Ohhh, pointe! One of the biggest goals to achieve as a ballet dancer and an absolute dream we desire to catch. Getting permission from our teachers to start pointe is a day in your dance training that you always look forward to and a day you never forget once it happens. We train and condition our bodies for pointe for what seems like forever, but outside of training during your class time, what are some methods that we can use outside of class to help get us even closer to our goal of winning those satin trophies? Well, that is exactly what we are talking about today! In this post, we’re going to talk about a couple of methods to put into practice to help raise your ability to pointe work standards, PLUS the perfect pre-pointe foot routine to help you reach your goal! So, pull up a chair, get out those therabands and let’s get to the pointe. Yes, all pun intended *wink wink*.
A lot of people focus on making sure your feet and ankles are strong, as that is one of, if not the biggest, element in pointe. However, did you know that increasing your balance is also a huge way of getting yourself prepared for pointe shoes? Balance and stability play a huge role in training/dancing en pointe, as balance is part of what allows you to achieve strong bourres, steady turns and strong arabesques en pointe (along with many other moves not mentioned). In short, balance matters. Ways to increase your sense of balance is simply by practicing holding first, second and fifth position for a solid 8 counts, as well as holding positions such as passe and coupe on each leg for 8 counts. Always remember, that a big aid in balancing is tightening your core and lifting up out of those hips, as it makes finding in your balance so much easier! Don’t get discouraged if this takes a little time to perfect. Here at From the Top, we believe that persistence is key! Keep practicing, don’t give up and you’ll see results in no time!
Our next pointer (see what I did there?) for reaching your pointe goals is, of course, releves! Releves are the number one tip on anyone’s list to getting en pointe because it is a proven method of success that has stood the test of time! By doing releves, every day, a few times a day, almost every chance that you get, you’ll not only build up the strength in your ankles and arches, buy you’ll build up the strength in your calves and thighs as well! Your lower body is without a doubt one of the key focuses working when dancing en pointe, and releves will help strengthen this part of your body in almost all areas. When I was working to get my pointe shoes, I did releves almost every chance I had. I even did them while I was brushing my teeth before bed. Sure, that might have been a little strange, but hey, at the end of the day, I got those satin babies in hand! So, go ahead! Be a releve-ing machine! It will only help you that much more!
From the Top Dance Blog’s
“Ultimate Pre-Pointe Foot Routine”
And now for the fun stuff! Below is a foot routine that will help get your feet and ankles ready for pointe work!
Equipment You Will Need:
1) A tennis ball
2) A Theraband
3) A barre or something to hold on to
1) Roll out your arches with a tennis ball for 15 – 20 seconds on each foot.
2) Point and flex your foot using a theraband for 8 counts, ending by rolling your ankle in a circle for 8 counts (4 counts clockwise, 4 counts counter clockwise). Repeat on the other foot
3) In first position, point and flex your foot out to the side for 8 counts. Repeat to the other side.
4) Eleves for 8 to 16 counts (depending on desired difficulty level) in first position. Balance for 8 counts.
5) Releves for 8 to16 (depending on desired difficulty level) counts in first position . Balance for 8 counts.
6) Releves for 8 counts in coupe (4 releves on each foot). Balance on each foot for 8 counts.
7) Roll your feet out once more with a tennis ball for 15 – 20 seconds
8) Stretch over your arches on each foot for 8 seconds each.
Practice routine once or twice daily for best results!
As always, I wish you the best of luck on your journey to achieving your pointe dreams! Know that your From the Top family believe in you and have complete faith in your ability as a dancer to reach your goals! Enjoy the routine, have a great weekend and I’ll see you all next Friday for another blog post!