Many dancers often pay little attention to their feet, but this becomes important when it comes to rehearsing and dancing. Are you wondering how your feet are affected by your dancing shoes?
High Arches vs Flat Feet
We all know that the leading foot is important in dance: the left foot leads, the right foot follows and the back foot travels backwards and downwards. This is a very basic approach, however, the foot really is more complicated than just the body leading, and with even more responsibility attached to it. If we look closely, it’s clear that the feet play a role in the movement too.
How do you create rhythm on the dance floor? Chances are that in your opinion, your feet and their movement are at the very centre of this. You may think that, if your right foot leaves the ground first, you will have more time to dance and dance better. This can, however, cause problems if you have flat feet, or any kind of low arches. That’s because your body follows your feet, which is often a combination of a high-arched foot and a low-arched foot (which will always lead). If your dance floor is flat (not inclining), the floor at times seems out of sync, or not dancing in unison. That’s why it’s a good idea to check whether your feet are able to follow the body’s movement or not.
At any age, it is important to address these issues, for that means your dancing has a lot to offer. If your feet are flat, your heels will slip down and you will be more likely to hit your knees or your toes. This is a bad thing, as the pressure on your feet will cause blisters. If you have high arches, you will generally feel more comfortable and keep your heels up, and therefore your dancing will be much better.
Can your dancing be affected by your feet? If your heels, or arches are high, you may suffer from back pain and numbness. The physicality of dancing (especially as you get older) takes its toll on the feet, especially the tendons that support the arches. Losing balance and muscle strength, due to disease or the loss of blood supply, will damage the arches as well. That’s why it’s important to be extra aware of this. If you are concerned, contact your doctor.
Once you understand your feet, you can work to improve your dancing technique as well. For instance, if you find yourself slipping in certain moves, and you don’t understand why, perhaps your feet are not pointed properly. You can take time to train your feet, as well as strengthening your lower body. Read our article on shoe stretching for wide feet.