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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pet peeve: point your feet!

Every once in a while I find myself philosophizing (some might call it "ranting" but I am merely passionately opinionated) with my students. I see something and then I have to say something. Last night with my beginners I had to stop the class after we did a center pirouette combination to talk about pointed feet.

Here's the thing:

You. Must. Point. Your. Toes. Every. Time. They. Leave. The. Floor.

Unless you are taking a modern class or the choreography specifically calls for a flexed or relaxed foot, please always point your toes. Always. ALWAYS. ALWAYS!!!!

Pointing your toes (and of course your toes are an extension of your arched foot and your ankle which must also be engaged and stretched and yes, pointed) accomplishes so many things when you dance:

1. It finishes the line in a tendu or arabesque.

2. It helps spring you off the floor when you're performing allegro.

3. It gives you a point to stab into your knee to hold the retire during pirouette.

4. It guides the audience, aiming their attention where you're traveling.

5. It engages all of your muscles to give the appearance of a longer leg.

6. It shows off the thousands of hours of barre work you've done.

I'm certain there are more reasons to point your toes but remember that a beautifully-pointed foot is the ultimate symbol of a strong dancer. No matter how many turns you do or how high your extension is, pointed toes show that you are a finely-tuned dancer and that you are dancing with your entire body.

Happy dancing~
Photo: Matt Paish (doingtraveling.com)

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