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Ballet Pointe Shoes Depend On You Building Strength and Understanding Ballet Technique

Posted Aug 24 2008 9:57pm
Gaynor Minden pointe shoes are preferred by some dancers. The shank does not wear out, and the platform and box are built so that they will not soften and allow the dancer to go up and down from flat to pointe while sickling the ankle. The most common ballet injury is a sprained ankle, so this is a helpful shoe.



Of course, not every sprained ankle is pointe shoe related. Nor does every dance student work well in Gaynor Minden shoes. Good for some, not for others.



In ballet, there is a fashion of line in arabesque, of sickling out the working - the raised - foot. It may also be sickled out in devant or a la seconde. The sickle out emphasizes the turned out foot. As long as this never happens to a supporting foot on demi pointe, or pointe, this is fine.



Especially for those dancers with hypermobile ankles and feet, they must be careful not to sickle out as they come down from pointe, while rolling through demi pointe. Even when the weight is being transferred from the foot, to the other leg, the ankle and arch should be in line with the leg, not sickled out.



A foot in correct alignment can be sickled out the second after the weight has left the foot - but not even at the last nano-second when the pressure of weight can go onto the inner side of the pointe shoe platform, should the ankle/foot sickle out.



This takes exceptional concentration in training. But, so does every correct finer detail of technique.



Pre-pointe training involves checking for alignment of the ankles in slow press ups - starting parallel. If alignment is correct, turn out, and practise press ups in first, second, and fifth. Check for alignment of the ankles.



Practise press ups on one foot, parallel, and observe the ankles. Strength follows with repetition. Repetitions done incorrectly set you up for injuries.



So while a shoe like Gaynor Minden has been crafted to help the dancer, like any brand shoe, it cannot prevent injury if your working habits are not technically correct.



The pointe shoe is only as good as the foot that wears it! Hopefully you'll never have a sprained ankle. Paying attention to the finer details of your ballet technique will help you build strength in the pointe shoes of your choice.



If you would like more information on correct pre-pointe training, go here for The Perfect Pointe Book.
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