What Is Sickled Feet?

Are you curious to know what is sickled feet? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about sickled feet in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is sickled feet?

In the world of dance and ballet, certain terms and conditions carry significant importance for both performers and enthusiasts. One such term is “sickled feet.” This condition refers to the abnormal positioning of the foot, where the arch collapses inward and the toes point away from the body’s midline. In this blog post, we will explore what sickled feet are, their causes, implications for dancers, and methods of care and prevention.

What Is Sickled Feet?

Sickled feet describe a foot position in which the foot’s arch collapses inward, causing the toes to point away from the midline of the body. This results in the appearance of a curved, sickle-like shape when viewing the foot from the front. Dancers, especially ballet dancers, often strive for a properly aligned foot with a strong arch, making sickling undesirable from an aesthetic and technical standpoint.

Causes Of Sickled Feet

Sickled feet can have various causes, including:

  1. Natural foot structure: Some individuals have a natural foot structure that predisposes them to sickling. This could be due to factors such as bone structure, ligament laxity, or anatomical variations.
  2. Weak intrinsic foot muscles: The intrinsic muscles of the foot play a crucial role in maintaining proper foot alignment and stability. Weakness or imbalance in these muscles can contribute to the tendency to sickle.
  3. Improper technique: In dance, poor technique, incorrect alignment, or inadequate training can lead to sickled feet. Insufficient awareness of proper foot positioning and alignment can exacerbate the issue.

Implications For Dancers

Sickled feet can have several implications for dancers:

  1. Increased risk of injury: Sickled feet can lead to instability and poor weight distribution, increasing the risk of ankle sprains, stress fractures, and other foot and ankle injuries.
  2. Aesthetic and technical challenges: In ballet and other dance forms, sickled feet are considered aesthetically undesirable. They can also impede proper technique, hindering the execution of certain movements and compromising overall performance.
  3. Compensation and imbalances: Dancers with sickled feet may compensate by altering their alignment and weight distribution, leading to imbalances in other areas of the body. This can result in additional strain on joints and muscles, potentially leading to chronic pain or overuse injuries.

Care And Prevention

  1. Strengthening exercises: Incorporating exercises that target the intrinsic foot muscles and promote foot stability can help improve foot alignment and reduce the tendency to sickle. These exercises may include toe curls, arch lifts, and theraband exercises.
  2. Proper technique and alignment: Focusing on correct foot placement and alignment during dance training is crucial. Working with qualified instructors who emphasize proper technique can help develop strong and aligned feet.
  3. Footwear and support: Wearing appropriate dance shoes that provide adequate arch support and fit correctly can help maintain proper foot alignment during practice and performances. Consultation with a podiatrist or dance specialist can provide guidance on choosing the right footwear.
  4. Body awareness and self-correction: Developing body awareness and actively monitoring foot positioning can help dancers catch themselves when they begin to sickle and make the necessary adjustments in real-time.


Sickled feet, characterized by an inward collapse of the arch and the pointing of toes away from the body’s midline, can pose challenges for dancers, particularly in ballet. Understanding the causes and implications of this condition is vital for dancers and instructors alike. By implementing strengthening exercises, focusing on proper technique, wearing appropriate footwear, and cultivating body awareness, dancers can work towards improving foot alignment and minimizing the tendency to sickle. Prioritizing foot health and employing preventive measures will ultimately support dancers in achieving their full potential and reducing the risk of associated injuries.

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What Is An Example Of A Sickled Foot?

To sickle your foot is to turn it inwards. For example, if you take your right foot and turn the ankle towards your left foot (instead turning it to the right side) you sickle! This way not only you stretch incorrect muscles of the foot, but you “break” the so-called line as well.

What Is The Difference Between Sickled And Pointed Feet?

Yet in the classical ballet world, a “winged” shape (toes pointed outward) is the signature of a first-rate ballerina, while “sickling” (pointing the toes inward) is taboo. On the other hand, most modern dance teachers find fault in winging, and some teachers and choreographers even find a sickled foot beautiful.

What Are Bad Feet In Ballet?

What Are “Bad” Ballet Feet? Dancers want their ankles to be flexible enough to create at least a straight line from their shin to the top of their foot when pointing. Anything less, and you’ll have trouble getting up on pointe.

How Do You Know If Your Foot Is Sickled?

A dancer who is sickling will have their toes pointed inward, which causes their heel to drop. Instead of being up on your toes high enough so that the heel is slightly forward and the toes behind the ankle bone, a sickle foot is essentially flatter or not in line with your leg correctly.


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