe shoe work.

Keeping your heel on the floor, and your toes on the floor, with no twisting inwards or outwards, lift up the rest of your foot into a dome shape. It may not raise very much, but the sole of your foot will be off the floor (except for heel and toes).

Try to do this twenty times, holding the dome up for a few seconds. If you cramp, relax, massage your foot, or roll a golf ball around under it.

If you already have pointe shoes, add this exercise to your extra practice:

(After warming up) - do a slow careful press up using something for a barre. This could be in parallel, first position, or a small second position.

Sometimes second position on pointe has to be smaller, to get right up onto the platform of your pointe shoes.

Once up on full pointe, lower to demi pointe, and press back up onto full pointe. Repeat four times, then lower to flat, and then demi plie to relax and stretch your lower legs.

Make sure your weight is placed well in the demi plie, about 40% on the heels, and 60% on the ball of the foot and little toe joint areas. The front of the ankles should be relaxed.

As you get stronger, you can repeat the movement between full pointe and demi pointe eight times. When that amount feels strong, change the exercise to dropping from full pointe to demi pointe, and quickly rising again to full pointe.

You will love the control you get from working this specific area of your feet! The Perfect Pointe Book will give you many more exercises for foot control!

Here is a cool video of a Black Swan preparing her pointe shoes:

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