When you take up ballet, there’s one thing you can guarantee - you’ll get tired feet at some point! In fact, taking care of your feet is one of the most important things you can do as a ballet dancer, whether you are doing it for fun or aiming to be a professional dancer.
But how do you care for tired ballet feet?
Understand that Ballet is Tough on the Feet
There’s no doubt that ballet is tough on the feet! Ballet works the feet and ankles and mostly uses shoes that are designed to help with ease of movement and offer some support.
Everything about ballet puts pressure on the foot and this builds up the strength needed. From pointing the toes to having the dexterity in the feet to make the dance moves, the expert dance teachers at Jade Harrison School of Dance will ensure you learn the correct technique to keep you and your feet safe, but always remember that even the most agile and subtle professional will get tired feet!
Avoid Relying on Your Ballet Shoes
One of the most important things to remember is that while your ballet shoes are amazing, they don’t handle all of the needs of caring for your feet. There’s a temptation to rely on things like clever insoles and the technology that can be built into shoes and assume that this covers the job.
But there are key areas that this clever foot tech doesn’t cover. Top of this list is things like strengthening arches, ankles or even toes. And sometimes, adding too much support reduces the support and can make you more uncomfortable. So, while using these supports can be a good idea, don’t rely on them entirely.
How to Help Your Tired Ballet Feet
There are a few simple things you can do to help your tired feet and one of them is a simple seated foot exercise.
- Start with sitting up straight on the front edge of the chair but avoid leaning on the backrest. Make sure your knees are directed forward with feet on the floor, toes pointing forward. Have roughly a hips’ worth of distance between the feet and use the side of the seat if you need something to hold on to.
- Next lift the heel of one foot, pressing into the ball and keeping the ankle lined up by pressing through the second toe of each foot. Repeat with the other foot. Do this 8 times per foot.
- Lift the feel and press through the ball of the foot, pushing off to point your toes, which should lift them off the ground a couple of inches. Put the ball of the foot on the floor then flower the heel. Repeat with the other foot and do for 8 times per foot.
- Finally, brush one foot forward and point the toes without straightening the knee. Move the foot back to the starting position and keep the heel on the ground. Again, same with the other foot and remember to do 8 times per foot.
This simple exercise routine will help with your tired feet after a ballet practice or show and ensure your feet are feeling as fresh as possible, as quickly as possible.