How to Strengthen Your Feet for Pointe

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Strengthening your feet to be ready for pointe shoes can be very painful and difficult. Use this strength exercise ballet expert, Elizabeth Quinn Welch uses to strengthen her feet.

This strength exercise can be done by beginners or by dancers who are more advanced in pointe. The main goal is to alternate between demi pointe and pointe as many times as the dancer needs in order to get a benefit out of the exercise. This can vary anywhere between one eight count or up to seven eight counts, it all depends on the dancers advancement level.

For this strength exercise, you will start at the barre in first position. Releve up and lower to the ball of your foot for as many eight counts and you feel it benefiting you. Be careful not to overwork the muscles too soon since that could cause overuse and lead to injury.

You want to make sure the dancer is engaging their stomach, their butt in tucked under and lifting up through the bottom of their buttocks. You also want to be sure their shoulders are pressed down and their chest is lifted. Nothing on the upper body should be moving, only the ankles and the feet should be moving. This strength exercise is for the dancer to work on getting on top of their box and for them to develop the muscles to stay on pointe for as long as possible.

Gaining these muscles to stay on top of the box is one of the main keys to preventing injuries. Many ballet pointe injuries are due to not standing correctly and/or not having enough strength to handle themselves on pointe. Do this exercise until you and your instructor is comfortable with you moving onto other sills.