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How To Strengthen Your Feet for Pointework

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Dancing en pointe requires tremendous strength in the feet and ankles. If your ballet teacher has not "graduated" you to pointe shoes, it may be because you do not have enough strength in your feet. If you are new to pointe work, use these tips to help increase your strength.

  • To strengthen the feet:

    Basic ballet exercises, particularly those done at the barre, are preparation for your work in pointe shoes. Every small movement from a closed position to an open position helps to strengthen the sole of the foot. Remember to use the floor as resistance. The harder you press your foot into the floor, the stronger the resistance. The next time you perform a tendu or rond de jambe series at the barre, try pressing the sole of your foot harder into the floor. Really concentrate on using the floor as resistance.

  • To strengthen the ankles:

    Rising to full pointe from the floor will strengthen the ankles tremendously. Standing in first position, perform several releves (beginning and ending in plie) and then several eleves (beginning and ending with straight legs.) Next, try standing on one foot with the other foot in coupe in back. In this position, perform several releves and eleves, then repeat on the other side. The slower you rise, the more strength you will build in your ankles.
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