Arch Aches

Yesterday I thought I was going to die.

Back in High School, I spent 25+ hours a week dancing, teaching, rehearsing, and walking around the studio in a pair of ballet slippers. Now that I'm in college and I have a life, a career, and two jobs, I don't have the time to spend that many hours working out for myself. So yesterday when I started my regular teaching schedule, suffice it to say my body was not prepared.

I mean, 4 classes isn't that many, is it? Not really. And they were all only an hour long. It wasn't that my muscles were exhausted, or even that I was mentally exhausted: Rather, it was my feet that were killing me.

And my feet don't usually hurt, because as a dancer, my feet are pretty strong! But I learned something yesterday: I can dance in flats for six hours a day, but I can only walk around in them for three before my feet start to ache. I can almost guarantee it has something to do with the way we dancers use the muscles in our feet when we dance as compared to when we walk. 

But I'm pursuing teaching, and this is going to be my life. Miss Laura used to teach seven or eight classes a day, half of them to ages 2-5. I'd better get used to it, right?

So I've compiled a list of ways to save your feet, strengthen arches, and relieve pain. 

  1. Tennis Ball. Every dancer should have at least one tennis ball. I have three, and a golf ball. Many dance companies sell a device similar to a tennis or golf ball. Just put it under your arch, and push and roll gently and slowly. 
  2. Tape your Arches. There is some controversy about this, but it all boils down to arch support. There is no arch support in ballet shoes (unless you buy an insert and put it in your shoe). If you need the arch support to save your knees and ankles, tape your arches and do some strengthening after class or in your free time.
  3. Ice/Heat Treatment. As a dancer, one of the best feelings in the world is getting out of bed and standing on a freezing cold tile floor... I know that sounds strange, but seriously, try it some time. It sucks the aches right out of your feet. Of course if you only ice your feet, the muscles will get hard, and that won't help you much. So if your feet are really killing you, twenty minutes on ice and twenty in a hot water foot bath or heating pad will ease the pain away.

Also. Ibuprophen is an amazing thing.

2 comments:

  1. yea you are right these classes are not so long, but as u said muscle were exhausted so it happens!

    Arch support pain

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dance sneakers, Haley! I teach 16 ballet and pointe classes per week plus several hours of rehearsals and private lessons to all levels of teens and adults. I wear Bloch's Boost and switch with flat slippers, depending on the needs of my students. They have no arch support so you can't wear them 24/7 but the support they give the balls and heels of your feet is fantastic. Saves my knees too -which you will need as you age. :)

    Come visit my blog sometime and maybe we can trade some guest posts.
    ~Leigh

    ReplyDelete

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