Bunion taping & splinting & massage & exercises seems to be working! In conjunction with regular ankle exercises and Pilates, I have finally become capable of holding a (brief) passé rélevé on both sides! Better on the left, due to right bunion being more severe, but I am pleased with my progress. I’m also getting better at holding turnout in the center–there’s no humiliation like losing all your turnout just from tendus.
I bought a new leotard and skirt to celebrate my progress (okay, and also to get through a hectic and stressful February)! Hoping to get better at ballet selfies sometime as well so I can post more to IG. I have found the amazing, supportive, gorgeous #adultballet community that exists there and hope to join the conversation in the future. Oh well–the longer it takes for my photography to level up, the more time my ballet has to level up. It’s no shame to jump in after I have that 90 degree arabesque, right? Ahaha.
One difficulty of practicing ballet at home has been the lack of that sweet, sweet studio mirror. However, it turns out that a video camera (the kind for Skyping) mounted to a decently sized TV monitor (we don’t have cable) doesn’t serve too badly. The Photobooth app in iOS lets you use it as a real mirror/selfie view (as opposed to the camera view, which is what Quicktime gives you) as well as record. Since at home I use a stepladder whereas in class I use a center barre, this has shown me that my left side is weaker than my right—so, I tilt and sink into the barre when I’m holding with my left arm. I am able to stay square on my right. Something to work on.
I’ve also been doing ankle/calf strength training in the form of single leg rises, and I have noticed that the moderate bunion on my right foot is holding me back from good form (the bad joint is in line with the ankle, which makes it difficult to maintain a straight line through the ankle). Which means it will also hold me back from my current holy grail, the passé rélevé aka rétiré. Aside from the joint pain, the bunion weakens the muscles so staying up in demipointe (and going up/down) is difficult. I have done some research and have prescribed myself a regiment of spacers, KT tape, and strengthening the abductor hallucis (the muscle that lets you move the big toe outwards). It’s had a little effect so I will persevere.
I have already noticed my ankles getting stronger in general, so I’m very pleased with my strength training overall.
Other discoveries: my abs are okay. My back is WEAK. I’ve been doing more back exercises lately.
When doing home barres this week I will focus on shoulder alignment and working from the back of the legs. Having located the turnout muscles, it’s really time to focus on them, if only to spare my knees.
Haven’t been able to do barres for a while thanks to work and petri dish, but I hope to get back into it today! Gotta keep those muscles warm for class next week!