Exercises For Pointe - Basic Ballet Positions Matter!
Posted Oct 13 2009 10:00pm
Exercises for pointe work are not going to result in grace and ease when you dance ballet in pointe shoes, unless your basic ballet positions are correct. Spinal posture, well-held turnout (no matter what degree you have naturally), and powerful demi plies will give you strength and power in pointe shoes.
Neutral spine position must be understood and practiced correctly in every ballet barre exercise. Good posture makes everything else in ballet easier - and will help you progress faster.
Using your demi plies in a very elastic way, as a movement rather than a series of positions, gives you power to push off for releves and jumps. Maintaining your spinal posture and holding your turnout lends to your strength.
Strength in your core muscles, or lower abs, supports your overall alignments. Especially if you have an additional situation to control, such as hyper-extended legs. This lower abdominal activation also allows you to relax in the upper body area, enabling natural and graceful arm and head movement.
Sliding and pressing the feet into the floor every time you leave first, third or fifth position, develops strength and awareness of your foot muscles. This use of the feet also powers every demi plie into a chassee that ends in a jump or releve onto three quarter or full pointe.
Holding alignment of the supporting side of the body in ronde de jambe a terre, and en l'air builds the kind of strength you will need to do thirty-two fouettes en pointe.
Being able to build up from four releves on one leg in a well-held retire position, to eight, to sixteen, to thirty-two, with a correct demi plie, pressing from the heel every time, will also mean that you will be able to do the releves and then the fouettes, on full pointe.
Every barre exercise you do with correct basic ballet positions prepares you for pointe work!