Strengthening your Feet for Pointework

Dancing en pointe requires a tremendous amount of strength in the feet and ankles. Your teacher will be able to best tell you if you are ready to go into pointe work. If they don’t think you are ready, it may mean that your just don’t have the proper strength yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get there. There are some things that you can do to strengthen your feet and ankles.

Strengthening the Feet: Something that may seem a little obvious, but basic ballet exercises are a great place to start. The best ones are those that are done at the barre. Small movements in a closed position to an open position help strengthen the sole of the foot. Using the floor for resistance is very helpful. The harder you press your foot into the floor, the stronger the resistance will be. When performing different moves, try pushing the sole of your foot harder onto the floor.

Strengthening the Ankles: One move that will tremendously strengthen the ankle is to rise to full pointe from the floor. Other moves would be to start standing in first position and perform several releves (beginning and ending in plie), the do a couple eleves (beginning and ending with straight legs). The next move to try is standing on one foot with the other foot in coupe in back. Then perform some releves and elves. You will build strength in the ankle, the slower you rise while performing these moves.