Forum: Ballet / Ballet - Beginners

First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By KateAlto
On Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:51 PM

Hi everyone! I'm KateAlto and I'm fairly new around here - long time lurker though. I took a few months of beginner ballet when I was about 17, I'm now 21. I took my first class in ages, since the knee surgery I had at 18 (arthroscopy for a very serious meniscal tear). I thoroughly enjoyed myself, didn't have any knee pain! I *did* feel like an uncoordinated baby giraffe though. I think I may purchase a skirt to wear over my tights :/


I have a couple of questions that probably have very obvious answers but yeah... I need to ask anyway:
- I have full-sole leather Sancha flats that fit quite well except for the big toe area on the left shoe - it's simply too tight. At the end of the class my left big toe was quite red and when I cut the nail a few hours later the bit in the right corner was quite keen to snap. How do I stretch the leather in that one spot just a little bit?
- Today my legs are really tight and a little bit sore. Is there anything I can do about this? Is this because I didn't stretch afterwards?
- Is it normal to get compliments on looking 'very happy and glowing' after a dance class?

9 Replies to First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions

re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions (karma: 1)
By RosePremium member
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:11 AM
KateAlto wrote:

- I have full-sole leather Sancha flats that fit quite well except for the big toe area on the left shoe - it's simply too tight. At the end of the class my left big toe was quite red and when I cut the nail a few hours later the bit in the right corner was quite keen to snap. How do I stretch the leather in that one spot just a little bit?

First make sure your nails are always cut the right length. Not too short (hurts), not too long (hurts too). Experience will teach you what the right length is for you.
Second, I hope you always wear decent shoes in life. But balletshoes can be a bit narrow around the toes. Your toes (if used to healthy shoes with enough toe space) will have to get used to being squeezed a bit together. Some teachers call it a preparation for pointe shoes.
If you can't get used to it, or it bothers you too much, consider other shoes: different size, model, brand, canvas instead of leather, split sole instead of full sole.

KateAlto wrote:

- Today my legs are really tight and a little bit sore. Is there anything I can do about this? Is this because I didn't stretch afterwards?

Some muscle pain is normal. What you can do to reduce it to the minimum = drink lots of water after class (it will 'clean' your blood and muscle tissue - short explaination-), + take a hot shower after class (it will improve blood circulation which will drain the 'waste' in your muscles what causes muscle pain). Light stretches after class or after your hot shower are the third way to minimize muscle pain.

KateAlto wrote:

- Is it normal to get compliments on looking 'very happy and glowing' after a dance class?

YES!!!! You have no idea how serious and angry people can look when in class. So, a 'very happy and glowing' person is such a treat for a teacher!
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By GannTheGloriousmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 02:18 AM
Hi KateAlto!

if it's just after one class and not too terribly tight, you might be able to dance through it. Leather does stretch a bit, but if it's still way tight after a few classes, well, the shoe may be too small. Also, I noticed you said it's only the left foot that has this problem? Many people have asymmetrical feet, but it's much more apparent in snug fitting dance shoes, The good news is, if you need a larger size for your left foot, ballet shoes have no left or right. You can get one pair in a larger size, save the too small shoe, and when those shoes wear out you still have a complete pair: a smaller one for the right, the larger for the left.

As for the soreness, that can be a good thing! It's normal after starting a new physical activity or upping the intensity to feel achy and tight in the muscles. What this is is micro-tears in the muscle fiber, which sounds scary, but when you get these it tells your body to make more muscles--that's what you want. Just rest, take a hot bath, maybe pain pills, and take it easy till the aches ease up. Even experienced dancers get the aches if they took time off or had an especially strenuous class.
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By S_H_A_O_
On Fri Apr 26, 2013 08:21 PM
First off, I love hearing about older dancers. Here are my best answers for you questions:

1) For your problem about your leather shoes, I would recommend just buying canvas shoes. I used tow ear leather shoes when I was about 5 or 6, but as soon as I started using the canvas shoes, instantly fell in love with them. If you have narrowish feet, I would go with Capezio's canvas shoes, and if you have widish feet, I would go with Grishko's shoes. I use the Grishkos and they are absolutely amazing!

2) I don't think you not stretching afterwards would be the reason for your sore legs. I have had those days when My body feels so achy, but it usually is completely gone by the next day. I've never taken pain relievers, so I would probably stay away from them. You may be sore just because you haven't danced in while. Usually when I'm on a vacation and then I go back to dance, I feel a bit out of it. After a few classes, you shouldn't be sore anymore.

3) I definitely would say that getting those types of compliments are common. I actually have trouble with looking happy during class because I always stay so focused. I would take the compliment very well and always remember to always stya pleasant looking.

Hope this information helps!
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By guyclone
On Sat Apr 27, 2013 05:52 AM
I think leather shoes are a good choice, because as a beginner your feet will work harder. Also, canvas wouldn't stretch, but the leather will stretch and mold to your foot.
Try wearing them at home for a while. When I get a new pair, I always wear them around the house and even to bed for a couple weeks so they can mold to your foot. So the toe area of the leather should stretch out, and in a month or so, you'll feel fine!
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By KateAlto
On Sat Apr 27, 2013 08:54 PM
Thanks for your responses everyone! After yesterday's class and a huge stretch again last night I'm a little sore this morning. I plan on going for a gentle walk today as that seems to help.
My the shoe that I'm having that bit of tightness in is improving with more wear. My teacher also said that my foot coordination is noticeably improved from the last class I took a few weeks ago (had a wisdom tooth removed and took a few weeks to heal enough to function).

I'm now realising that I have a problem balancing on one leg but I think that I just need to practice it :)
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By JigEnPointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:31 AM
Edited by JigEnPointe (245523) on 2013-04-28 10:42:58 clarity
KateAlto wrote:

Thanks for your responses everyone! After yesterday's class and a huge stretch again last night I'm a little sore this morning. I plan on going for a gentle walk today as that seems to help.
My the shoe that I'm having that bit of tightness in is improving with more wear. My teacher also said that my foot coordination is noticeably improved from the last class I took a few weeks ago (had a wisdom tooth removed and took a few weeks to heal enough to function).

I'm now realising that I have a problem balancing on one leg but I think that I just need to practice it :)


Yes, definitely work on the leg you're having trouble balancing on. I've been dancing for 19 years, and I still have trouble balancing once in a while. The only way to fix it is to practice and get stronger in that area! Be sure to ask your teacher what you seem to be dong wrong on that leg. Also remember that, sometimes, since our bodies aren't symmetrical, what works for one leg won't work for the other. (That's why I have problems. :P )
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By Balletdancer026
On Tue May 07, 2013 02:14 PM
When I first started earlier this year I was so soar after the first couple of classes however that goes away. And for the shoe it may stretch just from class if not you should get new ones :( I prefer split sole!
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By gabbyballet
On Sat Jun 16, 2018 02:09 AM
1. You should try pointe
2. It's normal I had a torn hamstring after I started pointe
3. Good for you! It's great to be positive and love what you do.
re: First Class Yesterday & A Couple of Questions
By gabbyballet
On Sat Jun 16, 2018 02:11 AM
1. You should try pointe
2. It's normal I had a torn hamstring after I started pointe
3. Good for you! It's great to be positive and love what you do.

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