Have you ever wondered what some of your fellow dancers do to keep their dancing feet in shape? Below is a list of tips from fellow dancers and experts on keeping dancing feet healthy and happy.
Heather, a dance instructor in the UK gives us this advice. "A Chiropodist gave me this tip. He said you should moisturize your feet every day without fail and your feet won't fail you. One should remember, even with good fitting shoes, your feet still move around inside the shoe when dancing and it's this that starts off hard skin and corns." She said.
Kathleen Richan, who runs a line dance team in NY recommends a foot soak cream from Mary Kay that her mother who is a diabetic uses. She has found it helps get the blood circulating in her feet. "It really helps." she said.
Dancer Maxine Nowobilskl warns us that if we experience pain on the ball of our feet we need to get orthotics immediately. "Had I done this five years ago I probably wouldn't have the Neuroma that I suffer from now." she said. "Get a good physical therapist who works with pressure points in the foot and leg. After too much dancing, the Neuroma does not go away with traditional therapy." Maxine explained. She recommends Comfort Dance Shoes, a company that sells Othotics many dancers use. www.footsmart.com. "Don't wait as long as I did to take care of your precious dancing feet," she warns.
"The only thing that helps me is wearing my Nike Vomero's." said Jackie Tally of Birmingham, Al. "They are the best shoe for my feet. High arches, bunions, wide and short." Jackie also uses a recommendation made by music artist/dancer Scooter Lee, which consists of putting Listerine on the feet. "Scooter Lee's suggestion about Listerine is great and helps the feet to feel refreshed." Jackie said. Jackie also recommends using hand sanitizer on dancing feet.
Dancer Frances Lind suggests the following. "Several years ago Rhox Khine at the golden gate classis said to use Dr. Scholl's revitalizing foot spray with peppermint and chamomile for tired dancing feet. It helped mine," she said. Wearing shoes made "specifically" for dance is another important factor. Some dancers, especially new ones; mistake Character shoes for dance shoes. Character Shoes are not dance shoes and are balanced much differently with the weight ending up on the heels instead of forward.
Dancer Linda Oates shares more on dance shoes. "Wear good dancing shoes and support stockings. Dean sells good ones. I danced for over 30 years in good boots and good shoes...never a problem," she said. Linda also suggests these sites. http://www.dancindean.com/Shoesandlaces.html, http://www.dancindean.com/photos.html, http://www.dancindean.com/links.html. Locally, Ballroom and Boogie Shoes carries a nice line of shoes and sneakers as well as other products. www.ballroomandboogie.com. Can't wait for delivery? Then visit them at 4300 Outer Loop Suite 11. Phone 962-4441. If they have what you need you can pick it up.
Choreographer/Dance Instructor Michael Diven suggests a pair of Dancer's socks to go with a good pair of shoes. These socks are designed with extra padding on the ball of the foot. "Not only does the extra padding act as a shock absorber, it gently massages the bottom of your feet."
Liz Smith recommends this for those of us attending dance camps and weekend events. "For those all-day weekend events, I take 2 frozen bottles of water and put them in separate plastic bags. Periodically throughout the day, I go to an inconspicuous corner and take off my shoes and roll the frozen bottles for 5-10 minutes. The plastic bags help keep your socks/ feet from getting wet while letting all the cold through. Works wonders for me." she said.
Got tired feet? Jo suggests the following. "here are two of my favorites to have my clients do when their feet are tight or sore: Sitting in a chiair use a golf ball under your foot and slowly, gently roll the foot over the ball, then up & down on it, then sideways. Also sitting, take a cold can of pop, (or whatever) & roll the foot back & forth on it. That really feels good after a night of dancing!" Jo exclaimed.
Denise McElroy follows a similar method. "Something I do is roll tennis balls under my feet. Sitting in a chair bare footed, use 2 tennis balls and place feet on top of the tennis balls and roll feet back and forth. It's like a foot massage.
For tired knees Dave Williams suggests the following. "Foot tubes can also save your knees. These slip over the shoes and make it easier to turn. See dancersfoottubes.com."
And finally, this tip from dancer Rainy Dae. "I use special band aids for blisters before I start a dance workshop or weekend. They are waterproof and usually stay on for two-three days even though showering. I wrap big toe and #4 and #5 digit toes as well as place a big 3" band aid on the back of the foot heel section. This prevents blisters from happening. I change shoes and socks 2-3 times a day as well to keep feet fresh. It only takes a bathroom break to change, thus prevents any discomfort or injury to foot or skin allowing me to have a fun filled dance experience."
About the Author:
Melva Gail Smith is a disabled dance enthusiast from Louisville, KY who enjoys promoting the health and social benefits of both dancesport and linedancesport through her writings. Melva has written for USA Dance, as well as various online magazines; and is the inspiration of dance choeographer Ira Weisburd's Breathe Freely Campaign for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness.
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