Another method I use to control my wayward big toe is to strap my foot up so that the big toe joint can’t spread out. I can do this for all my dance classes, it doesn’t interfere with my shoes or the flexing of the foot – but make sure you don’t wrap too tight! I use the self adhesive stretch bandage from Superdrug which is available in blue (as shown), pink and pink and black leopard print!
I have had the beginnings of a bunion on my left foot since I was about 15, which I now believe is hereditary looking at the feet of my mum and grandmother. Dancing regularly in styles such as ballet (not on pointe) and even tap, I am very conscious of not letting the thing get any worse!
Various dancewear websites and shops sell toe separators and bunion guards, and I decided to try Bunheads Bunion Guard (£5.95 Move Dancewear).
Pros: The gel toe separator and guard is very comfortable to wear and does a good job of keeping the big toe better aligned while protecting the protrusion. You get two in a pack!
Cons: A little expensive and can make your shoes too tight, depending on what you’re wearing.
I said a year ago that I was going to challenge myself to do dance classes all the way through 2016, as my ‘Year of Dance’ and yesterday I completed it by attending the last Rhythm class of term. Although I was so knackered and jaded by December busyness that I could only manage level 1 so that I could get home by 8pm for a change!
It was a great class, culminating in performing our Bruno Mars (The Lazy Song) routine all the way through in front of the other half of the class who observed (scary, but good to get used to). It’s funny how you suddenly become self-conscious of people watching and do something silly, like do 3 cramp rolls instead of 4, when you did it right every single time when no-one was watching! While I was kind of sad not to do the Cee-Lo Green Crazy routine one more time, sitting at home with a bowl of chilli con carne while watching Masterchef: The Professionals with my cat was what I needed on this exhausted occasion. It also gave me time to get to Waterloo station without pulling a muscle, and I had time to sit on the floor and stretch when I got home.
Earlier in the class when we were learning some time steps and other exercises, my teacher showed me a timestep that I can’t remember the name of, but after getting the ‘swing-beat’ cemented, she added in the double (extra tap step) and triple version (extra shuffle + tap step). Very cool!! That sentence probably makes no sense, but anyhow, I’ve decided to keep practising that over the Christmas holidays, when I am also going to read my tap books and stay in the zone:
- The Souls of your Feet, Acia Gray
- Tap! The Greatest Tap Dance Stars and their Stories (1900-1955), Rusty E. Frank
I am also waiting for a pair of Bloch Sync Tap shoes to arrive, which I purchased in the Black Friday sale, but had to return and exchange because I didn’t realise that the website I used was showing US sizes! Although I have an amazing pair of Jason Samuels Smiths, I don’t want to use these as my every day learning shoe, if you know what I mean.