Dancing Feet

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Dancing Feet

Written by a Novice/Pre-amateur competitive dancer for 5 months between 1996 - Apr 97.....

"Oh-oh, I'm having the tired feeling in my feet again, I don't think I can go another round on the dance floor. I really have to rest, I can't dance anymore!!!" and promptly collapsed onto the dance floor, pulling my partner along too. Does this sound familiar to anyone out there? Many a times my feet played me out as they got tired before any other parts of my anatomy, even when compared to my poor swan neck which a lady has to stick out when dancing most of the time!

 

First Pair of Social Dancing Shoes

When I was a social dancer, I used to wear street shoes with 2.5" heels and danced for 4 hours at a stretch 3 to 4 times a week without feeling any strain in my feet. I bought my first pair of locally made dancing shoes costing S$35 in patent black leather but was ridiculed by my Mother (who is still dancing) for not aiming for 3" ones (she's used to wearing 3-4" heels) !

Frankly, I was eyeing the 3" heels but felt I could not move as energetically as a 2.5" and therefore, stuck to the lower heels which lasted me 2 years. My 3rd pair of shoes was a Supadance latin open toe satin costing S$135 which I was coerced into buying by my partner, Robin (now's my husband) as he felt that I was not able to balance well on the cheap locally made pair with toe portion curving upwards like Alibaba's shoes.

I still remember the first time (about 1.5 years ago) when I felt some pain at the ball of one of my feet and Robin decided to get me 3 pairs of Supadance Modern leather 2" shoes (my 4th-6th pair and at my insistence, 2" heels) for our Modern classes, thinking that the pain was due to the latin shoes not suitable for Modern dances. What a difference between these truly made for dancing v.s that local Alibaba pair. But under the grilling of our instructors, I developed pains again and Robin was so worried sick that he went to the pharmacies and bought me 3 different kinds of shoe paddings!

I'm to try each of them and see which will work wonder. Glad to say, most of them worked and I was free of pain for slightly more than a year before it returns in full force this time, even with double paddings. Toe-heel movements simply give me pains and aches.


Trial & Error Dancing Shoes

My 1st-3rd pairs of shoes were retired long time ago. My 4th pair was gold leather round toe slim heel which I'm using as competition cum practice shoes presently, 5th pair was silver leather sharp toe slim heel which was my favorite and used entirely as practice shoes (now formally retired after reaching 1 year old) and the 6th pair was satin sharp toe slim heel and is still utilized as competition shoes. My 7th pair which is a black round toe 1.5" cuban heel practice shoes which I'm currently wearing most of the time.

Lastly, my 8th pair was won from a competition which was a latin black satin 2.5" slim heel which I only wear for competitions. Out of all these shoes, the most comfortable was my 5th pair with single layer of separate paddings from Scholl. You see, I've bony feet (being extremely skinny), broad ball area (scientific name is metatarsals) and long toes. Being a new competitive dancer, I do not know which type of shoes fit me and have to try different kinds and stick to the ones which I'll eventually feel comfortable.

The round toe shoes are not suitable for my feet type as they tend to squeeze/dwarf my toes. Those made of satin are also not comfortable as I don't have any flesh to buffer the sharp scrapes at the heels. My toes tend to stick out of the open toe shoes, cuban heels don't look nice for competitions (no silhouette) but because it's only 1.5" high, it gave temporary relief to my tired feet.

Cause of Pain

Have anyone heard of Morton's Neuroma? For those of you that don't have and/or don't know what Morton's Neuroma is, you’re fortunate. It is a pinched/swollen nerve in the foot usually between the 3rd and 4th toe. It is most often found in women (90% of the cases) who wear high heels. It manifests itself as a 'cramped toe' or 'burning sensation'. Some dancers resort to either traditional cure like propping up their feet after a dance, sticking cotton balls in-between the toes, rubbing medicated oilment all over and having their dance partner giving them foot messages.

Some others go to consultants for postural correction without any need for surgical invasion. A good Chiropractor might do wonders in re-aligning the subluxated metatarsals into their exact proper location in their ankles with good results. Still others resort to surgery like Endoscopic Decompression of the Intermetatarsal Nerve (EDIN) which is a much less invasive procedure performed by a Podiatrist.

Choice & Suggestion

Whatever treatment it is, I hope that my pain will go away without ever recurring again. I would rather go for the traditional cures as anything which is natural will last longer than a re-constructed one. Maybe when I'm 50 years or above with no other choice then will I consider the drastic methods. Any body out there has better remedies?

 

This article was published on Tuesday 01 April, 1997.
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