General Dance Discussion > Dancers and ugly feet

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, May 16, 2004.

  1. Sammi70

    Sammi70 New Member

    First Happy new year to all...

    I know its an old topic but I want to share my experience with my feet and dancing. I did a lot of ballet for many years and it did some damage to my feet (especially toes). And theyre still changing...

    This is how my feet looked some years ago....
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    and now theyre looking like that :
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    Well, ballet can be bad for your feet.
     

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  2. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I am just amazed that no one has invented a truly comfortable, yet functional dance shoe. A well fitting shoe with plenty of padding at the ball of the foot, good arch support, straps that don't blister the skin, wide toe box etc, etc.
     
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    they have.....MEN are wearing them...but it is more important that we look sexy than comfortable...it's a man's world...and it bites
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
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  4. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I catch so much crap for wearing low heel dance shoes all the time. I have short, fat feet, so I have to wear childrens' sizes so that my heels don't slide around and my toes don't splay off the edge of the shoe (which they do anyway). The kind of teaching and dancing I do doesn't require catalog-perfect lines, but it's necessary that I be balanced and comfortable on crappy surfaces.

    Elegance DID make great shoes, but any of the distributors I knew of where I could try them on and hold them in my hand have dried up and quit, and the website I found for them refuses to load on my computer or my phone. If anybody has any low heel Elegance 5.5s they want to part with, let me know.
     
  5. Entangoment

    Entangoment New Member

    When was the law passed that mandates ( no pun intended) that women must wear shoes that destroy their feet?
     
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  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no law...but virtually no competitive lady is going to wear a practice shoe or an extremely low one unless she has an injury....particularly not a high level dancer..so the wear on the feet is almost unavoidable for women who have those aspirations, imv
     
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  7. Entangoment

    Entangoment New Member

    So women voluntarily wear shoes that are bad for them?
     
  8. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am not going to pick nits on this....that would not be the way I would frame it....I would say that part of the required costume for a certain level of female dancer is a shoe that, after a prolonged period of time, can cause damage to her feet...while, at lower levels, non-compliance might be over-looked, I would find it exceedingly difficult to believe that a top level lady could wear a low heel and not have it have some negative consequence to her evaluation by the judges....

    just as, if some high level standard gentleman chose not to wear tails to Blackpool because he finds them too hot and they endanger him in terms of over-heating, he doesn't HAVE to wear them (at least not that I know of)...but there would probably be an unfavorable consequencefor not doing so
     
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  9. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    There is a look you need if you want to win. My pro hates his tailsuit (especially what amounts to a choke collar) but if he's doing Standard, he wears it. Unless a lady has inhumanly-good legs in low heels and can somehow achieve a full point and action with their heel only an inch or less off the ground (I end up dancing on the balls of my feet even when I'm barefoot) it would be very hard to achieve the desired optimal line. It's like in skating--the rulebook says for a spiral (think Michelle Kwan's signature move where she'd glide on one foot with the other leg raised to the ceiling behind her like a ballet arabesque) only that your free leg must be above the level of your hip. If you're testing Pre-Pre Moves, or competing as an Adult Silver, that's good enough. If you're competing in open senior, no matter how hard it is or how naturally non-flexible you might be, you better either get your leg higher or find a spiral position that works better for you because the place they set the bar is that extreme. The ideal extreme for ladies' legs and feet in dance basically requires an elevated heel.
     
  10. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Early on, I had decisions to make in dancing. Did I sacrifice things that made me happy and pain free to gain the approval of people I don't even know by winning trophies and spending a lot of money on my appearance to do so, or did I improve my dancing and enjoy what I was doing by going about it my own way? I picked the latter. The former's great, but it's not for everyone. There will always be those who think that putting on a costume and a lot of makeup instantly makes them better dancers, but that doesn't automatically make them judgmental about other people's footwear any more than people who don't wear high heels or compete are bad dancers. Even I agree- if you want to be a successful ballroom dance competitor, you have to meet the standards set forth by your peers, and looking the part is often more important than dancing the part. Everybody has their own competitive edge they use to get ahead- some it's talent, some it's appearance, some master both, and for some people, that's their thing, just as much as ugly shoes, eating food I like, and taking as long as I want to work on a particular figure or amalgamation is my thing. Neither's wrong, just be happy doing it, and you won't have to worry about how happy or not someone else is doing their thing. Also, I do believe males make adjustments that aren't necessarily good for them quite often to appease whatever person or people from whom they're seeking approval. They do it for their significant others, fathers, bosses, and so forth. Mass of men, quiet desperation, and all that.
     
  11. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    My feet are trashed from years of ballet, heels and genetics. I had surgery on one foot and the other is probably in my future. I learned how to tape my feet and I have cast made orthotics. I have to "spend" my time in heels very wisely because I know I have limited mileage left. So I take some lessons, do some practices in 1/2" jazz flats or spongy shoes for jive. I wear 2" and 2.5" heels for some practices and lesson and comps, and have a brand new pair of 3" heels for the photo if I ever win a big comp (wishful thinking) or I wake up someday and my feet are suddenly better. Delusion dies hard. A hallux fusion is probably in my future. So, in a few years, if you ever see a lady of a certain age doing an open latin comp with flat, rocker, orthopaedic stoned shoes, that will be me. I hope they will will cut me some slack in my age category. Or maybe I can do a showcase and convince the light guy to follow me with a spot from the ankles up. I figure it is better to dance in flat shoes than not at all. And I am in it for the long haul.
     
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  12. Cal

    Cal Well-Known Member

    I realize that this is an unlikey scenario, but it would be an interesting test: take high heels out of the equation and get ALL the women in a heat to agree to wear low-heel practice shoes, and see how the marks come out from the judges. I'd agree to be one of the participants.
     
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  13. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    I'd love to see that happen, but this reminds me of the move "Stick It", which was terrible, but made a valid point: Stick together, changes get made. Women have a tendency sometimes (yes, generalization, but tell me you've NEVER experienced it) to throw each other under the bus for their own gain. If we could overcome that, I think a lot of changes could be made in our favor. I would do whatever I could to participate in a movement like that.
     
  14. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    When I watch the latin pros, it seems their heels are getting higher...3 or 3 1/2 inches from the appearance in the video. Meanwhile the men wear flat latin shoes... Sigh...

    It's not just the heel height though. It's also lack of sufficient padding and foot support....in order to show good foot articulation you have to wear a flexible sole .... And it's also the whole 'shoes must fit snug to tight' which over time does horrible things to your toes.
     
  15. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    It may not be a coincidence that there are high level men/women pairs that dance for years and when they retire, the men sometimes go on to dance Pro-am. What happens to all those beautiful, competent women and does it have something to do with the heels that can trash their back as well as their feet? Same in ballet. Classes are comprised of 99% women, but the older teachers are very often, men.
     
  16. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I know a lot of female dancers who had to have foot surgery. I know of no men who have had to.
     
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  17. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    We let it happen. We've let it get this far. Other generations would have balked and said "Uh, excuse me?" And they got results.
     
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Or there just isn't a market for older female teachers. In pro-am, the major market is female customers. Or they opt out (my pro teaches much more often than his wife and I'm guessing the four kids, one a toddler, have something to do with that). And frankly the shoes don't bother me especially. (Well, court shoes do. There's no flex.) All sports are going to injure you and shorten your working life in them--pro and I joke that between the two of us we've got enough parts for one functional human skeleton. His is dancing, mine is mostly crashing off horses (in riding, getting hurt's a given if you're even quasi-serious about it.) Another pro had to have his knees done when he retired from pro competition. Every male teacher I know has either been very young or has some sort of chronic injury going on. Some pretty severe. (NP was told at one point he ought to forget coming back and should in fact worry about walking.) All three sports I've done seriously, you accept that if you want to be good, the wear and tear is going to come back to bite you sooner or later. That's just how it goes, and if you want to do it, you accept it.
     
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  19. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    no offense...but this sounds a tad jaded, and ill informed...as a person who has spent the last nine years in the competitive world (and harboring no idealism toward it, trust me), I think it is pretty insulting to assume that many or most competitors are primarily about winning trophies and approval of people they don't even know at the expense of their health, nor do I think most of them think that the make-up and clothing makes them a better dancer...that is ridiculous...there may be a few isolated folks or there may be a few who note that if they feel better about how they look, they dance better...that being said, they ARE competitive and they know that, with that, they will have to make some compromises/sacrifices if they wish to look the part...and that they are expected to look the part if they want consideration from those who are judging...and some rebel on particular issues because they have reached a point where they are less attached to the standards...but I don't see many competitors running around dying to have a trophy or the approval of strangers...at least not at open non-franchised comps that are beyond the local crowd...

    though I will concede that there are a certain number of blissfully igorant folks who only do local stuff who focus way more on the peripherals, and afford them far more import than talent...I do NOT see that in the larger competitive population and I don't think that anyone with real experience in those venues would disagree
     
  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I would love that...I have always thought it would be cool to have pro-am students have to wear basic black and do basics alone as part of their judging....
     
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