Improve Your Footwork For Ballet Pointe Shoes

Knowing how to improve your footwork for better results in pointe shoes is important. I often hear students telling others “just do one hundred releves a day.” That kind of practice is not necessarily going to produce the outcome you want, but I am going to tell you the right way to get stronger ballet foot muscles.

When you do ballet exercises, you must know with confidence that your technique is correct, or you are wasting your time and forming bad habits. Special foot exercises however, will help you correct technical weaknesses, and you will gain strength for dancing in toe shoes, at the same time.

A sample of an exercise that targets the intrinsic sole of the foot muscles, is like playing the piano with your toes.

Sitting on a chair, or on the floor against a wall, place both feet flat on the floor. Place them as though you were going to dance – not altogether relaxed, but with the ball of the foot, the little toe joint and the heel all placed properly, and with the arches poised to hold the foot in place.

Now, lift the toes up – and just the toes. The rest of the foot should remain as it was.

Next, as if you are playing a piano, press down the big toe, the second toe, and the next, etc. Try to put them down one at a time.

This may feel impossible at first, or give you cramps in your feet. If cramping, relax the feet. Rolling a golf ball or sports ball under the feet will release the muscle tension.

Then start again! Lift the toes, “play the piano”, and then lift them again one by one, starting with the little toes.

It is common for the four small toes to want to lift together at first, or maybe the second and third toe together, with the fourth following up part way.