Technique of the Week: January 6, 2016
3 Steps to Great Feet!
This week in your Rhythm classes (Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo, Samba, Hustle, West Coast, etc.), think about foot articulation. Instead of placing a foot flat on the floor with each step, show power and purpose each time you take weight on or off of a foot. Here are 3 things to think about (one at a time!):
- Lift your knees. With each step, lift your knee as high as you can, until only the inside corner of your big toenail stays in contact with the floor. Think of a pair of pants hanging over a hangar at the knee crease, and lift the hangar as high as you can get it without letting the big toe detach from the floor. Don’t forget – a “replace” is a step too!
- Push and pull the floor. Be careful that lifting your heel from the floor as mentioned in Tip #1 doesn’t result in feet that slide messily across the floor. Use your big toe to “push” the floor away from you when stepping out in any direction, or “pull” the floor towards you as you collect your feet.
- Brush your ankles. Brush your moving ankle past your standing ankle with each step (other than a “replace,” before which the feet do not move or brush one another). The moving ankle should literally touch the inside of the standing leg, slightly above the ankle of the standing leg.
Follow these three tips to engage your foot, leg and core muscles while you dance. This will give you greater control and precision, help with your balance, and prepare you for each new step instead of having you get thrown by the whirlwind of residual energy from your last step. This will make your dancing stronger and more beautiful. Happy Practicing!