Tag Archives: happy feet

The cross – Tango Basics

It usually goes this way; a theme is chosen, with today’s theme being the cross, and then we start working on it or with it from various perspectives.

The cross where do we get stuck: a Tango perspective

Our intention overall is to understand what causes the trouble and specifically for the cross why we get stuck; why we’re unable to move past the cross itself.
So in this first video we put the 2 most important stickie points under the microscope; we found paths to avoid getting stuck; we identified the body mechanics supporting these paths and made sure to look for them in our walks and embellishments.

Sticky point 1: how the free leg crosses. Without even shifting the weight crossing might be an uncomfortable position, causing a feeling of imbalance. And so we start this practice with an embellishment. 

Sticky point 2:  shifting the weight. We either fall into it and we then get stuck or we try so hard to stay lifted that we don’t allow any other movement to happen but pressing into the floor or we try to keep everything square ignoring the fact that we are already in a twisted position. And so the second part of the video really tries to point out how the different parts of the body reorient towards the right or towards the left, through osculation for the legs to be released from the cross.
And aaaall this leads us to…

Taking it a bit further than just the cross…

We asked ourselves how does all this work on the cross can inform our body and our everyday movement and so in the next two videos we are looking to inform our walks. And then we are diving deeper into how the leg fits and moves inside the hip and how the hip moves around the leg

And a bit further…

If you think about it, there are so many spots in our body that we feel pain during Tango but also during our everyday life. Two of the most common ones is the hip joint and the lower back. Thankfully they are connected…haha… so by making our movement in the hip joint more efficient we can get rid of back pain and vice versa of course. And soooo happy feet give us happy dancers

And this is how I see practicing Tango; as an opportunity. An opportunity to create freedom in my dances but also to create healthier movement habits overall.

And so if you want to take things further yourselves, this work is based on the findings and the teachings of Frey Faust the founder of Axis syllabus (http://www.axissyllabus.org)

Enjoy,

Chrisa

P.S: You want more practices like this one? Well then, you can visit: https://bautanz.com/argentine-tango-technique/ and you can subscribe to get a new video every Wednesday! ūüėČ

Proper Alignment and Improper Alignment

It all started from this short video on Improper Alignment:

Ido Portal, the importance of improper alignment

As Ido Portal says in the video, “improper alignment is a certainty not a possibility.”
Practising therefore for those moments of improper alignment is crucial for our progress but also for our understanding of our body.

Managing the weight transfer

As you can tell from the video when I first introduced this exercise, it was the first step towards better alignment.

Here though I want to invite you to change your focus…instead of looking for the perfect communication path between the different parts of the body, focus on feeling every little tiny bit of your foot; even to the expense of that communication.

For example, see how far out you can take your heels out before you drop to the floor. Notice how that improper alignment makes you feel.¬†Or the reverse how far in you can bring your heels…and again notice how that makes you feel.

Don’t try to fix it!¬†
Only exaggerate as much as possible without, of course, causing harm to yourselves, and notice, make mental notes of the experience.

A yummy practice for our feet

In this video, we are exploring the limits of our base of our feet. We are creating and playing with improper alignment.

Because if you don’t know where the edge is, what improper alignment feels like. How will you find the centre, a safe place where you can just be without any tension or uncertainty?

And as Ido Portal¬†says there is no proper alignment, but proper preparation… for misalignment.
We can get off balance any second of the day… lets prepare for THAT!

Feet: Alignment and Misalignment

This third video explores transitioning; changing our level, shifting our weight, and moving in space.
Personally, I don’t believe that standing on one leg or doing calf raises endlessly will make your steps steadier, smoother or more powerful and secure.
Becoming aware of the how your feet manage the transition from the right to the left and the front to the back, definitely will though.

Does that mean, that you don’t need to ever to do balance drills again..?
NOPE!
haha
It means that you will have to include them in a more holistic practice, one that focuses on the transition and not solely on the drill itself. One that focuses on improper alignment as a certainty. One that explores the edges and the limits as much as the centre

From Flats to Heels–Exercises for Happy Feet

happy feet
Cuba, Varadero

We have been talking about heels and ochos and practicing…at all but coming back from this I am tanned, energized, and sooo ready to fly back! haha
I loved Cuba! I guess it is rather obvious when you check my recent Instagram posts…

Salsa party in Cuba  and the Havana and The real people of Cuba
And guess what I have more…haha
But what I realized while I was there, was how my walk was different walking on sandy beach.

Yes that was usually before the mojitos..!

Happy Feet can be happy in heels

What happens when we walk on a rather unstable surface, like a sandy beach?
Our feet adjust and almost reform to hug around the surface. On the sand specifically, if you don’t run or wear flip-flops of course, you will notice your whole foot attempts to hug the sand, from the outside edge to the baby toe and towards the big toe. The ball of the foot active but not straining and all toes spreading.

https://www.playea.es/7-estrategias-infalibles-para-enfrentarse-al-cooono-como-quema-la-arena/

Aka…Happy Feet!
Walking on the sand therefore not only made my feet happy at that moment but it made me rethink my walk in general, as this is a more efficient way of walking.

I send my mind consciously to my feet, examining not only the shape of them on the sand but also the way my walk had adjusted.
Coming back to Toronto I just couldn’t wait to apply the details of that experience to my tango in heels…

And YES! Happy feet can be happy in heels too!

So next time you are on a sandy beach walk on it with a conscious mind, preferably before any mojito consumption, and you will start to notice that your feeling of relaxation is not coming only by the fact that you are in an amazing warm place or not having to go to work, but also from your feet being happy again.

How can all this be applied to prepare us for our Tango heels

If you can’t be on beach right now you can instead do this: From flats to heels video

Going up to a “releve” as ballet dancers call it, will not only strengthen your legs but it will also make you aware how the weight when transferred forward changes the form of your foot.

As you will in the video, there are two common mistakes that can really throw you off balance and cause strain in your body. Work against but at the same time, feel that every time you are lifting your heels off the floor, the ball of your foot in massaging the floor instead of pressing into it. Like you would do on a sandy beach.
If you have no sandy beach experience, cute kitten paws can do the job:

happy feet in heels
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/210050770092350474/

Have fun you all!

Chrisa

P.S: See the two previous videos and tips here: Tango heels… Own them don’t just wear them and Intelligent tango–5min practice on rotation (ocho focused)