Photo by Travis Kelley, courtesy Kathryn Morgan

Dear Katie: How Can I Fight the Sickle?

In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

My feet naturally sickle when I point them, especially when I'm moving quickly or jumping. How can I fight the sickle?


Dear Kelsey,

Correcting a natural sickle requires focusing on the basics, especially your barre work. During tendus and dégagés—which are the foundation of most jumps—think carefully about the position of your foot as you extend it outward and return it to fifth position. Is your heel leading the way forward? Are your little toes leading the way back?

I'd also recommend doing some basic TheraBand exercises, pointing, flexing, and winging your feet out to the side against the resistance of the band. The more you train your ankle muscles in non-sickled positions, the less likely your feet will be to sickle.

Finally, make sure you're not leaning back when you jump. When your upper body gets too far behind your lower body, your legs have to compensate for the weight shift, and that often results in sickled (not to mention turned-in) feet, especially when you're moving quickly. Focus on keeping your weight forward and your shoulders over your hips.

For more of Katie's helpful tips and advice, click here.

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Dear Katie: What Can I Do to Get More Flexible?

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I'm a strong dancer, but I don't have a lot of flexibility. I stretch every day, but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. What can I do to get more flexible?


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