Are Angry Ankles Cramping your Style? Got some Sickle Sally Syndrome? Have a case of Flip Floppy Footsies or Froggie Foot Frustration? Or Are you just Forgetting your Feet Completely? Activate your feet & perfect your point!
Ballet Basics: For Strong and Pointed Feet by AP Master Trainer Christine Wunderlich
Ballet revolves around long lines of legs, arms & body to create illusion of super human beauty & grace. Ballet Dancers are renowned for some of most talented feet in the world, so strong they can jump, twirl & even appear to levitate off the ground.
Exercise 1: Anti-Sickle Drill
Sitting – with legs forward, Yoga Block between the legs, place Exercise Loop band around ball of the foot. With straight legs, Point & Flex your feet, while keeping the band at the same tension & feet equal distanced apart.
Next, in flexed position, pulse the toes apart, without moving your legs or heels. Then repeat with pointed feet. Don’t let your feet sickle! The muscles on the outside of your feet & ankle should burn.
Exercise 2: Point & Flex
Sitting – Loop a Thera-band over the tops of your toes. Keep tension in the band. Hold ends together & place the yoga block between leg and band, as shown. Point & Flex you foot, keeping foot in alignment. Don’t allow to Sickle! Flex should work ankle muscles (perfect for foot hangs) & Point should stretch to your toes & arch.
Exercise 3: Pony Prances
Time to get your feet & ankle really moving!
Parallel legs. Pony Prance by alternate moving between demi-pointe (Half Point) Position. X 8 Next, Pony Prance with pointed feet, alternating which foot points. X 8
Finally, add a plié or bend in the knee to the standing leg X 8.
Keep legs active & tight together, as you move with control. Think about articulating all the bones & muscles in your feet.
Exercise 4: Parellel Tendu with Demi–Pointe
Parallel position, activate legs & knees. Press foot into floor & slide it forward, until only toes remain on the ground, in Demi-Pointe position. Next, engage the toes & fully point the foot. Retrograde. X4
Try the opposite, slide to full point, relax just the toes to Demi-Pointe, then fully point again before closing. Great for active toes & strengthening those tiny toes muscles.
Exercise 5: Tendu à la seconde & Sur le cou-de-pied
Ballet, uses turned-out positions. First Position = heels together & toes pointed outward, in lateral rotation. Tendu à la seconde. Leg extension sideways. Brush foot along the floor to extend sideways. Point the foot! Squeeze legs close. X 3
Next, Pick-up foot & place pointed toes just above the ankle. (Sur le cou-de-pied is the French Ballet Term for this movement) Maintain balance & control as you shift to stand on one leg. Check that your foot is pointed! This coordination is tricky! X 3
Challenge yourself, try it faster!!
Exercise 6: Plié & Relevé
Both Legs 1st Position try Plié & Relevé motion. Knees move in the direction of feet when bending. Squeeze legs & booty to straighten & Relevé. Keep Ankles strong. Do not wobble!
Next, Faster with a Hold Balance in Relevé. X 8
Lastly, Press Relevé. Keep your legs straight & just use the power in your feet, ankles & calves to elevate your body. X 8
Bonus Challenge: Balance at the end! No Wobbles! Strong Feet!
CONGRATULATIONS!! Ballet Basics: For Strong and Pointed Feet completed!!
Dance Party Time!! Well done!! Ballet is a beautiful & challenging way to strengthen & learn foot coordination. Love you feet & let them join your aerial party!