Advice for Dancers

Can I Make My Demi-Plié Deeper?

People with high arches often have a shallower plié due to the structure of their feet. Photo by Bruno Horwath/Unsplash

While I'm lucky to have a high arch, my demi-plié stinks. I keep getting the same correction to make it deeper. Any ideas?

—Foot Challenged, Winston-Salem, NC


Fake it! A high arch gives you a beautiful pointe but a shallow plié. Structurally, your ankle is not able to go any deeper. The more you and your teachers accept this fact, the less inclined you'll be to force your body to do something unnatural or unsafe. Dancing relies not only on technique but illusion, meaning you can give the appearance of a juicier demi-plié by slightly lifting up your heels. (While some teachers may not initially agree with this school of thought, lifting your heels will keep you from impinging the front of the ankle, which causes bone spurs to form.) The audience will never know.

Send your questions to Dr. Linda Hamilton at advicefordancers@dancemedia.com.

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