The Precarious case of the sickled foot
I was watching recap shows of DWTS on Youtube and a common thing that they brought up when talking about Meryl or Charlie was that figure skating boots makes pointing toes either extremely difficult or almost impossible.
Is this true? Can you avoid the dreaded sickled foot (thoughts of THAT TV dance teacher who shall not be named because of her hostile nature on screen)
If so, can you share why its impossible or really difficult?
If its not true, is it possible to share how you do point your toes outwards
As a person who doesnt skate i just need some clarification.
Uh, have you ever felt how stiff a skating boot is?
That said, it is possible to achieve some degree of toe point - but said toe point is RELATIVE to skating. Good toe point example, Jason Brown. Bad toe point example, Yuna Kim.
However, it would be impossible to achieve the sort of point a dance teacher is looking for. Even when hinged boots were a thing I don't think that would be possible.
A camel spin is a nice obvious place to look at it. Some, like Brown, Farris and Plushenko (moreso in his youth), achieve a very nice leg line by pointing the toe and elongating the line. It can also be noted in jumps, but can be harder to spot.
Wearing skating boots is only a little bit softer than wearing a hard cast for a broken ankle. You don't have much ability to point your foot or move your ankle at all, since it is suppose to support your ankle. Since the top of the boot comes above the ankle you cannot sickle your foot either side even if you do have weak ankles.
Toe point in skating is actually a misnomer. It's actually foot point but for all practical purposes it's called toe point. How much toe point a skater can achieve depends on anatomy, training and their boots. Some skaters with excellent toe point off the top of my head are Naomi Nari Nam, Sasha Cohen and Alexandra Proklova. Katherine Healy is another one but she was more dancer than skater. Yuna Kim is often criticized for lack of toe point, which could be due to naturally stiff ankles or an oversight in her training. Dance boots are cut low in the back so skaters can point their toes more. When Alissa Czisny wore hinged boots, she could also get a very pointed toe.
Toe point in dance is dependent on foot/ankle flexibility, strength and the shape of the arch. Since most high level skaters take ballet lessons, I see no reason why some cannot achieve a nice toe point off ice. It's not like they are wearing their skates and limiting their range of motion 24-7. Besides, sickle foot is a common mistake regardless of whether you skate or not.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Imo, the queen of toe point in skates was Emily Samuelson in recent times. For all time it was Maia Usova.
Some of the issue with Meryl is proper turnout more than pointing the toe, and that's something you can do a bit in skates.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-23-2014 at 03:03 AM.
Ballet classes these days are more like an extra curriculum activities. Most of the kids couldn't have even a proper split no less pointy toe. They have not enough time for their stretching and Barre Exercises. Skaters are more concentrated on their flexibilities and Upper Body movement.
Originally Posted by jennyanydots
From this article, it came down to born with the right feet and/or proper trainings.
Freestyle boots and ice dancing boots are cut differently. My understanding is the ice dancing boots are shorter and have a "low cut" back. These two differences allow a skater to bend their knees better and also "point" their toes. Freestyle skaters need a higher boot since they need the extra ankle support when landing jumps.
Ice dancing blades are also different from freestyle blades. I believe that ice dancing blades have a much smaller toe pick and they are shorter.
Wicked Yankee Girl
That's why my queens of ice skating toe point are both ice dancers.
For singles skaters, Katherine Healy is my choice for the winner.
You'll also see some ice dancers with the heel of their boot slightly higher than freestyle skaters, it all helps with the illusion.