A key to better dance is your footwork. It gives you balance, posture, power and rhythm. If your feet don’t have a strong connection to the floor, then no matter what else you do, you will not be as good as you could. If you feel that maybe your foundation in dance is not as strong as it could be, or that you’re just not secure enough, then it’s likely your foot work. Read on and I will give you some pointers to make it better.
For footwork to be better, you need to have a well-developed feeling for your feet and how they move as you dance. One way to develop this feeling is by simply walking – but as you do in dance – slowly and with attention.
First note the different parts of your feet:
- The heel
- The inside
- The outside
- The ball
- The toes
Choose a dance style that you are currently working on. Now think about the basic figure for that dance. Now walk through it thinking about the following:
- Which of the parts of your foot first feels pressure as you move your weight to that foot?
- Where does the pressure travel to after this?
- How does the pressure travel through the foot until the time when you lift your foot from the ground?
- How much pressure is there; is there enough; is there too much?
You should feel that you move onto, through and out of the foot. There is a transition that you should feel. If you think that this is not the case, then it’s possible that you are not walking correctly or not fully aware of the weight distribution on your foot. You should also fee that the amount of pressure gives you security, balance and power by connecting you to the floor.
Go over your walks with your teacher – determine which if you are stepping correctly, then you will know if you need to change your walk or just need to be more aware of your feet.
Now think about the following:
- Do you close your feet (bring the heel and toe together) properly when you should?
- Do you brush your feet properly when you should?
- Do your feet turn the correct way as you step?
You might need to double check with your teacher or perhaps compare yourself with instructional videos in the mirror. With an increased awareness of your feet, you will be able to cross reference how feet look with how the feel. You will then be able to practice your feet work more effectively.
After focusing on how your feet feel and aligning this with how your feet are to move, you will notice quick gains in your connection with the floor and the corresponding improvement in dance that comes from this.