The elusive banana arch, that make-or-break detail looming large in the minds of ballet students, isn't as important as you might think. That is, the hyper-curved foot might be a beautiful blessing for some, but pursuing strong and articulate feet is far more important than obsessing over mere aesthetic. After all, no one is hired for their feet alone. Read on for all things feet, and our best strength and alignment tips:


  1. Beautiful, capable feet are supported by properly fitted shoes. We detailed everything you need to know about fitting pointe shoes.
  2. Calluses are like armor for your feet. Take proper care of them by following these guidelines.
  3. Are foot stretchers safe? It seems like everyone uses them, but they also look like torture devices. We asked a physical therapist for his advice.
  4. The best way to deal with feet you'd like to change? Work with what you have. Here's how.
  5. Wish you could make your tootsies less painful? Get more sleep!
  6. And finally, an ode to more moderate arches, the underappreciated yet oh-so-stable foundations of the dance world.

For more news on all things ballet, don't miss a single issue.

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Rachel Neville, Courtesy Ellison Ballet

If you've got your heart set on dancing for, say, San Francisco Ballet, you should attend a school that specializes in Balanchine, right? Not necessarily: It's actually a misconception that you have to train in a particular style or technique in order to pursue a career in that style. Ellison Ballet in New York City—which specializes in Vaganova technique—is living proof: Graduates of Ellison's year-round program and summer intensives go on to ballet companies that perform in a wide range of styles, and use what they've learned from Vaganova to land jobs.

Here are five reasons why studying Vaganova technique can actually make you a sought-after dancer for any number of ballet companies:

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Morgan in rehearsal for Firebird. "When something is taken away from you, you appreciate it 10 times more once you have it back, she says. Lilly Echeverria.

A couple years ago, if you had told Kathryn Morgan that she'd be a soloist at Miami City Ballet, learning roles like the Firebird, Mercedes in Don Quixote and the Striptease Girl in Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, she would have said you were crazy. But last April, seven years after she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and left her career at New York City Ballet behind, Morgan signed a professional company contract once again.

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National Ballet of Canada principal Heather Ogden in The Sleeping Beauty, which tours to the Kennedy Center this week. Bruce Zinger, Courtesy the Kennedy Center.

Wonder what's going on in ballet this week? We've rounded up some highlights.

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