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Irish - Beginners
Toe stand too hard
By Hungarydances90 Comments: 3, member since Thu Jun 19, 2014
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 03:49 PM

Hi everyone :)
I have a problem with toe stands and toe walks. They are so hard for me. My shoes are broken in just fine and i stand correnctly but i just cant keep balance and start to fall right away. I dont have very strong toes so it could be because of that but its so frustrating, i cant make a single step! Any help? I am an adult dancer doing this for a year and a half btw.

5 Replies to Toe stand too hard

re: Toe stand too hard (karma: 1)
By boleyngrrl Comments: 2550, member since Sat Apr 15, 2006
On Sun Jun 22, 2014 09:09 PM
Should you be doing toe walks yet? Beginners generally don't have toe walks in their steps. They aren't really seen until novice/PW. I doubt you are strong enough to do them correctly dancing only for a year and a half, especially if you don't do any other types of dance that requires pointe-style work.

Your calves need to be strong and you need to make sure your shoes are not too broken in. If they are too broken in you lack support you need. I have a feeling you lack calf strength given what you said your problem is--toe raises are your friend. Also, make sure you're on the flat part of your hardshoe tips. However, you also need to be careful. Although your teacher will be able to tell better than someone online, only dancing for a year and a half and being a beginner are big warning signs that you might not be ready for them yet.

Good luck and I hope this helps!
re: Toe stand too hard
By GirlGeekPremium member Comments: 29, member since Tue Apr 22, 2014
On Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:50 AM
I've heard good things about the Perfect Pointe book (mentioned in the Irish Technique and Training subforum), and am currently working through it. I'm not working on toe stands yes, but the early sections have definitely improved my foot flexibility and strength.

Cheers!
re: Toe stand too hard
By CarleIrishDancer Comments: 36, member since Tue Aug 12, 2014
On Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:41 AM
Edited by CarleIrishDancer (269097) on 2014-08-13 10:42:45 Misspelled "barre"
I have a problem with them too. I'm U13 Novice, but I only just finished my second year dancing. I always miss it in my dance, but I do have a few tips to help with getting up into one.

1. Try to do a toe stand while holding onto a wall or ballet barre. It's much easier to practice proper form when you have something to help you balance. Gradually, you can start doing little toe walks.

2. Make sure you are on the edge of your hardshoes that's flat. That probably didn't make any sense, but I think you know what mean. It's almost impossible to balance on the rounded edge.

3. Practice arching and pointing. You know how the championship dancers foot looks straight while doing a jump over? If you can get your foot straight, even if it's just when you're sitting on the floor, it will be easier staying in a toe stand without bent knees.

4. After you feel comfortable using a barre to keep your balance, try it on your own. It doesn't have to be on time to the music, focus on balancing. Gradually work your way into going faster. Just do down, up, down, up, over and over again.

5. In class, attempt to do it in your steps. It's okay if you can't do toe walks, even stands are an improvement(I'm stuck with stands). Just keep practicing, but if all else fails, ask your teacher if he/she can change your steps.

This is what I found works, so hope this helps!
re: Toe stand too hard
By ghilliegirlan Comments: 373, member since Mon Jun 18, 2007
On Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:44 AM
Edited by ghilliegirlan (181230) on 2014-08-19 12:05:20
I'm going to echo what everyone else has said, that you definitely are not strong enough to be doing toestands yet. My personal rule which comes from ballet teachers is that if you are not strong enough to roll up onto your toes from a flat foot(flat to tippy toes to full pointe) you should NOT be dancing on your toes. That's not to say that you shouldn't keep trying them by themselves but not in your steps, while concentrating on timing and everything else you are likely to fall and hurt yourself, potentially very badly. Calf raises as everyone said are great, try both feet first then work up to one foot, then one foot without holding onto anything. Also you need to strengthen your ankles too, point and flex and draw the alphabet with your feet. Get a Thera band if you can, it provides resistance to your feet, making the exercises more effective. Also check the ballet board on here and they can give you great exercise tips since toes is what they do best :) I just want to encourage you to be diligent about your exercises, EVEN after you can do toes( you need to keep the strength up) and not to try then in your steps until you are completely comfortable with them on their own. I'm currently strengthening my ankle after a bad sprain and I can tell you that as a beginner you need to be very careful not to injure yourself trying new tricks, as tempting as it can be to just dive into new fun tricks, slow and steady is your best bet. I have been doing toestands for YEARS and I still have a version of my steps with no toestands for the days when my feet or ankles just don't feel up to it. I also want to reiterate that I am in champs, you don't need to do toes in your steps at all to place well especially at your level, it is better to not do ties than be wobbly which both looks sloppy and is dangerous. Toestands are something I work at constantly and strong ankles and calves are important for every aspect of Irish dance, you are just a beginner and by that I mean you have many years of learning and dancing ahead of you, the last thing you want is to have an injury slow down your progress. Good luck with everything, hope my tips help.
- Ashley
re: Toe stand too hard
By letsleap Comments: 68, member since Wed Jul 30, 2008
On Tue Aug 19, 2014 01:21 PM
I agree with above I struggled too then left it for a while and built up my core strength, that helped me carry myself better. Good luck.

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