Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wednesday night high

Milonga last night, and it was heavenly. I was dancing. Really dancing, again. Which was fantastic. Had a great time and had some wonderful dances where I really felt like I was a partner, not just someone keeping up. Yea!

Got there a little early, and as I was settling at the table, looking for S who arrived separately, O came up to say hello. He is one of my favorite leaders, and I always look forward to dancing with him. He dances in a very tight, subtle and milongeuro (small steps) way, which used to take me a moment or two to adjust to, now I know just how to settle into his dance. So we chatted while I took off my scarf, hid my purse under the table, then before they even dimmed the lights, he led me onto the floor for two tandas. Really lovely, and I felt like I was just flowing along with him. I could not wait for S to get there and to dance with him, knowing that I was moving well. Well, S had arrived at some point while I was dancing and when I went back to the table after dancing with O, I got the lovely compliment from S that I was looking good on the dance floor. Getting a compliment from S is like winning the Nobel Peace Prize, it is handed out rarely, but with real intent and honesty. Yea me!

So I danced with S, and then continued dancing with other favorite leaders. It was a good night, I moved well, I focused on keeping my steps grounded, having the right amount of feedback through my right hand, and keeping my posture proper and upright. And everything seemed to be working. This is a high I could get very used to. :-)

In other realms, my feet are starting to give me problems, well, my toes actually. I am building up some good callouses on the balls of my feet, which is great. Being a former dancer I know how important callouses are to cutting down on blisters and helping your feet "toughen" to the dance. But my toes are hurting! The bones that is, are hurting. And I can not figure out how. I have started soaking my feet in epsom salts at night, which helps a little and certainly feels really good, but can anyone offer some advice on this? Do I need those metatarsil pads in my shoes? Am I possibly stepping incorrectly and therefore causing stress to my tootsies? I want to nip this in the beginning and not have problematic pains from dancing.

Of course, while I am dancing, I feel nothing, it is not until I change my shoes and leave the milonga/practica/workshop that my pain receptors perk up....


Caroline said...

yay! tango highs is the best high ever.

Weird about the toes - are you unconsciously gripping the floor with them when you back or side step? Or maybe scrunching them up in fear of being stepped upon?

Debbi said...

Hi Caroline!

I am pretty sure I am not scrunching them for fear of being stepped on, mostly because when I do get stepped on, my toes are the first to let me know! I might be gripping the floor with them at some point, I had not thought of that, will have to pay more attention to what my toes are doing (along with my feet, ankles, hips, arms, hands.... you know, whole body scan while I dance with musicality!)

Anonymous said...


About 5 years ago the joint of my big toes began to hurt. Over time I could no longer get my foot into my tango shoes. I thought that possibly I had a stress fracture so I went to see my doctor.

The joint had begun to collapse. I was told I had arthritis and this was just part of getting older.

I didn't like that answer. I went to a podiatrist. After seeing 3 doctors and getting a consensus on my options from two of them, I elected to have foot surgery.

The results were so good with one foot, I had the same surgery on the other foot the following year.

If I had waited longer, the damage would have been worse.

I wouldn't presume to diagnose your problem from a blog entry but I would suggest that if it gets worse, go see a prfessional.

p.s. I'm wearing my tango shoes again :-)


JonD said...

Hi Caroline,

These are a couple of things Julie does to ease sore feet.

Firstly, get an old tennis ball and use it to massage the sole of your feet; put the ball on the floor, put your foot on top of it and roll the ball around. When you've done that for a bit, position the ball under the base of your toes and gently press it into the floor - that'll spread your toes out a bit (and probably have you groaning at the same time). An old tennis ball is softer and so less painful than a new one!

When you've done that give your feet a good massage with [URL=""]Courtin Ice Gel[/URL], it contains tea-tree oil so smells a bit but about 5 minutes after the massage you'll get the most delicious tingling feeling in your feet. Better still, the next morning your feet feel revived.

Of course, being a man, I get to wear sensible sorts of shoes so I don't suffer too badly. Nonetheless, after dancing tons I do the above and it makes a huge difference. Julie has been dancing, and so wearing stupid but beautiful shoes, most of her life and suffers terribly with her feet. But she won't give up her Darcos, Comme Il Faut and NeoTango creations

Thanks for the blog. Have fun!


Debbi said...

Thanks Jon! (I'm sure Caroline thanks you too)
Those are some good suggestions. I actually used to do the tennis ball massage when I danced Contact Improv and we had to dance barefoot, I had forgotten about that, I'm going to dig out some old tennis balls from the closet!

JonD said...

Sorry Debbi - it's senility!