Dancers know that painful feet can take the fun out of Tango faster than just about anything. So it pays to take care of our feet. Here are some things you can do so that sore feet do not interfere with your Tango bliss.
Oh, Those Gorgeous Shoes!
We women just LOVE the look of high, stiletto tango heels. But unless we also love dancing on damaged feet, we need to take special care when we buy Tango shoes.
Podiatrists recommend that women avoid wearing heels that are higher than 3 inches. Anything higher stresses your joints in a way that can cause permanent damage.
So ideally, for healthy feet, we should wear a heel between one and three inches.
The higher the heel the more padding you will need under the pads of the toes. High heels throw your weight on the front of the foot, which can cause metatarsalgia. This is especially true in middle aged or older women, because the natural padding in the front of the foot decreases with age. I know you have heard that padding under the ball makes it harder to feel the floor. But so does pain. So we need to decide what is more important. I choose a somewhat lower heel - 2.75 inches - which lets me get away with less padding.
You know how some teachers tell you to press the ball of the foot onto the floor when you walk? This may create a lovely line, but it also creates overpronation. Overpronation happens when your weight is distributed toward the inside edge of the foot, rather than being centered in the middle of the foot. Overpronation causes all kinds of foot injuries, including achilles tendonitis and plantarfasciitis. The solution is to concentrate on keeping your weight in the center of your foot.
Dancing on your toes:
There was a time when a lot of teachers encouraged women to dance on their toes - to never let the heels touch the ground As a result there are a lot of Tango dancers suffering from metatarsalgia. Fortunately this has gone out of fashion. But if you are still doing it, stop. Not only is it bad for your feet, but it shortens your extension and interferes with balance.
Take care of your feet. Remember - you want your feet to be able to Tango in 10 years -or 20 - or more.