I thought I might tell you all about how and why I developed my intrinsic foot muscles – The simple reason was that I couldn’t bear hearing myself dance, and would go to great lengths to reduce my own noise level. I was a noise phobic dancer!! Unconsciously, I was developing my deep intrinsic muscles under my feet. In those days, which is now a young dancers lifetime ago, there was very little information out there, unlike today’s accessibility to the phenomenons that are google and youtube. After a few keywords are entered and the light touch of a button, this generation can access any information they want, and lots of it!
So, by being a noise phobic dancer, I continued to develop under my feet, from the heel to the ball of my foot, but more importantly under my phalanges, in between the joints and the soft pads under my toes. Toes don’t get the attention they justly deserve with regard to pointe work, but it’s the toes and under the pads of the toes that can soften the noise level which in turn develops sensitivity. Just take this experiment, if you were to creep into a baby’s nursery being very careful not to wake the baby, be aware of what areas of the feet you are utilising.
What can I do to develop my intrinsic foot muscles?
Both ‘My Pointe‘ and My Beginner Pointe programs are all about sensitivity and control, the exercises are very simple, repetitive and slow in tempo. The reason for their simplicity, is to allow the dancers the time to wholly focus on implementing all the program entails, the repetition gives the brain time to consolidate what it has just learned, and the slow tempo gives the brain and the body time to comprehend and integrate all the new material.
I released ‘My Pointe’ in October 2010 and My Beginner Pointe was released in 2012. ‘My Pointe’ is my solo project, one I worked on for the first ten years of my teaching career. I invited Lisa Howell to observe one of my regular ‘My Pointe’ classes, and it was then that we realised we were teaching along the same thought patterns from our two separate worlds. We felt there was a great need for a comprehensive program to equip dancers and teachers with all they need to know to prepare for pointe work. So, I set about creating a three tiered program fitting right underneath ‘My Pointe‘ program, and Lisa went ahead compiling preparatory and pre-pointe exercises to take a dancer from their first rise en pointe right through to dancing with ease, confidence, knowledge and sensitivity in the centre, with the added benefit of a heightened awareness. The result is My Beginner Pointe, a program that truly covers all you will ever need to know about the early years of pointe work.
Good luck with the programs and happy, quiet and controlled dancing.
Written by; Vicki Attard