"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #156, Thursday, October 16, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
Inside/Outside Edge of Heel .....?

Several years ago, we were at the Old Derenosky Studio in Detroit. David Sycamore and Denise Weaver were our host for a Tango Lesson. I had heard of inside edge of Ball or Foot, etc., but really had not heard of "inside or outside edge of the heel" footwork. I used to wonder if this really happened in tango but was always afraid to say that it does, until pointed out by David. He said that "It does happen but it is difficult to go into such infinite details in the technique book.

Heel Footwork:

1. As you take a forward step with LF in tango the footwork is "H"..right? That of course doesn't mean that you stay on heel; it is assumed that the whole foot comes down soon and we don't mention it in the technique. If you analyze further, I hope you will agree that because of a CBMP, it appears as if the outside edge of the Heel is the first contact with the floor and then the foot rolls flat from outside to inside and finally flat. Hopefully someone, someday will study this on computer generated images of the foot pressure.

2. As you step forward with the RF, you have right side leading. In other words you are stepping in more open position as opposed to CBMP. Here, I feel my inside edge of the heel coming in contact with the floor first and then the foot becomes flat from inside to outside.

Summary: As Mr. Sycamore pointed out, that these are more finite details and we do not write that in our technique books. This group lesson left a vivid impression on my mind and I wanted to share this with you and would like your comments.

All of the above applies to Tango. However in other Ballroom dances such as Fox-trot or Waltz, etc., we step forward with more or less parallel feet, therefore it is the middle of the back of the heel that first contacts the floor.

I feel that if we become more aware of these details, it brings more sharpness and crispness to our dancing. Lord Moynihan, the great master surgeon, once said , "Success in surgery depends upon attention to detail" and so, I will stop here. With best Wishes, Max

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits