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pixy-dust

What type of feet do I have? Help!

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Hello everyone, I need advice and help in terms of my feet shape and which vamp etc will be most suitable for me.

 

I will like to point out that I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and although it affects my entire body, my ankles and shoulders can sometimes dislocate if I stop strengthening everything. 

 

I have attached some photos and I look forward to hearing from you all! 😘

 

P.S Sorry for the low quality photos but you can still see my feet. 😀

 

http://s557.photobucket.com/user/pixy-dust-here/slideshow/

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Hello pixy-dust and welcome. ☺️  Do you mind me asking how old you are, and also your level of experience? Have you started pointe work or are you preparing for it? 

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52 minutes ago, Anna C said:

Hello pixy-dust and welcome. ☺️  Do you mind me asking how old you are, and also your level of experience? Have you started pointe work or are you preparing for it? 

 

 

Hi, I'm 24. Been doing ballet for only 2 years but I mainly do contemporary dance and sports such as rhythmic gymnastics. 

 

My teacher said I have at least another year or so to go but I haven't exactly found the right ballet shoe. 😢 

Edited by pixy-dust

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Hi

 

Do you mean what pointe shoes? 

 

As your teacher has said you are around a year off needing pointe shoes I d continue with building strength. I m not a professional but your releve in second looks like your ankles are pushing out - might be the angle of the camera. 

 

I wouldnt worry about shank or shape of shoes its best practice to go to a reputable pointe shoe fitting for your first Pointe Shoes anyway and they will ensure the correct shape and shank is given to you through assessing your feet and trying on lots of shoes. 

 

 

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i'd agree with  what others have said. 

the pictures you  show  in your link aren't ones that really help with  saying what type of  foot you have   in terms of  the  toe profiles , also if you  teacher thinks you are a year of regular class  away from going on pointe you feet may well change in that time  -  i know i've dropped  a width  due to taking  class regularly as the  instrinsic muscles have toned up ...

Foot+Types+Site+Ready.jpg

 


 

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Hi PixyDust - I'm not sure if you're asking about pointe: I'd say 2 years of classes with a hypermobility condition isn't quite enough, but it sounds as though your teacher is being sensible here.

 

As for your feet: it looks as though you have:

* good ankle flexibility, although there are some experts who advocate that pointe readiness requires the ability to draw a straight line through the joints from knee to toe - here's the ballet-focused physiotherapist Lisa Howell on YOuTube, - listen to what she has to say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35gPlaYOnm4&list=PLo8DXd6bv4b2vPUybFmuqUDqNVlq4qCkd

 

* But you're sickling quite badly in the picture of you on demi-pointe in second position. So badly that you need to really pay attention to engaging your turnout rotators at the top of your legs & in your hips, & lower back. You might find Eric Franklin's books really helpful on visualising this, or read the "Alignment" thread in this forum, and see also the recommendation for Gretchen Warren's book on Classical Technique.

 

* It looks as though your curling or crunching your big toes, rather than stretching them. People** do that in the mistaken attempt to point the foot. The action of pointing comes from stretching through the ankle, not crunching up the toes. My teacher has us work in bare feet at the start of some classes (eg Progressing Ballet Technique and pre-pointe) to try to spread our toes, and plant them on the floor.  

** ha ha, who am I kidding! I do it ...

 

* To strengthen feet, you can do some simple exercises: 'Doming" is the main one - it's amazing how that works the tiny muscles in the instep and toes. Here's a video presented at the IADMS conference a few years ago.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WqR6wJFLQg

 

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15 hours ago, dancertaxi said:

Hi

 

Do you mean what pointe shoes? 

 

As your teacher has said you are around a year off needing pointe shoes I d continue with building strength. I m not a professional but your releve in second looks like your ankles are pushing out - might be the angle of the camera. 

 

I wouldnt worry about shank or shape of shoes its best practice to go to a reputable pointe shoe fitting for your first Pointe Shoes anyway and they will ensure the correct shape and shank is given to you through assessing your feet and trying on lots of shoes. 

 

 

 

Hi, 

 

I mean ballet shoes/ballet slippers. 

 

I noticed some have a v-cut and a u-cut and I am not exactly sure which will make my feet look prettier. 

 

I'll like to point out I've tried bloch shoes (hated them), MDM (very hard to point my feet but good for strengthening) and Merlet (I liked these but they became damaged very easily). 

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8 hours ago, Nicola H said:

i'd agree with  what others have said. 

the pictures you  show  in your link aren't ones that really help with  saying what type of  foot you have   in terms of  the  toe profiles , also if you  teacher thinks you are a year of regular class  away from going on pointe you feet may well change in that time  -  i know i've dropped  a width  due to taking  class regularly as the  instrinsic muscles have toned up ...

Foot+Types+Site+Ready.jpg

 


 

 

I see, I have tapered toes. ☺️

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Kate_N said:

Hi PixyDust - I'm not sure if you're asking about pointe: I'd say 2 years of classes with a hypermobility condition isn't quite enough, but it sounds as though your teacher is being sensible here.

 

As for your feet: it looks as though you have:

* good ankle flexibility, although there are some experts who advocate that pointe readiness requires the ability to draw a straight line through the joints from knee to toe - here's the ballet-focused physiotherapist Lisa Howell on YOuTube, - listen to what she has to say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35gPlaYOnm4&list=PLo8DXd6bv4b2vPUybFmuqUDqNVlq4qCkd

 

* But you're sickling quite badly in the picture of you on demi-pointe in second position. So badly that you need to really pay attention to engaging your turnout rotators at the top of your legs & in your hips, & lower back. You might find Eric Franklin's books really helpful on visualising this, or read the "Alignment" thread in this forum, and see also the recommendation for Gretchen Warren's book on Classical Technique.

 

* It looks as though your curling or crunching your big toes, rather than stretching them. People** do that in the mistaken attempt to point the foot. The action of pointing comes from stretching through the ankle, not crunching up the toes. My teacher has us work in bare feet at the start of some classes (eg Progressing Ballet Technique and pre-pointe) to try to spread our toes, and plant them on the floor.  

** ha ha, who am I kidding! I do it ...

 

* To strengthen feet, you can do some simple exercises: 'Doming" is the main one - it's amazing how that works the tiny muscles in the instep and toes. Here's a video presented at the IADMS conference a few years ago.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WqR6wJFLQg

 

 

Hi, 

 

My teacher is a former corps de ballet dancer with Australia ballet from the 1980's and she said that for those who have JHS or EDS, it could take 3-4 years of training with regular classes. 

 

She's always correcting me in class and at first I would get kind of upset over it but my brother said that I should appreciate that she even bothers to give me feedback and it's a compliment. 

 

She also said that pointe is not suitable for everyone but she can see me going on them one day as I'm stronger than I first started. 

 

When I first started my ankles would twist whenever I'm walking which was very painful but it does not happen anymore. 

 

Do you think I have normal, low arches or rigid flat feet? 

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2 hours ago, pixy-dust said:

 

Hi, 

 

My teacher is a former corps de ballet dancer with Australia ballet from the 1980's and she said that for those who have JHS or EDS, it could take 3-4 years of training with regular classes. 

 

She's always correcting me in class and at first I would get kind of upset over it but my brother said that I should appreciate that she even bothers to give me feedback and it's a compliment. 

 

She also said that pointe is not suitable for everyone but she can see me going on them one day as I'm stronger than I first started. 

 

When I first started my ankles would twist whenever I'm walking which was very painful but it does not happen anymore. 

 

Do you think I have normal, low arches or rigid flat feet? 


There is  much wailing and gnashing of teeth  over how soon is right for an adult  learner to start  doing pointe -  also  to what extent  -  a relatively short  beginning pointe  class  which is mainly foot exercises, and pointe at the  barre   with little or no centre work en pointe is a different  kettle of worms to a VGE class 

there is no simple answer  -    most adult  beginner classes  mix and match  the levek of their exercises,   turning vs no turning seems to be a class size function in adult beginners  - if it;s class of 30+ as you  see in that there London  (e.g.  David Kierce;s thursday class at central) you have different challenges to a class of  8 -12 people  as seen in many  outside london adult beginner  classes. 

there is a simple answer for children as when is the earliest age to start pointe  to some  extent  - especially those who  have been taking class regularly since they  were little -  the limitation is often  foot bone ossification   as potentially, strength / balance  etc is there before 

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4 hours ago, pixy-dust said:

I noticed some have a v-cut and a u-cut and I am not exactly sure which will make my feet look prettier. 

The most important thing is getting the correct fit, not what looks prettiest. Incorrectly fitting shoes can cause injury and even permanent damage.

 

Neither we (nor anyone else) can tell you which shoes would suit you over the internet, and you shouldn't be buying them that way either. What you really need to do is to go to a reputable dancewear shop and ask the staff. They will be trained in fitting dance shoes, will be very experienced and they will be able to help you. Sometimes dance teachers like to accompany their students to fittings, so perhaps you could ask yours to go with you.

 

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I absolutely agree with Taxi. Soft ballet shoes should fit your foot like a glove fits your hand. No room to spare and perfectly fitted to your own individual feet. You will only get this by trying several pairs on in a shop. 

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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2 hours ago, Lisa O`Brien said:

I absolutely agree with Taxi. Soft ballet shoes should fit your foot like a glove fits your hand. No room to spare and perfectly fitted to your own individual feet. You will only get this by trying several pairs on in a shop. 

 

DD drives me demented with this ... her feet are still growing ... they grow out, making her shoes too tight, but almost appear too long, then they grow in length, so the shoes are then too baggy or fall off her feet! this is with cross elastics AND ribbons! and typically, one of these happens just before an exam or something, usually about a week or so after I've bought new shoes! I've taken to having several pairs of shoes in a variety of sizes, and we go with whatever fits best!

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Hi Pixy-dust

 

If you have had ankle dislocations I would think very carefully about whether pointe work is appropriate, ever. 

 

I'm sorry if that sounds mean but you are only 24 and risking further ankle damage could lead to lifelong problems - with daily activities never mind dance.

 

Take care.

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13 hours ago, sarahw said:

Hi Pixy-dust

 

If you have had ankle dislocations I would think very carefully about whether pointe work is appropriate, ever. 

 

I'm sorry if that sounds mean but you are only 24 and risking further ankle damage could lead to lifelong problems - with daily activities never mind dance.

 

Take care.

I was about to say the same thing!

Pixy-dust, I would think very carefully about why you want to go on pointe, what you will get out of it and what you could lose. Of course pointe work looks beautiful, but it's terribly unnatural really. It can be very damaging and requires a lot of strength - both physically and in terms of technique. Both those things are usually built up gradually over years of a young dancers life, and those who are hyper mobile often find developing that strength a real challenge. Extreme flexibility is both a blessing and a curse to dancers and great care must be taken to minimise the risk of injury.

As an adult, recreational dancer, there is no actual necessity for you to dance on pointe, though I do appreciate why you might want to. Many adults enjoy ballet as a fulfilling hobby without ever going near a pair of pointe shoes though, and with a history of dislocations already, that may be a better approach for you. I would strongly suggest that you are assessed by an expert physio who understands both the demands of ballet and your particular condition before you even think about dancing en pointe. 

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2 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

Of course pointe work looks beautiful

 

Well, only when it's done well. I really cringe when I see (usually) adult ballet students on pointe badly - not over the box of their shoes, knees bent, not able to hold their turn out ...

 

There is so much to learn and learn to execute well, without needing to go on pointe.

 

Quote

Do you think I have normal, low arches or rigid flat feet? 

 

Does it matter? You have the feet you have - there's not much you can do about an inherited condition such as EDS/hypermobility, or the basic skeletal structure of your body. What you can do is work your body carefully, in correct alignment, to make your body as good as it can be, on its own terms. I've got broad strong feet, not the 'banana feet' so famous in ballet. My feet never looked like that & never will - so instead of trying to fake them, I try to work with what I've got - strong stable feet, which can hold me in balance on demi-pointe for a long time.

 

If you want to work on your feet, play extra special attention to the foot on the floor in tendus, glisses (jetes), rond de jambes a terre, and petit allegro. And do some of the exercises suggested by Lisa Howell, and your teacher. Your teacher was at the Aussie Ballet before DAvid McAllister introduced the ankle rises that they famously do: but have a look at the exercise online, and hear what AB physios & Mr McAllister himself have to say about the excellent long-term results of doing sets of rises in parallel - both feet & one foot - between barre and centre in the AB daily company class. I started to introduce this into my own practice in classes I take (I never stretch between barre & centre) and it is tough when you're on about the 10th one-footed rise in a row,

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I'd say do the work - do the strength exercises, do the ankle rises, strengthen the feet and ankles as much as you can - and see what happens. That's my plan: part of the reason (or at the part of the excuse for) that I took up ballet was to help with a chronic ankle injury.

 

Our teacher wants us to do poses passe for our end of show dance and it turns out that they're either going to cripple me for life or give my ankles superpowers. Not sure which yet.

 

I have every intention of doing some pointe work with the ladies (I'm 110kg of 47 year old man!) if and when they go up on pointe if I can get strong and stable enough. But even if I can't, having stronger feet and ankles is going to help protect me against further injury. You'll either have stronger ankles or you'll have stronger ankles and be able to go up on pointe. Win-win. Just don't be macho, don't rush and don't move faster than your body lets you. You've ages to get it right, so take your time.

 

(Incidentially, those pictures look to my inexpert eyes like you have too much weight in the small toes and not enough on the middle of the ball of the foot.)

 

Quote

 it is tough when you're on about the 10th one-footed rise in a row,

 

I try to do sets of 16 and that's no fun. 

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