Ballet Inspired Roller Derby Foot Strengthening Tips

After and article I saw about how ballet dancers customise their pointe shoes, I was inspired to find out how Ballerinas strengthen their feet and ankles to go up on pointe.

Ballet dancer’s strength, athleticism and ability to put up with pain is astonishing! I don’t think us roller girls have to put up with quite as much pain but roller derby and ballet do have some similarities;

There aren’t many other sports that require being up on your toes! We run, pirouette and jump on our toe stops just like ballerinas but perhaps, with slightly less grace.

We also have to be strong and flexible throughout our hips and glutes – pliés look similar to side surfing, t-stops are almost fourth position and plow stops… well I can’t find a ballet version but its an unnatural position just like a lot of ballet positions!

Although ballet dancers don’t generally have other dancers try and hit them, they do have to perform amazing gymnastic feats. We have apexes and downed skaters to jump and must use our feet to stop suddenly, all whilst being strapped to wheels!

(We also both end up with ugly feet but I think ballet dancers have us beat on that one!)

roller derby toe stops

All of these moves put a unique strain on a rather complicated body part:


Foot & Ankle Anatomy. Source.

Foot & Ankle Anatomy.

That’s a lot of stuff to potentially go wrong so you can see why it’s important to work on creating resilient feet and ankles.

Ballet Foot & Ankle Strengthening Exercises 

Flex & Point


Theraband Exercises


Towel Exercises 


Try these and see if they can improve your toe stop work.

And finally, lets all stare in awe at the amazing Misty Copeland. A woman who overcame struggles and prejudice to become the second ever black soloist the history of the American Ballet Theatre. And who also got to dance with Prince…ugh! So jealous.


Misty Copeland by Henry Leutwyler

Misty Copeland by Henry Leutwyler


Treble Maker 909 xx