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In Pointe Shoes – How To Get The Best Professional Footwork

To prepare your ballet footwork for pointe shoes, concentrate on the single factor which will make up for perhaps not getting exactly the right fit with your first pair of toe shoes. It is not the ballet shoe ribbons or the toe padding that you use. It is not your teacher, or the type of dance floor at your ballet studio. It is something you own, and it cannot be taken from you. It is the strength in your tiny foot muscles.

The advantages of developing your intrinsic foot muscles (the ones that are in your feet and are not extensions of leg muscles) are:

  • your calf and tibial (shin muscles) will not over work and hold extra tension because of weak foot muscles
  • your Achilles tendon will not be prone to dance injuries due to tense calf muscles
  • your reflexes will develop in your ballet footwork, giving the needed control and balance
  • you will able to use the full depth and power of your demi plie
  • you will be able to secure your weight properly on your feet, in the ‘tripod’ or middle of the heel/at the little toe metatarsal joint/at the big toe metatarsal joint

When you cannot get the exact fit in pointe shoes, compensations can be made with toe spacers, gel padding, heel grips, and sewing wide elastic across the vamp for extra support. These are  many methods that dancers use to make their pointe shoes more comfortable.

However, you gain an extra advantage over the availability – or lack of – the specific ballet shoes that you want, when your feet are really strong.

Another wonderful quality you gain from developing the right ballet muscles in your feet is a more relaxed, elegant upper body, helping you attain the impression of effortlessness that every ballet dancer strives for.

When you get into a ballet partnering class (Pas de deux, French words for ‘dance for two”),  you rely less on your partner for control.

You will also have more of a cat-like quality simply walking in your pointe shoes, not to mention performing difficult  movements requiring finer ballet footwork.

Doing ballet in pointe shoes is not difficult if you are prepared. You’ll become the dancer you want to be with strong professional footwork.

Inspired by Hanya's memories of ballet.“Ballerina” by Vone Deporter.

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