Never underestimate the power of a beautifully controlled, expertly executed rise.
Dance physiotherapists place great importance on the technique, control and endurance of a single leg rise to demi pointe when assessing a dancer’s readiness to commence pointe work. It gives us valuable insight into where a dancer may be lacking in their development and areas that must be addressed in preparation for pointe class. I recently contributed a blog outlining the considerations for commencing pointe work.
The rise is also pivotal in the overall function of a dancer’s leg, as it ‘gives rise’ to fundamental technical skills such as the push off and landing in petit and grand allegro, the posture of the standing leg during pirouette, and the step up position of a posé just to name a few.
Regardless of whichever injury a dancer may present with, I will often examine the rise as a starting point and progress the assessment from there.
Qualities I look for when assessing a rise:
- Comprehensive body alignment in standing – on two legs and on one leg
- Lower back posture
- Hip and pelvic stability
- Knee extension”pull up”
- Ankle alignment
- Height of the rise on to demi pointe
- Foot alignment
- Toe control
- Early upper calf muscle activation
- Precision and consistency throughout the movement
- How many excellent quality rises can they complete?
When building the ideal rise, establishing optimal technique first is the priority. Only then can we work to gradually build strength and endurance.
Dance physios tend to be quite clever people who can analyse the elements of a rise and predict where the necessary changes are to be made, and how to make them. Either through manual hands-on physiotherapy or through a structured, tailor-made home exercise program. However, we won’t know what to prescribe specifically until we see the rise performed in front of us!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information of to have an assessment at home or at your dance studio.