Every beginner in ballet knows that the foot arch is important in the entire ballet experience. Known as the most iconic elements to the aesthetics of ballet, as effortless as it looks, the pointe requires great strength on the feet. If your child is already applied to a ballet course in Singapore, she will probably learn the pointe soon enough through the stretches and exercises that will improve the overall arch of her feet.
But if she is not, she can try practicing on her own first. Take note, not every dancer is blessed with naturally rubber-like feet, which means your child will need a lot of practice to gradually develop the technique needed to achieve the pointe easier. Here are six tips that she can adopt to make significant improvements to her pointe work:
- Stretch the muscles in the feet that can strengthen and lengthen the arch. She can do this by rolling her foot on a foot roller to build a smoother transition up onto and lowering from pointe.
- Focus beyond the muscles of the feet. When she improves on all the muscles that contribute to the arch of your feet, she will be able to improve your foot shape. For example, with one leg stretched out in front of her, place a resistance band around the ball of the foot. While holding both ends of the band, flex the ankle and hold in the position. Here, this exercise stretches the ankle muscles.
- Practice makes perfect. Try stretching the foot as much as possible but remember, never tighten it so much that she pinches her Achilles tendon. Safety always comes first, so it is important to do it carefully as overstretching can risk injury, causing tendonitis. Some dancers get their friends to sit on their feet for extended periods of time, or they will even wedge their toes under hard surfaces while forcing their knees to straighten. That can permanently damage the ligaments, which is why stretching gently is all the more recommended to gradually achieve the pointe over time.
- Stay consistent in the exercises. The more regular she is with her stretching habits, the more successful she will be in executing her pointe. You can allocate a time for your child to exercise her feet muscles and you can also do it with her to make this moment fun!
- Shoes can play a part in how well she executes the pointe. For a beginner, a softer shoe will be preferred for her to learn to better articulate her foot first. Well-chosen and properly fitted shoes make a difference, so check that it is firm around the front part of the foot but should not be squashing her toes in together too much.
- Finally, especially for young dancers, it is essential to eat well and have a proper diet for strong bones to be able to support the body’s weight.
Wondering how to check if her pointe work has improved? When she has her legs straight while sitting down, if her toes are touching the ground when arched, she is on the right track! But rather than practicing on her own, it will be more effective when she learns it from a ballet teacher. From the correct body alignment to the mastery of ballet techniques, the teacher would be able to better evaluate her to ensure she is physically prepared for pointe work.
At Dancepointe, every kid is in good hands under our instructors. If you are a parent who is planning to sign your child up for a ballet course in Singapore, Dancepointe might just be the academy you are looking for. We have 14 state-of-the-art schools serving the Alexandra, Bishan, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Jurong, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Seng Kang, Sembawang, Buangkok, Seletar, Yio Chu Kang and Tampines residents. So if you are living near us, sign your child up and besides having beautifully pointed feet, she will benefit more to become a graceful ballerina.