Walking & The Foot

I was reading this article about the foot’s anatomy as it relates to tango, written in the blog Dancing Soul, which I recently discovered. (Very neat blog, if you haven’t seen it yet!)

The article talks about the foot’s anatomy, the processes involved in walking and standing, and exercises to strengthen the foot and increase your awareness of how it works. Plus, it ends with the recommendation to give yourself a foot massage. I wholeheartedly support foot massages!

But I am also reminded of something beyond the scope of this article. It was an entire discussion in a class taught by Murat & Michelle about walking. The article and the class both mentioned the “S” shape that occurs while walking: you move from your outer heel to your inner heel to your outer ball of the foot to your inner ball of the foot before pushing off onto the other foot. An “S”. M&M wanted us to find this “S” in our forward walks, and they sent us around and around as many of us struggled to walk naturally in our tango shoes.

That “S” happens quite naturally when I walk around the office barefoot, but when I strap on my high heels I don’t find it as easily. I have a tendency to step onto the ball of my foot while walking forward in heels. In fact, I have a tendency to avoid putting weight on my heel altogether (not consciously, it just happens that way as I dance) or putting weight on my heel at the same time as or after I land on the ball of my foot. Strange.

I know, intellectually, that taking a normal step has the potential to provide more power to forward walks, more stability, more naturalness. I think that I may go home tonight and do the exercises outlined in that article … and then maybe just wander around my apartment in heels. Michelle very clearly prefers the natural “S” walk for tango, and even if I decide I still prefer ball-heel walking I want it to be a conscious decision—I don’t want to avoid it just because I can’t comfortably do it!

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3 thoughts on “Walking & The Foot

  1. The strangest thing: one of my students read my blog about the foot (thanks for mentioning me in YOUR blog!) and told me that they had learned about the foot from Michelle & Murat. That was yesterday. Wow! Small tango world.

  2. It was very interesting for me to read that post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more on that blog soon.

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