Dancing is usually brutal on the foot. A huge amount of stress is put on the feet during the steps of ballet and the demands on the feet are extremely great. At the professional level these demands is often as much as eight or so hours each day and all this is performed in thin unsupportive shoes. The scienitific evidence reports that ballet performers get more foot disorders in comparison to the general population. Almost all dancers should have their foot care regimens which they do to strengthen the foot muscles and take good care of their feet and nails. You will need quite a few years to do well in ballet and the very last thing that they wish to happen is for something to go bad because of a foot problem.
In an episode of the podiatry relevant talk show, PodChatLive, they had an in depth look at the foot problems in ballet and the stress put on the feet. The 2 experts that the hosts questioned were Sarah Carter and Catherine Crabb who are both lecturers in Podiatric Medicine for the University of Western Australia in Perth, West Australia. Leading up to their podiatry careers both were dancers at a quite high level so this joined together experiences and expertise in both podiatry and dancing meant that they were both in a position to talk about this area. The episode touched on whether the prevalent concern of hypermobility is critical to be a ballerina and their reply could possibly have pleasantly surprised a lot of people. They described the most prevalent injuries observed in dancers and as 85% of dancing injuries happen to be in the lower leg, it certainly shows the relevance of podiatry. They also compared the variances between female and male dancers and the diverse injuries seen. In addition, they talked about the importance of the ballet slipper and the insane things ballerinas do to them, and the importance of a suitable ‘pointe assessment’ along with what it might involve.