Tips On Staying Off Your Partners Toes

So you finally caught that pair of dance shoes you have been wanting on sale, and now are wondering how long it will be before they get scuffed. Some of us have a pair of prized shoes sitting in the closet that seldom are worn for this very reason.

Date added to ADN: Wednesday, Sep 05 2012
Originally Published: Wednesday, Sep 05 2012
By Melva Gail Smith



So you finally caught that pair of dance shoes you have been wanting on sale, and now are wondering how long it will be before they get scuffed. Some of us have a pair of prized shoes sitting in the closet that seldom are worn for this very reason.

There are many reasons why toes get stepped on while dancing. Sometimes the problem is caused when the person leading does not use their standing leg properly. The term "standing leg," refers to the leg from which you are leaving. The moving leg is the leg you are taking the step with. The proper way to use your standing leg is to "Drive off of it," or "Push Off." A good way to determine if you are properly using the standing leg is to take a step forward and then stop as soon as you feel your heel touch the dance floor. Look at your standing leg. If your heel is close to or touching the floor, you are probably not using it correctly.

Much like walking, if you start your movement with the center of your body, your feet will follow. Moving your body toward your partner first instead of just sticking your feet out, will help them feel you coming forward. If you stick your feet out without first starting the motion with your body, your partner may not feel you moving forward and you will step on them.

Keep in mind that it is not always the leaders fault. The follower shouldn't be committing their weight to their feet until they clearly feel the size of the step from the lead.

According to Dancing For Dessert, an informative dance site located at; worrying about being stepped on while dancing should not be a problem. Here are some helpful secrets from their site.

First of all, Extending your ankle joint while moving the leg back is one of the most basic things they suggest to keep from being stepped on. The key is to move the foot perpendicular instead of parallel to the floor when stepping backwards. In fact they claim this makes it near impossible for your dance partner to step on your toes because there isn't anything there to step on.

For the ladies, it is recommended that you transfer your weight just slightly after the man. This will put his foot on the floor before yours. " If you keep your weight forward as you extend your leg back, you will be in much better shape. Also, allow your foot to slide backwards as your partner moves you backwards to keep from stepping too soon." the site recommends.

Standing directly in front of each other adds to the problem. A way to correct this for both the man and woman to stand slightly offset to their left. The right foot should be pointed between your partners feet.

Tracking your feet and legs, or moving back and forth in a straight line is another way to keep from being stepped on. This keeps you from stepping in the same line as your partner.

If you continue to have this problem with the same partner, try walking in frame together. The leader should focus on how well they are giving the lead while the follower should focus on receiving them. Focusing on step size and placement can also help. Above all, do not hesitate when taking a step because you are afraid of stepping on your partners toes. This not only makes the dance look awkward, it confuses the person who follows. If both partners put the above advice into practice, they should be able to dance with confidence...and on their own feet.

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 choreographer Ira Weisburd's Breathe Freely Campaign for Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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