Ballet dancers of all skill and experience levels may find that this gracefully athletic art form takes its toll on the feet. While there are some essential tactics you can incorporate into your routine to keep your feet healthy and pain-free, it’s equally important to know what to avoid. Whether you’ve been dancing for many years or you’ve just begun practicing and are hoping to avoid problems, here are some important foot care do’s and don’ts.
Swap out your shoes.
Experienced dancers tend to stick with pointe shoes in the same size and style, but getting refitted at least once annually is the best practice. For young dancers who are still growing, measurements may need to be taken more often. Manufacturers may change their materials, and even adult dancers might find their foot size fluctuating slightly.
Serious ballet dancers know that stretching is not optional, and new students will learn the importance of proper stretching routine early on. Exercises like band stretches and towel scrunching will help keep the muscles of the feet strong yet limber to prevent injuries.
Embrace your calluses.
Your calluses may not be your most beloved feature, but their purpose is to keep your feet protected against blisters and abrasions. For this reason, leave them alone instead of trying to soak or file them off.
Go for pedicures.
A fresh coat of polish looks stylish, but it can obscure signs of infections. Moreover, your toenails should be cut straight and short, leaving just a small amount of white visible. Nail technicians may accidentally cut them too short, leaving you vulnerable to infections.
Pop a blood blister.
Clear blisters are usually filled with fluid and can be drained using a sterile needle. Blood blisters, on the other hand, should be taped up and left alone. If it worsens or doesn’t heal, be sure to see a doctor.
Ignore an infection.
No matter how dedicated you are to ballet, you should always prioritize your health. Applying a numbing agent to a foot irritation to make it through practice or performances could expose you to serious infections or stress fractures that could compound over time. If pain is intense or redness and swelling persist, see a podiatrist.
For both beginners and experienced ballet dancers, The Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester is Monroe County, NY’s best source for exceptional dance programs. Their sprawling facility is open to children of all ages and helps athletes of all levels and interests reach peak performance. In addition to dance, they also offer gymnastics and tumbling classes. Their seasoned instructors will help you enjoy dance safely. Explore their dance classes online or call (585) 388-8686 to learn about enrollment.