• Target Training

Going on Blocks in Hard Shoe - part 2/2

Updated: Dec 19, 2019


As of September 1st, U13 dancers are allowed by CLRG to begin going on their blocks (en pointe, toe stands, etc) in their hard shoes. But many times, dancers struggle to get up on their blocks and can’t confidently execute the choreography. They repeat the movement over and over but roll over on their ankle, or bend their knees, or lean forward (does this sounds like you or someone you know??).


There are so many questions:

  • How do you safely prepare to dance on your blocks?

  • How do you improve your block work?

  • When are you ready to begin block work?

  • Why are you not allowed to begin block work until U13?

In part one of our two part series, Going on Blocks in Hard Shoe, we reviewed why there are age guidelines placed on when dancers can start block work and the risk factors associated with block work (read part 1 HERE). In part two, we’ll discuss what you can do to safely prepare for block work and how to improve your block work in three simple steps!


STEP 1 - Core Stability

Before dancers begin block work (or if their struggling with block work), they should first make sure that they have adequate core stability (trunk, abdominal and pelvic control). Here are a few recommendations from our YouTube channel and full length videos from the Target Training Online Institute of exercises to help with this:


TT Online Institute Video Recommendations*

  • Core & Hip Strength Video

  • Core Series Video

HOLLOW HOLD AND REVERSE HOLD


GLUTE PRESS - PRONE OUT & IN - CALF RAISE


STEP 2 - Foot & Leg Alignment

In part 1, we discussed the risk of hypermobility and immobility in dancer’s ankles for block work.

hypermobility - If you have hyper-mobile feet and ankles, you need to focus on strengthening your feet and ankles so you can safely perform block work without rolling your ankles. See STEP 3 for more exercises that focus on strengthening your feet and ankles.

immobility - Many dancers who are struggling with block work are doing so because of the limited range of motion in their ankles and feet. The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science suggests that, “to ensure proper alignment on pointe the line of the metatarsals (represented by the top surface of the forefoot) should be parallel to the line of the tibia (front of the shin) when the foot is pointed (combined ankle and foot plantar flexion). When a dancer lacks mobility in their ankle and toes, they are not able to get their tibia and metatarsals lined up. This will cause Irish dancers to bend at their knees, lean forward, or fall off their blocks.


TT Online Institute Video Recommendations*

Pointing Video

KNEELING ANKLE STRETCH


STEP 3 - Ankle & Foot Strength

Dancers must possess proper foot and ankle strength to support their bodies when going up on point. This is important for ALL dancers but especially critical for hypermobile dancers.


TT Online Institute Video Recommendations*

Foot & Ankle Strength Video

Pointing Video

DOMING & TOE SWAP


WINDSHIELD WIPER TAPS - COMPASS TAPS - ABCS - SINGLE LEG BALANCE

TT ONLINE INSTITUTE details

*CLICK HERE to begin training with the Online Institute and receive your first month FREE when you enter the code 1MONTHFREE at checkout on the ‘Trainer’ subscription level. institute.targettrainingdance.com


HAPPY TRAINING!