Re: inflexible toes
You Do Not wear Pointe shoes in ballet until the equivalent of shodan.You had Better have a Really Good grasp of the Basics, be able to dance on half-toe and develop the corect musculature to hold you up in elevations.
However, ALL of the exercises are specifically developed to give one flexible toes and they would all be beneficial to Brandon's dilemma.
Slow tendu, where you slide your foot forward keeping toes pointed to the floor. Eleve-just hang on to a table and go up & down on your toes, work up to 100 reps.Massage your feet and bend toes back & forth up to 100 reps.Go for a walk and really feel your foorrolling up the ball & over the toe, exaggerate the roll over.Jump up & down, rolling through the entire foot starting with the toes as you come down.Walk toe first and feel how you place the ball of the foot on the ground.
Having said that I've been a modern dancer for 35 years(in Modern Dance you are BAREFOOT), ballet dancer for 15(soft leather slippers, no box), aikidoka for three and my toes still hurt in kneeling techniques....some things ya just gotta learn to live with!