Ballet isn’t all fun and games! Your feet are your most important tool in ballet, so it’s important to protect them. This blog post looks at five different ways to protect your feet while you take ballet classes!
1. Don’t Remove Your Calluses
Calluses are actually a good thing because they help protect your skin from further damage. Calluses protect your skin from blisters and abrasions, so there’s no need to cut them off. Keep your calluses trimmed since thick calluses can cause pain when you put pressure on them. Use scissors to prevent that bumpy feeling against the floor.
If you have a lot of calluses, avoid soaking your feet. Soaking your feet with calluses puts you at risk for opening up extremely raw areas of skin that have a high risk of infection. You can gently rub pumice stone on your calluses to get relief. Just remember not to irritate your calluses too hard otherwise they might open.
2. Cut Your Toenails Straight & Avoid Nail Polish
Taking care of your feet properly is a simple way you can prevent injuries. Simply cutting your toenails a certain way reduces your risk of blisters and ingrown toenails. Remember to cut your nails a few days before the class instead of on class day. Cutting your nails exposes soft, sensitive skin that is really painful when you put weight on it. Curved toenails can lead to ingrown toenails so make sure you cut them straight across. Clippers will help give you a straight cut as opposed to using scissors.
3. Work With Your Teacher To Increase Your Strength En Pointe Gradually
Gradually increasing your foot strength is the best way to avoid injury. You need to learn how to expertly move your foot in every single rise and every tendu. Gradually working on your control helps you improve your strength and technique at the same time, which prevents injuries. Your teacher will work with you to slowly increase your strength en pointe without hurting your foot. While training always value technique first.
4. Don’t Pop Your Blisters
Blisters are par for the course once you start to transform into a ballet veteran. Although even small blisters can be extremely painful, it’s important to resist popping them. Blisters usually occur when you wear a shoe that doesn’t fit properly.
If your blister is red (blood blister) leave it on its own to heal. Cover the blister with a band-aid and some athletic tape. If the blister is clear, you can use a sterilized needle to pop the blister and drain the liquid. Don’t remove the skin as this will cause the wound to be worse. Cover the area with a band-aid and athletic tape and give it time to heal.
5. Make Sure You Have The Right Shoes
Proper fitting shoes are crucial to protecting your feet from common injuries such as bunions and ingrown toenails. Shoes that don’t fit properly squash your toes together which leads to ingrown toe nails. Shoes that are too big cause your feet to slip and they put extra pressure on your toes. Both of these issues cause bruised toenails.
When buying your ballet shoes, the wing of the shoe should be level with your big toe joint. If your feet are still growing, it’s important to visit an experienced pointe shoe fitter who can provide you a wide range of fits to try out. Once your feet stop growing, you can buy the same shoe every time. Making sure your shoes fit properly is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent injury while taking ballet.