After a super long hiatus from dance (completed a Masters’ in Kinesiology) I decided to gear up and take my vocational exams with the RAD. I am very fit and suited for ballet dancing but I have feet that collapse easily when on pointe and my teacher did not provide any additional instruction to improve foot strength. I had been through 6 different types of shoes in one season trying to find one that fit with all the new demands of dance for that year but nothing really worked well.
I ended up with Sesamoiditis on my right foot after straining the area in repeated single leg rises. The strain happened two months before my Advanced 1 exam. It was painful to walk in regular shoes let alone dance en pointe. I went ahead with the exam but failed the pointe section. I had been searching for good information about strengthening the feet for pointe when I found Lisa Howell’s Ballet Blog and her Perfect Pointe Book. After the intial injury settled down (Physio Therapy and Accupuncture combined) I started using the foot strengthening program faithfully. I was able to take the exam again and this time with much stronger feet and better body control after using the program. I passed with a beautiful mark in the pointe section!
I now am a qualified RAD ballet teacher and use the foot and strengthening program as part of my pointe program! Sesamoiditis is not something you can ignore. Every step hurt. I was lucky to make it back on pointe. I think it was the program and addressing my weaknesses head on that allowed me to continue dancing. When I feel that area start to “twinge” after teaching a class I know I have to start the daily exercises again. It is hard to keep up all the time when I am busy teaching and or my young family doesn’t allow me to take “really” good care of my self at least I can do the foot exercises and head off anything major from flaring up.
(Picture: JDC’s version of Swan Lake…I am front row right side…15 years older than the rest of the girls! They were so much fun to dance with and so gracious about my age!)
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