I have been told by my teacher that I sickle my foot? What does that mean?
Christina, Age 12, from California
Christina that is a great question! Pointing your feet should create an extension of the line of the
leg. Ideally, there should be a continuous line down the leg, through the shin bone and all the way to your big toe. Point your foot and take a moment to study its lines and natural tendencies. If the big toe naturally is more inward and the line of the leg heads into the baby toes, then you are sickling. (See picture A) Besides breaking the line of the leg, this can also be a sign of some weakness in the ankle or focus on the wrong area of the foot when pointing the foot.
Picture B shows a good pointed foot that is acceptable with the line continuous to the big toe. To achieve this you will want to really think about sending your energy all the way to the bog toes as you point your foot. In Ballet and the more technical dancing, it is actually preferred that your foot is slightly winged or beveled as shown in picture C.
It is important to know how your foot naturally points and become aware of the muscles needed to help fix sickling. Here are a few things that you can do to help correct the problem.
- Sit on the floor with your feet and legs straight out in front of you. Spread the toes out as far as you can and repeat. Gently pull on the toes one at a time towards the body.
- With the feet flexed, turn just the foot to a winged position and then back to center. Repeat this 20 times and then complete with the toes pointed. It is also a great idea to try this with a thera-band around the bottom of the foot.
- Sitting or standing, use your toes to pull a towel or piece of fabric towards you. Use the toes by spreading them wide and arching the foot to pull it closer.
Thanks for the question Christina! With a little awareness and some strengthening exercise you will be heading towards the perfect foot point in no time! I would try to complete these exercises a 2-4 times a week. It is easy to do them and will only take a few minutes. It is a great idea to find a time that becomes a habit, for example, while you are watching TV. I enjoy to spend all the commercial breaks doing something productive. Maybe you might want to bring your thera-band on your next long car ride?
As they say a little effort goes a long way!
Lets further the art of dance together… ASK MS. SONYA, I want to help!