A couple months ago, it was brought to my attention that I was not lifting up my arches while doing barre exercises. Gotta love ballet, there’s always something else to work on! Well, besides the obvious, like not falling on my face or behind. I mean there’s always things that seem so little, tiny adjustments that end up making a BIG difference.
And when I was given this correction, at first I was a bit confused. Like, “what do you mean lift my arches, how do I do that?” kind of confused. And me being shy and my teacher at the time being just a bit unnaproachable, I didn’t really ask. And then, to be honest, I forgot about that correction (since there were other glaring errors in my technique that needed to be addressed anyway).
As a kid my mom told me that I was flat footed. But since I’ve been doing all the ballet stretches that I could find on youtube since I started doing ballet, I figured my feet were doing way better. I may never have a “banana foot” but I am able to point finally without feeling like it’s stretching or cramping. And when I rise up on demi-point I can go up all the way and my feet look kinda archy. But I guess the problem is when I stand with both feet flat. I tend to overpronate my feet and as a result my weight is not balanced correctly. When I have both feet together on the ground (like in first position) then I don’t really notice a problem, though I guess it is obvious to others. However, when my weight is shifted onto only one leg, that’s where the problem becomes obvious.
I had noticed that when I shift my weight, for example like to step into arabesque, I had trouble balancing. At first I thought it had to do with the uneven weight distribution that I have going on. Odd thing is, rather than losing my balance to the front, as I used to in releve, I was losing my balance to the side (the side towards the working leg). I figured the problem had to do with not tightening my core enough but even with all the tightness I could muster it was still sort of happening. But last night while having my ballet session, the correction about lifting my arches came to mind. So I applied the correction and was it a big difference or what!
My balance was so much better! I was actually able to hold balances way longer than before. I’m gonna have to get used to the way it feels though, I had to keep checking to make sure that I was actually not just on the outside of my foot. It’s weird because I guess I have the physical strength to lift up my arches but my body got into the habit a long time ago of just resting on the whole foot. Probably around the time that it also in the habit of overextending my knees backwards while standing or my spine curving into a relaxed position. Good thing is, now that it’s finally been brought to my attention I can do something about it. Yay!