Ballet pointe shoes - Cramps and clicking feet

by Lisa
(Perth, Western Australia)

Ballet pointe shoes - Cramps and Clicking Feet

Hi there :)
I am 14 years old and have been participating in pointe work for 1 and a half years now once a week for about 30mins and I am on my 2nd pair of shoes!! (Both shoes are bloch) Before I started my feet and ankles were fine but now when I walk my ankles click every single step, and after my most recent class my big toe first joint on only my left foot started to click too! I'm just wondering if I should get this checked out or if maybe it is just my feet?? I was definitely ready to go en pointe as I even went to a podiatrist and got my feet tested and was told everything was 100% perfect.

One last thing, when I point my feet at any time even on pointe the arches of my feet cramps up and sometimes I am unable to stop pointing and have to gently massage my feet out of the pointing position. My natural point is not great so i tend to try extra hard to point my feet. Any ideas or exercises would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you for your help
Lisa, Perth, Western Australia


Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet pointe shoes - Cramps and Clicking Feet

Hi Lisa,
Thanks for your message it's great to hear from you. A lot of dancer's feet and ankles do click, especially when you begin dancing more and more through the years. I'm not exactly sure why, but dancers do generally seem to have some strange qualities compared to the average person!

My ankles and toes click, but not so much that I have noticed a huge difference. Mainly when I roll my ankles in a circle, or when I walk down the stairs my left ankle sometimes clicks. I like to also click my big toe joint which releases my bunion bone slightly.

It is normal for your ankle and toes to click, but not so much that it causes pain or disruption to your dancing. As soon as it feels painful or becomes a problem, then I would get if checked out.

I can exactly understand the cramping in your feet, I know the feeling too. It is great you are trying to point your feet really hard, but you have to try and do it through lengthening and stretching your toes. When you grip the feet and give too much tension, it can causes painful cramps.

Also, you can think about pointing the toes through your whole leg and not just your feet. It sounds strange, but when you engage your whole leg muscles and use your glutes (backs of the legs) then your point will come more easily without even thinking about it.

For now though, if you keep getting cramps then you can use a tennis ball or golf ball to massage under the instep - it feels great and releases the tension.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,

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