Ballet Dancers’ Feet: Graceful, But Really Gross

ugly ballet dancer feet gross ballet dancer feet dancer barefoot dancer feet

Ballet dancers are known for their graceful bodies, incredible poise…and their gross feet. Check out the picture of this professional ballerina dancer’s extremely-painful looking, callused and bruised feet. Awww/ewww, right? Dancing 8-10 hours a day takes a toll on everything: skin, bones, tendons, nails.

And dancers’ feet aren’t the only ones taking a serious beating: here’s a few more photos of some banged-up tootsies owned by professional athletes. The pictures are pretty disgusting; don’t click through if you’re eating or if you have a foot phobia. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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    • Marielaina Perrone DDS

      I saw the ballet dancers picture on another site. She is a young woman. She will have some serious issues later in life.

    • Somnilee

      Pole dancers get cracking “climbing” bruises on the tops of their feet from the contact of climbing the pole. The skin sometimes chaps too, I’ve got a kind of permanent mark there.

    • Naomi

      I am a belly dancer as opposed to a ballet dancer, so my feet are jacked (especially since we dance barefoot most of the time), but not nearly as badly as hers. Still, the years I spent in ballet as a kid still take their toll on my feet and ankles even now. I’ve gotten grief from pedicurists due to my calluses, but I refuse to let them strip those suckers off. I need them! I EARNED them!

    • Laura

      I am a ballet dancer and I admit we do have some ugly feet. However, the marathon runner’s feet are absolutely out of control…

      P.S., please cut toe nails and shave toe hair immediately!

    • Alle C

      I started ballet as soon as I could walk and danced nonstop until retiring at 16. My feet used to look like that. Worse, even. The kicker is that at 27, deformed feet are the least of my problems.

    • Dancing Branflake

      Hi! I have a dance blog and I want to use this photo, but I’m not sure who I would contact about the copyright. Who is the photographer? Did you purchase the copyright to use it? My email: dancingbranflake at Thanks!

    • Dane_Youssef

      by Dane Youssef

      It is epicly tragic, something like a Greek tale or a grand opera… just how many give ballerinas–or even those who at least practice ballet…

      so much judgement and grief, so much scorn… because they dare to have damaged feet. Such ugly, unsightly feet… See, these are the kind of people who encourage a woman to breast-feed and crucify her for breasts that sag.

      Yes, I think I have a knowledge of what you’re all going through.

      I have taken ballet for several years now and many of the women dancers there constantly go on (too much, im my opinion) with their feet.

      The size, the damage that comes from dancing. How hard it is to find pointe shoes that fit and the damage they cause once you do.

      But I just wanna chime in MY two cents about the whole “woman with man foot epidemic” going on here…

      Now, now ladies… before you get too angry and frustrated about what God gave you…

      While they may not be considered “aesthetically pleasing,” they do ACTUALLY serve a purpose.

      Yes, there is a functional side.

      Take this to heart, ladies…

      It is a part of immortal history that Margot Fonteyn was not only a prima ballerina, but was named “Prima Ballerina Absolutta” by the British Empire as well as given the rank of Dame. History looks at her as one of the finest there ever was in the sport despite her notorious “bad feet.”

      Yes, that she had “bad ballet feet” is also a part of history–but this is only known to die-hard fanatical balletomanes. You know, people actually in the professional dance industry.

      But unless you’re really savvy about the craft, you must ask, “what are ballet feet? What are bad feet for ballet?”

      The kind of feet that are best equipped for ballet–high arches, high insteps. That will suit jumps, Pointe, pirouette, tendus and whathave you. From being able to arch your foot and being able to balance on the metatarsal.

      What this refers to is the fact that her feet had low arches, like “sticks of butter” and her legs were quite short for a ballerina. On a ballerina, long legs and arms are a must. Absolutely necessary as being able to stand up and walk. And Fonteyn’s were considerable short, and yes–flat feet.

      Look, I myself have been praised by ballet pros for my very own feet–made for ballet, which I’ve been taking for nine whole years. Take it from someone who’s done the craft and played the sport himself for almost a decade:

      You don’t just have to be born with it.

      If you want the glorified curve in your foot, for it to stand tall and prominent, you’ll just have to work at it. Doing Pointe exercise with an elastic band until those arches come up. Mold your feet into the proper shape like they’re made of clay.

      Yet this little woman, one Margaret Fonteyn was given the title of “Prima Ballerina Absolutta,” an honor given to the precious ballerinas who seem to be heaven-sent in the profession. Madams Anna Pavolva, Natalia Makarova, and of course, Fonteyn.

      Makarova is one of all-time favorite ballerinas, and I don’t feel she gets the notoriety she oh-so richly deserves. She should be right up there with Baryshnikov and Balanchine. And Nijinsky, even. Now Makarova had all the advantages. The lucky commie bitch was practically born with them.

      She was a mere 5’3″, but her arms and legs were long and willowy as a tree. Makarova had an impossibly slender body, cheekbones that stood out prominently on her , and feet that were long and yes, very well-arched. She was pretty much born for ballet-pro.

      Ballet master and innovator himself George Balanchine critiqued the first lady of Royal Ballet herself Margot as, “Hands like spoons, bad feet, can’t dance at all.” But he also attacked Rudi as, “a passable dancer who’s problem is he always tries to be the prince.” Mr. Balanchine wanted the only star of his ballets to be his own choreography. Any dancer who’s career and reputation outshined his own made him feel threatened. He founded a school and company where he was God. That’s why he called his students/employees “dear.” He liked to think of them as his own children. One of those true artistes’ who was all ego. Look, I’ve been praise by ballet pros for my own feet–made for ballet, which I’ve been taking for nine whole years. You don’t just have to be born with it.

      If you want the glorified curve in your foot, for it to stand tall and prominent, you’ll just have to work at it. Doing Pointe exercise with an elastic band until those arches come up. Mold your feet into the proper shape like they’re made of clay.

      Look, kids: Technique is one thing. But Margot had a way of onstage, a charisma and persona that isn’t really taught. Makarova’s technique was flawless. She was born for technique. But technique can be taught. Margot had a way that transcended mere skill or exact body type.

      Fonteyn was an icon in her field, regardless of how goddamned “proper” her feet (or her short legs) might have been. There is more to the ballet than mere physical dance. She was a ballerina.

      So take this to heart, dear friends and readers, scholars of the ballet: the exact body type, feet, etc. is not written in stone or law. While the conventional way increase the odds of you getting classical roles and employment sooner–perhaps–remember, the ones that break the mold are the ones people remember. The ones who are granted Damehood. Absolute Prime Ballerina.

      Remember, dance is an art form. A form of self-expression. And when you are not true to yourself or don’t have the faith, there’s just nothing there at all. No art. No dance. No beauty. No truth.


      –With As Much Sincerity As Always, Dane Youssef