They are “Turned in” … “Sickled”… “Rolling to the Outside Edge”…. AHHHHHHHH! BAD DANCER FEET! It’s a Dance Horror Movie and I hope YOU are not starring in it. 😉
Having “Good Feet” is soooooo important in dancing. Good feet and strong ankles will keep you rooted to the floor, improve your balance, and ultimately, gives you a strong base from which to create beautiful, long lines and shapes in YOUR dancing body. Unfortunately, the converse is also true. When the feet are turned in/ sickled/ rolled to the outside edge, our balance gets compromised and everything else becomes harder to control. So, don’t do that. Here are 5 specific places in Latin Dancing where you may be “Bad feet -prone”.
5 Places to Avoid Turned in Feet:
#1: New Yorker
New Yorker Practice Tips:
- Keep your ankles together and toes pointing out during your swivel step.
Challenge: What other differences do you see in the YUP and NOPE Videos?
Bonus: Practice Your New Yorkers with These Video Tips: How to Dance the New Yorker
Avoid Turned in Feet #2: Press Line
Press Line Practice Tips:
- Swivel your back foot and stay on the inside edge of your back foot throughout the move.
- Engage your tailbone down and rotate your inner thighs forward and away from each other. Do you notice the difference in your posture?
Bonus: The press line is the first step of the Cha Cha Cross Chasse – Check out the breakdown here: How to Dance The Cha Cha Cross Chasse
#3: Side Walk
Side Walk Practice Tips:
- Both feet should be pointing away from the body (i.e.: heels in, toes out)
- As you land on the side step, rotate the heel of the free foot to face front by engaging your quad and glute muscles.
- What other differences do you see in the YUP and NOPE videos?
Note: Remember, there are only 3 basic directional walks – forward, side and back. So, master the Side walks because they are EVERYWHERE!
#4: Back Walk
Back Walk Practice Tips:
- Only turnout as far as your knees can point in the same direction as your big toe.
- Check your feet to make sure you have heels in, toes pointing out.
- Anchor your front big toe into the floor to support your turnout, as you release your font heel off the floor.
Note: This is the foundation for walks, rocks etc. If you have a hard time balancing as you rock back, try doing a check-up on your back walk and focus on engaging your inner thighs and keeping your tailbone in line with your spine.
#5: Samba Volta
Volta Practice Tips:
1. The back foot is typically the culprit here. Focus on applying pressure into the ball of your back foot to keep your back heel towards the front.
2. Take a small cross step!
Bonus: Because Voltas are especially tricky, check out these videos to help you with your practice:
5 Commonly Made Mistakes in the Samba Volta (and how to fix them)
Getting rid of turned in feet, really means improving your turnout! Turn out comes from engaging the glutes and tail bone down, as well as working the inner thighs forward. So, what other exercises can you do to help with your turn out? I have just the right Turn out exercises for you! Time to say Goodbye to Turned in feet.