2 3 Tricycles, Dots, and Feet | Ballet Webb

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tricycles, Dots, and Feet

Tricycles, Dots, and Feet

When a dancer is standing “on the whole foot” the entire bottom of the foot should be in contact with the floor.  That being said, the body weight is distributed in a way that matches the shape of the foot.  The ball of the foot is the widest, and the heel, the narrowest.  So, to illustrate the correct distribution of weight, I have the students imagine three dots:  two at the ball of the foot, and one at the heel.  It is like a tricycle, with three areas of support.

However, the area with two dots takes the majority of the weight (since the body is always slightly forward from the ankle), and the single dot carries the least.  In fact, some teachers (Balanchine was reputedly one) suggest that a piece of paper could be slipped beneath the heel.  A slight exaggeration perhaps, but the point is well taken.

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:

Secret #1g:
  “Imagine three dots underneath the foot:  two under the ball of the foot, and one beneath the heel.  A triangle of support.”

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“We are who we are because of three things, the choices we make, the habits we keep and the disciplines we have.”
-Ricardo Housahm

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