Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
MummytoIzzy

Good feet

Recommended Posts

Just curious to know.  My daughter has been told she has good feet at her previous and current ballet school.

 

the ballet teacher yesterday said to another child how good her feet were looking and had she been working on them.  They looked more flexible.  Is this something all children have to do in ballet and if so an tips of exercises or is this just a genetic thing that everyone has different feet :) I hope that makes sense.

 

Another question:

 

RAD exams coming up in June and my daughter has not done them before.  She is already set to do RAD grade 1 and is doing well with being put in a grade 2 class also.  She’s not set yet to do an exam.  Do you find some children can do the grade 2 exam without studying for a year or is this preferable? 

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To the feet question - it’s a bit of both. Some people are born with  pliable feet with good arches and insteps, perfect for ballet ( creating good lines and  good pointe work )Others are born with pliable feet and average arches and instep which can be improved and developed with the exercises in the ballet curriculum and extra exercises to improve flexibility and strength. However, you can only improve your feet to a degree and sadly there will be some people born with  inflexible feet,  not suited to ballet training at a professional level. This is because poor feet cannot maintain the correct position on pointe.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With regards to the exam question, I would say it’s fairly usual for a young student at this level to be in a grade for about a year. This is not only to master the technique but also the syllabus work. Marks are allocated for a confident performance of the work and so it takes time to really establish the exercises and to take into account, nerves on the day. However an older student can often manage two  consecutive grade exams in a year even at the upper end of the grades. I guess it would really depend on the  ability of the pupil. I would be guided by her teacher and resist the temptation to rush, as getting the basics right is very important.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Teacher has just said to do one exam as the ballet academy are not in favour of doing more at one time.  Makes sense completely. She has said how well Izzy is doing which is lovely to know.  I should be pleased she has good feet then thank you Valentina.  She gets them from her Granny not me 😆.  She has good arches and instep.  Also delicate small feet.  Mine although I have a high arch don’t have a good instep and I have big feet :) 

 

Must be so hard to have inflexible feet but I imagine other forms of dance it’s not so important? 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You’re right, Mummy to Izzy. Not so important to have those ‘ beautiful ‘ curves for contemporary or jazz/ musical theatre. But you would still need very  strong feet that can stretch enough to create good line. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, valentina said:

You’re right, Mummy to Izzy. Not so important to have those ‘ beautiful ‘ curves for contemporary or jazz/ musical theatre. But you would still need very  strong feet that can stretch enough to create good line. 

 

Yes, I would think that in all dance forms the necessity of using the feet on the floor, means that whilst a gorgeous arch isn't required, you feet need to work and be strong and at least somewhat flexible. You hear a lot about using the plie for jumps, but you can't use the plie without also using the feet and feet are crucial for turns. The foot work in Latin dancing is actually very hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t put Izzy into any other forms of dance yet.  The only other dance she’s shown an interest in is Acro dance and contemporary but I have heard it can be confusing technique wise.

 

Shes loves ballet and is busy doing her grade 1,2 and her school associate class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also just to note having very flexible feet does have its down side. my DS has unusually arched and flexible feet for a boy but they have been prone more to injury during his training years (especially as they are relatively small considering his height). he has  ligaments more than once..

 

so there is almost more need for strength where the foot is flexible than when it less so. like most things you need a balance between form and function!... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As with all these things its a mixture of nature and nurture. Some people are born with naturally "better" feet for ballet but even they need to work on them. Those with very flexible feet often need to improve on strength and those with plenty of strength tend to need to work on flexibility. And most people can improve on what mother nature has given them with time and appropriate exercises even if they wont ever get to the ideal. 

I dont think ive ever seen a successful dancer in any genre who has actually flat feet, but its probably true to say that other genres have less specific physical requirements than ballet.

But at your daughter's stage i would say the most important things are to be enjoying what she is doing and getting good basic technique established. Steer clear of any extreme stretching regimes or devices that claim to improve the feet as they are far more likely to do harm than good.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And with the hyper flexible feet ( banana feet), often come the sway backs, which is another whole story!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She did ask if she can do monkey feet ‘picking up pencils and marbles with her feet’ her friend does this and thinks it would be fun.  Is this ok and would it be harmful? 

 

I had had no intention of getting her a foot stretching device she is doing some normal stretches and working on her balance for her core though but enjoys doing that :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Picking up pencils and marbles is a fantastic work out for the feet and will strengthen her metatarsals which is very important prep for pointe work - a long way off yet but nevertheless.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She also thinks it’s great fun (she thinks I have great monkey feet and found that hilarious).  Anything to entertain :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dd does the same merciless taunting to her Dad. Finds it hilarious that his feet won’t bend one jot! One things for certain, no matter how hard he worked, with feet like his, he’d never make it in the ballet world! And after seeing what really goes on I think he’d be nothing but relieved!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, valentina said:

My Dd does the same merciless taunting to her Dad. Finds it hilarious that his feet won’t bend one jot! One things for certain, no matter how hard he worked, with feet like his, he’d never make it in the ballet world! And after seeing what really goes on I think he’d be nothing but relieved!

 

Children are always more flexible than adults, I don't think it's really possible in retrospect to say he could never have made it, he probably wouldn't have had good feet, but that's less expected of men, partly because they are naturally less flexible than women.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, annekh510 said:

 

Children are always more flexible than adults, I don't think it's really possible in retrospect to say he could never have made it, he probably wouldn't have had good feet, but that's less expected of men, partly because they are naturally less flexible than women.

You’re right. Maybe a little harsh. He does have very good turnout 😂

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morning - it sounds like you're already happy with the exam situation but in case it's of any interest, it sounds like my daughter is in a similar position to yours. She is 7 and she sat the RAD primary exam last year. This year (in Spring) she will be sitting Grade 1, though she also goes to the Grade 2 class (as do several others who are quite into their ballet) and they refer to this as a shadow or extension class. She won't sit the Grade 2 exam this year, as the idea of attending the class as a shadow class is (i) to enable them to do more ballet technique each week and (ii) to give them longer to learn (and then perfect) the various exercises ready for when they do come to sit the exam. 

 

What I mean to say by that is that it's not a concern that she isn't sitting the Grade 2 exam even if she is attending the class, as it sounds like it might be a similar set up to my daughter's dance school.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/02/2019 at 10:29, MummytoIzzy said:

RAD exams coming up in June and my daughter has not done them before.  She is already set to do RAD grade 1 and is doing well with being put in a grade 2 class also.  She’s not set yet to do an exam.  Do you find some children can do the grade 2 exam without studying for a year or is this preferable? 

Some schools encourage students to do the grade class they are currently in, plus the one above. It helps with strength & technique, and they get more practice so you progress more quickly than if you only do one class a week. Some like the challenge of the harder stuff too, although it depends on the individual. It can mean that you are ready to take the next exam up sooner than you might otherwise have done, but there's no rush.

 

There's good feet, and good feet. The most important thing is that you are using and working the feet correctly, and developing strength and control. If you do that, average feet are just as good as ones that just 'look' good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 15/02/2019 at 11:02, taxi4ballet said:

There's good feet, and good feet. The most important thing is that you are using and working the feet correctly, and developing strength and control. If you do that, average feet are just as good as ones that just 'look' good. 

 

A good point, Taxi. My DD had ok feet and wasn't really told how she could work on them... Then she went on pointe age 11.5, and their lack of flexibility really started to show – and to matter. In practice shoes she looks great, but she never managed to get that beautiful curve en pointe. In fact her left foot never really curved in the shoe at all, despite teachers recommending further fittings and different styles, and even manhandling the shoe themselves to make it bend! She lost heart in the end (after 3.5 years), and this year is just doing recreational classes (Open Advanced and RAD Grade 7, with no pointework). So yes, doing the work now will pay off in years to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Cara in NZ said:

 

A good point, Taxi. My DD had ok feet and wasn't really told how she could work on them... Then she went on pointe age 11.5, and their lack of flexibility really started to show – and to matter. In practice shoes she looks great, but she never managed to get that beautiful curve en pointe. In fact her left foot never really curved in the shoe at all, despite teachers recommending further fittings and different styles, and even manhandling the shoe themselves to make it bend! She lost heart in the end (after 3.5 years), and this year is just doing recreational classes (Open Advanced and RAD Grade 7, with no pointework). So yes, doing the work now will pay off in years to come!

Has she ever tried 3/4 shank shoes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, taxi4ballet said:

Has she ever tried 3/4 shank shoes?

 

Yes, for the last year she had Freed Studio Professionals with 3/4 shank.It just never happened for her, and her private lesson teacher ended up adapting her pointe solos to keep that left foot out of the limelight! Thank goodness she never wanted a ballet career, but it's sad to see them work without progressing much.

 

Edited by Cara in NZ
Missing word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...