I spent years putting my feet under couches, pinching my achilles tendons and bruising my heels to get a better point. After many years of stretching and strengthening exercises, I can say my feet became much more flexible. As a teacher of dance, I encourage my students to work safely to stretch and strengthen their feet and arches for dance. The exercises below can be done daily at home or before ballet class at the dance studio. Be sure to use proper technique and stop if you feel any pain.
Relevés are a wonderful and simple way to strengthen your ankles for dance.
- Parallel, 1st Position
- Right Foot parallel
- Left Foot Parallel
- Right Foot turned out
- Left Foot Turned out
- Press slowly through your toes, and use resistance when coming back to demi-pointe, then to a fully flexed position 10 times each
- “Write” the alphabet with each foot
- Circle your ankle clock wise and counter clockwise 10 times each
- Roll your foot over the ball
- Pull your toes, one at a time and stretch them around the ball
Marie Walton of Progressing Ballet Technique has a great video HERE:
Use StretchStrength.com’s Marble Gems to strengthen your Intrinsic Foot Muscles
- Pick up each of the Marble Gems with your toes activating the intrinsic muscles of the arch 10 times each foot
A Ballet Foot Stretcher can help achieve more flexibility when used correctly. My Ballet Feet Stretcher mimics the “Leg on the Barre Stretch” and gently stretches in a beautiful beveled position with no sickling or pinching of the heel or achilles tendon.
XOXOX Miss Kim
Here are two great videos on Kathryn Morgan’s Youtube Channel and another one by Lisa Maree. Enjoy!
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