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Strengthening Exercises


Guest Sarahdancing
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Guest Sarahdancing

My DD is about to do her Grade 5 exam very soon she also does intermeiate foundation and she wanting to do some exercises to help strengthen her ankles in preparation for her going on pointe could antbodybgivecus one advice or recommend any exercise equipment she could use.

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A well taught ballet class will prepare the diligent student for pointe work.  That's the object or the work.

 

That being said.....

 

The best way to prepare the foot/ankle is through tendu.  We've had a thread on tendu before....you might want to search for it - or I can post it in again.  When tendu is executed correctly it will give strength and definition to the foot.  Balanchine considered it the most important exercise of the ballet class.  I would agree - the rest is built upon it.

 

However, some advocate the use of a theraband - an elasticized band.  But this should only be done with the consent of and the supervision of a teacher especially when the student is young and relatively inexperienced.  There is also a tendency among the young and/or inexperienced to overdo - if 8 repetitions are good - well, then, perhaps 88 are better.  That is certainly not the case.  That is why one wants to operate under the supervision of a teacher.

 

She might want to stand facing the barre and rise through the foot - articulating through toe/ball/heel.  Then only touch the barre with one finger of each hand - and then without using the barre - each time coming up to demi-pointe to a fully forward and correct balance - aligned through the head, spine, hips and into the floor.  But, there again, in order to know she is correctly balanced she will need the eye of a teacher.

 

There is also the problem of where on the foot the balance is placed betwixt big and little toe.  So, it's not just a matter of rising to demi-pointe - but much more importantly how that rise is accomplished and where it finishes. All that requires a teacher.

 

I hope I've said something here which helps.

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Have you asked your DD's teacher? Most dance schools do pre-pointe work classes or have the children participate in pointe classes doing the exercises on demi-pointe. It's not just the ankles that need strengthening in preparation for pointe work, it is the entire kinetic chain from foot to head - the backs of the legs need to be stronger, turnout needs to be 100% secure, posture needs to be stable as the dancers weight placement changes on pointe.....

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