Point Your Toes

Flexible ballerina doing a side split during ballet session

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Most professional ballet dancers have at least one thing in common: beautifully pointed feet. The secret to a great point lies in the instep of the foot, the top part of the foot between the ankle and the toes. A beautiful point has an exaggerated instep. It sticks up high when the foot is pointed. Of course, some dancers are blessed with the ability to point their feet correctly without much effort. Dancers with longer feet or thinner ankles appear to have prettier pointed feet.

If you are not one of the lucky few with naturally-beautiful ballet feet, the following tutorial will help you learn how to properly point your toes. If you follow the steps correctly and often, you may soon have the prettiest points in your class.

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Flex Your Feet

Flex your feet. Tracy Wicklund

Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your knees straight. (If your hamstrings feel tight, lean back further, supporting your back with your elbows.)

Flex your feet by pulling your toes up toward your body. Try to point your toes up to the ceiling. Don't worry if your heels rise up off the floor.

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Bend Your Ankles

Bend ankles. Tracy Wicklund

Bend your ankles down toward the floor. Allow your heels to rest on the floor while pulling your toes back toward you. (Many ballet teachers call this position "Alladin feet" as the feet look like those of a genie.) Bend your ankles as far as you can, making sure your feet don't curve inward or outward.

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Point Your Toes

Point toes. Tracy Wicklund

Stretch your toes down toward the floor. Try not to crunch your toes together... instead, strive to make them an extension of the curves of your feet. Stretch them as far as you can, making the longest lines possible. Hold this position for a few seconds. If you start to feel any cramping, relax your feet.