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 Post subject: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 2:13 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 2
hi everyone my name is cassie!<BR>i started ballet recently after a long time of not doing it and everything is going well except my feet area!<BR>I have naturally curled toes so everytime i point my foot, it looks like i'm scrunching up my toes and i don't mean to do it, it just happens and i can't help it. is there anything i can do? apparently i would have a lot of flexiability in my foot if i worked hard on it but now the 'toes' thing is really putting me off,no matter how hard i try it's still the same and it just look really bad ! so please help if you can! thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 5:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 270
Location: Wisconsin
The expression "point your toes" is a misleading one, in my opinion. When you point your toes, you are actually using your entire body to create the desired look.<P>Think about starting the action with your legs - make sure they are well-stretched and fully engaged, even for this simple movement. Then, think about stretching the muscles on the TOP of your foot - try and make your foot "longer" - if that makes any sense. Imagine the ball of your foot pressing down toward the floor, actively bending the sole of your shoe.<P>If you think about it, your toes have very little to do with the pointing of the foot. I hope I've been some help - it's sometimes hard for me to give advice, since most of what I find helps me is mainly visualization.


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 Post subject: Re: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 6:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 241
Location: the Netherlands
Welcome to this board, Cassie!!!<P>Your toes-question now. I, too, am sometimes curling my toes. This helps:<BR>make a tendu a la seconde facing the mirror. As you see, your toes are curling. Now make a talon (i don't know if this is the way to spell it) onto that toe, not onto a flat foot like in a real talon, but onto the toe. While making the talon, that toe should become as in relevé, not on the point, but on the five toes. Now push a bit over the toe, very gently, and try to make seven instead of five toes, make them wider. And now, go back to tendu, pull your feet a few inches from the floor and just move around a bit with your toes. Now, make a tendu again. But not your plain old curly tendu, but a new one! Try not to reach with your toes, but only use your calfs and arch try not to move your toes! Even if they're making a curve upwards, don't move them. Now, make your thigh muscles hard as well, 'pull your knee up', and now the toe work can begin. Very, very slowly push your toe a bit downwards, till you like it. Well, that is the tendu, and the toe, you wanted. <BR>Ok now relax, shake your legs a bit, and try doing it faster, and faster every time, till the toe will be automatically like you want it to be. Don't forget, it's not the toe that does the work, it's mostly the calf, knee and thigh. The toe is only there to make the curve nicer, but not to tendu with!<P>I hope this helped you a bit, i know it's difficult and asks a lot from your legs, but if you'll keep curling your toes you might get the cramp i have when I curl my toes, and believe me you don't want to feel that!<P>

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The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything...<P>


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 Post subject: Re: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 6:20 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 13071
Location: San Diego, California, USA
Welcome to the the board, Cassie - it's great to have you join us.<P>The advice you got above is very good advice. You need to begin the stretch for your pointe from the very top of your leg. The energy flows down through your entire leg into your foot and out your toes. Reach out, not down.<P>Another thing you can visualize is then you point your foot try to pop the ribbons or elastics on the tops of your ballet shoes. That will emphasize the top of your foot, as Bree says. <P>Try to visualize a light ray coming out of your toes clear out to infinity - somewhere out in space - going on forever - not down into the ground.


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 Post subject: Re: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 9:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 1278
Location: Basking Ridge, New Jersey, USA
Welcome, Cassie! Great advice above. I have one student whose toes would totally curl under whenever she tried to point her foot. In addition to imagery and working the whole leg, we supplemented with some exercises that seemed to help. The first, standing up, feet parallel, holding onto the barre with both hands, simply curl the toes under, then lengthen them to lie flat on the floor, then raise the tips of the toes to the ceiling (without shifting weight back onto the heels), and finally relax them flat against the floor. The other took a while for her to get, but it helped. Sitting down, bare feet, bend your knee and place your foot flat on the floor. Raise the tips of all five toes, and then "play the piano;" starting with your baby toe, lower them to the floor one at a time, stretching out and apart so the toes come down with space between them. Relax and repeat. She had to use her hands to help at first. It sounds zany and it looks even zanier, but it made a difference for this girl.


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 Post subject: Re: toes!
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2001 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Welcome Cassie - great to see you posting. They are all great tips that you have been given so I'm sure you've got loads you can practice now.<P>I'm sure you will find that with most questions you will get several well-informed answers and that hopefully amongst those you will find the solution that is right for you and gain lots of tips in the process.


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