Nutcracker is here!! Yay!! 😉 and along with sugar plums and the magic of Christmas comes with cold and long days. I am going to show you some of my tips and tricks that help keep my feet warm and strong!!
The first thing I like to do when I pop into the studio is warm my feet up and before every ballet technique class I always do this same foot warm up since i started dancing in Colorado!!🐭😉
I first start out with ‘20 flex and points’ on each foot with my Thera band
and since it is Christmas, I of course have some fuzzy Christmas socks on..I am Christmas elf at heart!!😉😉
I then do ‘20 caterpillars’ each foot and if you font know what caterpillars are…you basically star with your foot laying flat on the ground and scrunch your arch up kind of like a caterpillar. It basically just works the tiny muscles in your arch..I like these a lot and they help keep my feet very strong I always make sure I do these whenever I am just on the tube, in the car, or watching it’s a wonderful life!!;)
I then put on my booties, which keep my feet very warm…I never really thought I would need these since I am constantly dancing in pointe shoes all day, my feet never really get cold. Then I realized that the only time my feet are always cold, is when I am waiting to go out onstage. I was given some free booties..which I am thankful for!! You can find some at REI or discount dance..look for mountain climbing booties. I find they are perfect for keeping me little feet warm whilst waiting to go onstage and the keep my pointe shoes from getting dirty from the theaters floors..and they are pink too that always makes a difference!!😉
I then take my half foam log that I got from my favorite pt in CO…and i just do 20 roll through to demi pointe on the top of the foam long. If you don’t have one of these I highly suggest getting one. Perfect for stretching your Achilles tendon..I have tendinitis in my ankles so this is a must for me.
another item I keep on hand tiger balm..my best friend!! Get the extra red strenght..the strongest it is bright orange balm that you can use on your sore muscles..and i actually like to apply it to my ankles to help with my soreness and then I put a little bit under my nose before I go onstage because it smells like peppermint..Perfect for nutcracker!!
I then repeat every thing I did in my booties.. in my ballet slippers. ’20 tendus’
I then stretch my Achilles and calves then I roll my feet out with my little wooden roller thing that my teacher from CO gave me..still have it and use it ever day. Thanks miss Caitlin!!😀
Today I am going to be sharing with you all some of my necessities I use for ballet/pointe! Also, you can follow along with some of my tips and tricks. If some of you are not dancers, still feel free to read and see what a day in the life a dancer’s feet is really like!
I wear my pointe shoes about every day for at least 3 hours. I am training at a local ballet school at the moment. I wear Gaynor Mindens. For those who might not know what these are; Gaynor’s are a newer type of pointe shoe that are made entirely out of plastic and foam, rather than the traditional pointe shoe. Typically, most pointe shoes are made out of a paper mache, but Gaynor Mindens kind of changed that idea so that the shoe itself could last longer! I do like them a lot, especially since Gaynor Minden has helped me create the my perfect shoe!! I absolutely love that the shoe itself is quiet and most of all lasts a whole lot longer. And they are so pretty, each time I sew a new pair of pointe shoes I feel like a princess!! I feel like most ballerinas spend there whole career looking for the perfect shoe, almost like princesses in the fairy-tales! The picture above is me wearing my Gaynor Mindens. I really do like how they immediately shape to my foot and I can warm-up/roll through my feet nicely at barre while wearing them! I have also tried Freed’s by Freed of London. I loved the shape of the shoes, but they died after a day of rehearsals and I have not had the time to find another shoe just yet. So, I am sticking with Gaynor’s forever and always!! Let me know what shoes you might wear and what your thoughts are!
I will show you a bit of what I wear on my toes!
I have found that warming my feet up specifically before class always helps and it is a lot healthier for your body, even if it is simple! It’s the little things that lead to great things! I have a set routine that I do everyday before class:
20 rises onto demi-pointe
10 reps of windshield wipers with a thera-band
20 reps of pointing and flexing my feet with a thera-band
25 reps of caterpillars (for the arches)
Achilles tendon stretch on half of foam log
Here is a video for a better look, I have listed everything above in order of the video: