wikiHow to Do a Toe Stand

Three Parts:Getting ReadyPracticing the MoveLanding the Move

A toe stand is exactly what it sounds like, jumping up onto your toes in one fluid motion while standing in place. Watching exceptional dancers like Michael Jackson and others make it look so easy can be intimidating, but it’s a skill they’ve had to practice dozens, perhaps hundreds of times. Think ballerinas are the only ones who can do a fancy toe stand? Think again. You can do it too!

Part 1
Getting Ready

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    Find the proper footwear. You should not attempt this move without wearing the appropriate shoes. Avoid wearing split-soled shoes as they don’t support your foot.[1] Tennis shoes can work, but keep in mind that performing this move over and over will wear the material down and cause tearing.
    • The best option would be a triple toe and heel build-up shoe. These shoes have triple the padding of normal shoes throughout and are specifically made to enhance balance and overall support. You can find these at specialty shoe stores.
    • Tap shoes work great as well. Not only are the toes strong, the sound they make will give you a clue as to whether or not you’re landing properly. Grab a pair of these from any dance studio or online tap retailer.
    • Another option are tap boots. They look like high-top sneakers and offer great ankle support. Beginners should consider this option. It’s like the best of both worlds.
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    Stretch your ankles. Loose ankles will help you avoid injury so stretching is key. Lay down on your back with one leg bent and foot flat on the ground. Cross your outstretched, straight leg over the bent leg so the ankle meets at the knee. Trace the alphabet in the air with the raised foot. This will help loosen your ankle. Do this for 5 minutes or until comfortable.
    • Repeat this exercise with the other foot.
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    Perform more stretches. Standing up with both bare feet on the floor, perform heel raises. You do this by slowly raising your heel off the ground but keeping your toes flat. You should feel stretching in the arch of your foot, as well as your ankle and calf. Do this at least ten times on each foot.[2]
    • Do the reverse as well by keeping your heel firmly planted on the ground and raising only your toes up. Repeat this on each foot 10 times.

Part 2
Practicing the Move

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    Sit down. A great way to practice this move is to start by sitting down in a chair. Make sure you use one without wheels. With both feet on the ground and back straight, slowly raise your heels off the ground and onto your toes.
    • Hold on to either side of the chair with both hands for more stability in the beginning.
    • If available, a short stool would work as well.
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    Find a barre. Once your confidence has been built a little and you feel comfortable, practice the same move standing. A good place to practice this for the first time would be in a gym or studio where you have access to a stable barre. With the proper shoes on, face the barre and hold on with both hands. Slightly bend your knees and hop onto your toes.
    • Initially, only hold the toe stand for a second or two. Find your rhythm and balance.
    • If your ankles feel shaky, stop immediately and take a break. You want to avoid injuries.
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    Use a counter. Perhaps you are at home and needing a way to practice. Consider using the kitchen counter. While you can face the counter and hang on with both hands like using the barre, consider adding a level of difficulty by holding on with one hand.[3]
    • Once comfortable with the motion, barely hold on to the counter top. Maybe only keep one or two fingers on the surface.

Part 3
Landing the Move

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    Bend your knees. Think about the position you would take if you were about to sit down. Your knees should be about 6 inches apart and at a 90 degree angle. Place your weight on your bottom.[4]
    • Don’t bend too deep. This could throw off your balance.
    • Use your arms to help balance too. Hold them out at your side or above your head.
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    Hop onto your toes. Try to avoid rolling forward onto your toes. This may cause serious injury. Instead, slightly jump to pull your weight onto your toes.
    • Check to make sure you’re landing on the very tip of your toes and not on the balls of your feet.[5]
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    Hold the pose. Maintain the stand for a few seconds, around three if your balance is really good. Don’t force it. Take your time to ensure you really have all the steps down and your balance feels right.
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    Keep practicing. Once you’ve really gotten the move down, try performing the trick while balancing on a single foot.
    • You can incorporate your new dance move into a routine, even spinning on your toes.


  • Grab on to something. This is especially useful while you're still learning.
  • It is best to do toe stands while wearing a pair of tennis shoes.


  • You can fall over and hurt yourself, so be very careful.
  • Pain will happen, but if you have so much pain you can't bear it anymore, go back to your regular position and sit down for at least ten minutes.
  • This will hurt if you don't have strong toes and ankles.

Things You'll Need

  • Patience
  • Strong toes and ankles
  • Support like table, counter or barre

Article Info

Categories: Body Tricks