As a dancer you know how important it is to take care of your feet. Want some tips on what you can do to keep those feet happy?
Here are three articles I wrote for Oxygen Tango that provide a blueprint for the care of your feet!
Part 1: Care for the Feet that keep you dancing!
Part 2: Care for the Feet that keep you dancing: Massage & Exercise
Part 3: Care for the Feet that keep you dancing: Shoes, the fit and feel
WANT more? Foot kits are available for $20 each...
Includes the basics you need to protect, nurture and strengthen your feet. You can soften, pamper and care for your feet with this portable kit. Small enough to travel with you to
festivals, yet holds all the essentials.
FABULOUS FEET FOOT CARE KIT INCLUDES:
- 2x Toe Spreaders that are kind to your toes
- 1x Golf Ball for foot massage
- 1x File to remove callous
- 1x Non-petroleum softening ointment
- 1x Instruction booklet
- 1x Repurposed storage bag
Coming soon by request, a repeat of my foot care
workshop with exercises and pointers to preserve those feet
- even when dancing into the wee hours of the night!!!
Want more? See the post below and come to a group class!
Thursdays: 7-8 pm Tango FUNdamentals
8-9 pm Developing Your Tango Body
ANATOMY OF THE FOOT AND ANKLE
So why do you care? Your feet and ankles are important for balance, power and grace. They are part of your body and you need to understand if there is pain what could be causing it. Because you want to be able to dance until you are 95....
The human body is fascinating, perhaps I'm a little geekishly about it, especially when movement is involved. The movement can be as simple as walking or as complex as dancing. It doesn't matter, all movement is amazing. The feet and ankle are of particular interest. I had been dancing only about six months when I had so much foot pain I sought medical advice. My doctor thought I fractured one of the small bones in my foot. X-ray proved that to be incorrect. It was something else. My doctor wanted to refer me to a foot specialist and to be fitted for orthotics. I had never had any pain in my feet prior to starting tango, so I knew it was something about the way I was moving that was causing the pain. Thus began my obsession with feet and understanding movement (especially walking backwards in heels).
From the picture above, you can see the complexity of our feet and ankles. All those small bones, muscles and tendons create the strength and flexibility we need to stay upright , to walk and to be balanced.
Notice the picture at the bottom right side. This is what an Xray looks like if you have bunions. The way you land on your foot can cause a bunion or if you have bunions can make them worse. Strengthening the abductor hallicus muscle, one of the muscles in the big toe, helps to keep the big toe in line and improves balance. Using your big toe when you walk decreases the stress on other parts of your body and gives you more control over your movement.
Now take a look at the picture on the middle right side. This example highlights what happens when the inside of the foot collapses, or you roll to the inside of your foot. Notice the position of the ankle compared to the center of the heel. Trouble in the making !!!
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN OUR FEET AND THE REST OF OUR BODY
In order to create the perfect boleo, gancho, it is helpful to understand the relationship of (and how we use) our feet with the rest of our body. We use our feet in turns, weight transitions, etc. Below are some very simple exercises that you can perform to strengthen the muscles in your feet. I guarantee you will be able to dance longer when your feet are stronger.
This is not a substitute for medical advice, nor should these be deemed to give medical advice. Consult your healthcare practitioner for medical advice.