I am a dance teacher and am finding that some of my students have really beautiful feet and have figured out how to really use them for their benefit, but I also have some students who don't have great feet but are really wanting to work them to develop a better pointe and arch. I have given them some exercises to do that will help develop their feet more, but I was wondering if anyone had other foot stretches that they know of besides releves, pointe and flex, toe rolls, scrunching a scarf, rises on a step - (these are some of the basics). I would really like to find some more foot stretches to help these students with less than desirable feet. Thanks!
Have you ever seen the device called the "Pro Arch"? One of my teachers has it, you can find it online at discountdancesupply.com, among other places. It has really helped me to gain awareness of the different muscles in my feet, and also has developed strength and flexibility. I know I sound like a commercial here, but I have nothing to do with any dance vendors.
When I started my toes were kind of curled and I didn't realize how many places the foot was actually jointed in. I've been using it twice a week for about a year and my feet are so much more flexible now and don't stiffen up as much between workouts. The most amazing thing was last week, I was sitting on my sofa just hanging out and massaging my feet, and I found the place in my feet where the tarsals (?) are joined, up above the instep. By design it's a fused joint that just has a bit of give rather than a full range of motion like a toe or ankle, but I actually found it and could feel it and could even wiggle it a little with my hands.
Also, the Pro Arch has helped me to understand how to actually point focussing on the ankles rather than just forcing the lower foot as many beginners do.
other than the pro-arch, are there any other stretches that I can do at home if I do not have the pro-arch? I am dealing with an ankle with pins and a plate, I have not let this stop me from dancing, however, need more stretching techniques to strengthen the weak ankle and go on pointe better.
I believe any excercice given should be as near to the actual dance as possible. Stand against a door. With heels raised and knees straight. Lower through the feet, then the knees to about an angle of 45 degrees. Then raise the opposite way around. In the Modern Waltz you will have to do this at least 28 times in one minute if there are a few Chasses in there, there will be two in one Chasse. So the lowering and raising will be more like 32 in one minute dancing at 28 BPM. Go to it but not to hard at first. And remember to stretch before and after