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Modern Dance - General
Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look.... (karma: 6)
By VeniciaDansaPremium member Comments: 1698, member since Thu Nov 18, 2004
On Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:57 PM
Made sticky by VeniciaDansa (113563) on 2007-03-08 00:01:24
Edited by VeniciaDansa (113563) on 2007-03-08 00:02:48 edit

Time for a sticky:

Time and time again, people ask the SAME questions about foot wear, callouses, blisters... etc. So, hopefully we can remedy that by posting in a sticky and keeping the FOOT INFO at the top of the page.

I took the liberty of quoting some of your fabulous comments already- I skipped the questions though.

panic: You have to ask. Sometimes you can wear jazz shoes, sometimes dance paws, sometimes nothing. It depends on what your teacher wants. Honestly, I usually look at the people with dance paws and think "oh, that ballerina decided to take a modern class." I just think it's funny that some people are willing to mangle their feet with pointe shoes, but doing a barefoot pirouette is just too much to ask. Anyway, just ask - it depends on the class.


dreamdancer7: I'd say Dance Paws or FootUndeez. They are nude so they would match the color of your skin and are virtually invisible onstage.


bubbleballet14: I'd recommend FootUndeez, because they are nude and they aren't TOO much.


balletgrlforever: Usually you wear no shoes in modern. Sometimes people wear lyrical shoes or foot undies/foot thongs for modern, but usually for lyrical.


Tashi: We either wear modern slippers (or booties or whatever you want to call them) or hard boots, or barefoot. Depends on what we are doing.


nodoubt_dancer: What about shoes like these? Discount Dance has them under modern dance and they look interesting...
Image hotlink - 'http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c306/nodoubt_zerep/DDN%20Album/h06.jpg'


andhearts: athletic tape is great for the balls of your feet. or you could do band-aids and then athletic tape over that, and baby powder is great too.


NOTE* please DO NOT use baby powder- powders contain oils believe it or not and make the floor insanely slippery. It also marks costumes and shoes. If you need more slip, wet your feet slightly... or allow them to sweat more- meaning, Drink WATER... stay hydrated.
Also, the more you build a callous up- the more you 'slip' on the floor. If you need that protection, work on your feet.

tribedance; i would suggest taping your big toes with the white color athletic tape. this works great as band aids easily come off. you may have to wrap the tape around more of your foot too so it doesn't come off. you are not the only one who gets these especially if you dance on Marley or if the floors were recently cleaned...good luck!


And now for some of my thoughts:
Personally I do not recommend shoes- no matter what dance floor you are on, provided it is clean. You shouldn't ever be dancing on concrete so there should be no need to worry about that.

Bare feet are your best approach to modern dance.

Footundeze and toepads or whatever they are called are expensive and not necessary. This is only my humble and professional opinion, but dancing barefoot for 25 years will do that to you. I don't believe they are necessary. I believe that you can build up great feet without depending on extra accessories.

Shoes are worn when teachers or directors design them into the work. I have performed in stilettos, pointe shoes, runners, army boots, "baby spice" boots, soft shoes, character shoes, lace boots, military issue nurse's shoes, socks and a 5" prosthetic high heel glued to one foot. Footwear is generally costume design or prop use and left to the discretion of the creator. I recommend you rehearse in your performance shoes from the get go- so that you don't get thrown right before the show with a new lift or footing.

Callouses take time, and you need to be patient. DO not cut them off, do not file them down... do not soften them too much- but hot baths are good for moisturizing your skin- especially with epsom salts.

Blisters happen, don't pick them, pop the ones on the bottoms of your feet by threading a needle and "sewing" the tread loosely through your blister, as close to the edge as possible. Do this at night, cut the needle off- and sleep with the thread in your blister, the thread will drain the fluid out and help with avoiding infection.
If your blister rips, cut away the skin that 'hangs' and cover the open skin with a clean, broad and breath-able band aid. DO not seal the wound, it needs to breathe so that the new skin can harden. Sleep with it uncovered, avoid walking barefoot in public places.

Always keep your feet clean- and be very careful about your floor. I know many dancers who have ended up with blood poisoning from a small cut or sliver. Again, do not pick at foreign objects in your feet- do not make any wound bigger than it already is. If you get a sliver or piece of glass embedded in your foot, soak it in warm salt or Epsom salt water. You need to draw out the object, not pick it out.
If you cannot get it to draw out on its own, go to your doctor... but be prepared to not dance or put weight on your foot for a while, you don't want to open a wound every time you step on your foot.

Keep your toenails neatly trimmed and fungus free, if you get a fungus, treat it as soon as possible- you don't want to give it to everyone in your studio.

If your feet are very swollen or sore, you can try an old trick I used at the ballet- I have written this before, and I am totally serious.
First- clean your toilet VERY well. Fill your tub with HOT bath water, preferably with salts.
Place your foot in the tub water for about 3 minutes to 5 minutes. Then, place your foot in the toilet bowl and flush... the cold water circling down around your foot will draw out swelling and ease cramping. It also gets great blood flow to your foot. Go back and forth from bath to toilet for about a half hour to 45 minutes... your feet will LOVE you.
DO NOT put your foot all the way into the toilet- below the edge.... it can get stuck....

Always wear flip flops or a covering in a public shower- athlete's foot will dry your feet out and cause the skin to flake and fall off- sometimes painfully as it may tear away fresh skin too.

I don't know if I have forgotten anything here- but feel free to add as we go- and hopefully we won't see the repeated posts over and over again.
Your feet are your career, you need to take care of them...

Cheers and Take care of the tootsies!

57 Replies to Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....

re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By panicmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11592, member since Thu Dec 16, 2004
On Thu Mar 08, 2007 02:48 AM
Oh finally! Thanks VD. This was long overdue.

But I don't care how bad my feet hurt, I don't think I can bring myself to stick them in the toilet. :)
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look.... (karma: 4)
By pharmadancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3459, member since Tue Mar 16, 2004
On Thu Mar 08, 2007 07:46 AM
Edited by pharmadancer (87219) on 2007-03-08 07:48:05
Edited by pharmadancer (87219) on 2007-03-08 07:51:24
Great post, Venicia.

Now, since you mentioned fungus, I thought I'd go into more detail about foot diseases. Since most modern dance classes encourage bare feet, you must take proper care of your feet. Not only will this help you, but it will prevent the spread of foot infections to other dancers.

Fungus

Also known as athletes foot - usually presents as itching, redness, scaly skin. It's caused by a fungus that can grow on skin - it prefers dark, warm, moist places. Athletes foot is not very contagious, but proper foot care is necessary.

Treatment: See a doctor. Treatment for athletes foot will include an anti-fungal cream (or spray) which should be applied liberally and faithfully. It should be applied on the foot until the symptoms disappear, and then continued application for at least another week to make sure there is no reoccurance.

Prevention: Clean your feet well after dancing (any type of sweating exercise). Keep your feet dry and dry out your footwear thoroughly. Wear cotton socks which will allow air flow and change them daily. Going barefoot at night can help dry your feet.

Source


Plantars Warts

Plantar warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), the same virus that causes other types of warts (including genital warts). The type of HPV that is responsible for plantar warts causes a small lesion on the sole of the foot. In contrast to a skin wart (a raised, blister-like appearance), the plantar wart looks like a small hole in the sole of the foot, surrounded by dry, cracking skin. The warts can quickly spread on the foot of an infected person, and to others who walk on the same floor - particularly dangerous in a dance setting.

Treatment: Once you get a plantar wart, quick treatment is key in order to prevent spread of the wart. First line of defense includes over the counter medications (salicylic acid - Duofilm, Compound W, etc...). With proper and efficient use of these drugs, the wart can be removed. Second line of defense includes cryosurgery - where liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart in order to "burn" off the affected skin. If all else fails, surgery is performed to excise the affected area and remove the virus-infected skin.

Prevention: Good foot hygiene is key - clean your feet after walking barefoot in a public area (ie - dance class) and allow them to dry thoroughly. Avoid walking barefoot in public areas as much as possible. Do not allow contact with warts on other parts of your body.

Source

Remember - your feet are the two things that carry you throughout the day. Be good to them, and they will be good to you!
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By VeniciaDansaPremium member Comments: 1698, member since Thu Nov 18, 2004
On Thu Mar 08, 2007 05:03 PM
So- lets make this easy...

Ask your questions here, like:

What kind of shoes do you wear?
Which is better bare foot, dance paws or socks?
How do I care for my split?

Etc... lets not flood the board with the same questions - and answers- over and over again...

Thanks
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By dancetilyadropx3member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 560, member since Sat Apr 22, 2006
On Sun Mar 11, 2007 05:57 PM
Hmm the foot in toliet thing is interesting, not sure i would ever try it though ?
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By pharmadancermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3459, member since Tue Mar 16, 2004
On Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:57 AM
Instead of using the toilet, you could always use a bucket full of cold water (stick a couple of ice cubes in there)...

I think the trick of VD's "method" is that the alternation between hot salts and cold water will help ease inflammation of your feet. The hot salts will soothe sore feet, and the cold water will prevent swelling and inflammation.

Plus, depending on how your bathroom is set up, you might want to sit on your toilet when soaking your foot (that's what I do!)! ;)
friend
By im4dance Comments: 0, member since Wed Feb 28, 2007
On Wed Mar 14, 2007 01:31 AM
Removed by pharmadancer (87219) on 2007-03-14 08:27:38 netspeak is not allowed on DDN - please spell out all words fully
hi
ur stuff was really fantastic. i am new to dance.net . will u be my new fiend. i will be very happy if u agree and accept my friendship. i am a great lover of dance n performance
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By balletchick211 Comments: 21, member since Sat Apr 07, 2007
On Fri Apr 13, 2007 04:00 PM
thanx so much for the info! i will definetly use it in the future!
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By dancer4ever247 Comments: -1, member since Mon Apr 23, 2007
On Mon Apr 23, 2007 03:19 PM
That was a very big help to me!
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By dancer4ever247 Comments: -1, member since Mon Apr 23, 2007
On Mon Apr 23, 2007 03:19 PM
Removed by VeniciaDansa (113563) on 2007-04-24 21:36:53 double post
That was a very big help to me!
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By lEANERS Comments: 36, member since Sat Apr 21, 2007
On Thu May 17, 2007 07:03 PM
my modern class dances barefoot. but i guess some people use dance paws/dance thongs whatever you wanna call it

great post!
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By BunlessinSeattle Comments: 965, member since Mon Dec 12, 2005
On Fri May 18, 2007 11:40 AM
Word to the wise (after a recent incident)

Even if your intentions are to always go barefoot, be prepared when situations are extremely less than ideal. Like a performance space where the wood stage with black floor paint is splintered, or what looks like a beautiful wood floor that is actually pulling away from itself with little ridges everywhere that are splintering. Bring some ballet slippers, just in case. It's better to protect your body sometimes.
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By LuthienPremium member Comments: 3670, member since Tue May 30, 2006
On Sun May 20, 2007 06:08 AM
Is it possible to toughen or harden callous?

Basically, I have callous on my hands and my feet - it's hereditary. So, one would think that I could do a pirouette barefoot, but I can't. The callous isn't...hard, I guess would be the best way to describe. It's more of a 'soft' callous. Anyway, I just can't turn barefoot. Is there anything I can do to toughen up my callous so I can turn? Do I just need to do a lot of pirouettes?

Thanks!

~Luthien
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By VeniciaDansaPremium member Comments: 1698, member since Thu Nov 18, 2004
On Tue May 29, 2007 10:05 AM
Replies to your question:

re: Toughing or hardening callous?
By DaNcEr1504 Comments: 16, member since Thu Jan 26, 2006
On Tue May 22, 2007 07:17 PM

MY feet are very calloused just from pure dancing and wearing dancepaws and all my other shoes bare footed. If your feet are already calloused, you probaby just need to keep at it and keep at it to make them a STRONG callous. After wearing dancepaws, my feet got sort of nasty because I sweated in them, now I can turn barefooted most of the time. I wouldnt pamper your feet too much but it does help to use a pomise stone and scrub off the dead skin, then go do pirouettes and dance barefooted and it will get used to toughing up. Hope that helped! :)

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re: Toughing or hardening callous?
By Dance__Diva Comments: 632, member since Sun Jan 08, 2006
On Tue May 22, 2007 07:29 PM

I recommend just dancing barefoot, especially turns. To prepare for a previous performance where we did turns barefoot I just stopped using my Dance Paws, and that helped a lot. It might be difficult at first, but eventually your feet will harden. Perhaps walking outside on something like rough cement would toughen them up?

Also, I beleive there is something to use on your feet to build callouses, I think it was mentioned in the ballet boards. But I wouldn't worry about that, if you dance barefoot regularly that should do it. :) Good luck!

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re: Toughing or hardening callous?
By glitterfairyPremium member Comments: 7886, member since Wed Oct 02, 2002
On Wed May 23, 2007 03:50 AM

things like methylated spirits can dry out the skin, making it 'tougher'. It's a bit of an extreme tactic in my opinion though...!

Dancing barefoot as much as you can is the sure-fire way to build up tough callous :)

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re: Toughing or hardening callous?
By Tamarin Comments: 663, member since Tue Nov 09, 2004
On Wed May 23, 2007 09:33 AM

Also bear in mind that turning barefoot is not the same as turning when wearing a dance shoe. Ask your teacher to have a look at your turns to make sure that your action is correct.
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By andhearts Comments: 64, member since Mon Jul 31, 2006
On Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:28 PM
feet in the toilet...haha but hey that sounds like a great idea and i'll definantly try it sometime.
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By pointe92member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 807, member since Fri May 25, 2007
On Sat Jun 02, 2007 06:41 PM
I wear foot undies they are inexpensive , comfortable , and work well for my feet
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By meagz21 Comments: 78, member since Sun Jun 17, 2007
On Sun Jun 17, 2007 09:13 PM
well this year for a small group modern routine that we competed with we wore black jazz shoes(it was called dark and we were supposed to have just come from hell lol) and at one competition this one adjudicator butchered us by telling us that jazz shoes shouldnt be worn and docked marks just because of that! now thats just ridiculus i think.. the next competition we decided to go barefoot and that just screwed us up because we were used to using jazz shoes for it..has this ever happened to anyone else?
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By from_lornasmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1973, member since Sun Feb 29, 2004
On Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:03 PM
My feet seem to be very prone to injury, I get stress fractures even when I'm wearing proper footwear. So I'm hesitant to dance in bare feet because landing from all the jumps (even if I work through my feet -I get stress fractures in the ball of my foot), it puts a lot of stress on my feet. So I was planning on getting padded dance paws which have extra protection.

Is this a good idea, or is it unnecessary?
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By PinUpGirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 25878, member since Tue Jul 16, 2002
On Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:45 PM
^You should probably consult with your doctor on that one. Perhaps you aren't giving yourself enough time to heal from the injury and thus making it worse. I'd definitely talk to an orthopaedist or sports medicine doctor about those issues.

As for me, I had a hardcore teacher and we weren't allowed to wear anything on our feet. I found after the first few months, I could turn easily barefoot. It just takes practice. I don't know what my teacher will be like this year, but I'll probably just go au naturale like I always have.

I also walk around barefoot 90% of the time, so my feet are pretty tough to begin with.
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By VIVID Comments: 3, member since Mon Aug 13, 2007
On Mon Aug 13, 2007 07:01 PM
I agree with your view/thoughts on dancing barefooted.
Thanks for the advice on 'footcare'.One of my male dancers frequently damages the 'ball' of his foot;I will definitely share this remedy with him.


VIVID.
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By Pied_Piper Comments: 103, member since Sun Mar 27, 2005
On Tue Aug 14, 2007 07:58 PM
Amazing! Thanks so much for posting - it's great to finally have official information on footcare for Modern :)
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By danseur21 Comments: 5, member since Sat Sep 08, 2007
On Sat Sep 15, 2007 06:15 PM
My modern teacher has us do alot of lunges that lead into a crunched up position. Anyways we have to slide the top of our foot, area right over the arch, on the floor as we do it. Is there anything that can be done so the top of my foot dosen't feel like an indian rug burn for a day?
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By bethi Comments: 33, member since Thu Sep 27, 2007
On Fri Oct 05, 2007 01:31 PM
yikes, I have things that look like plantar warts on my feet except for the fact that they arent surrounded by dry skin.
I don't know if I should be worried or not?
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By ballerina_1490member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 184, member since Fri Feb 25, 2005
On Sat Oct 13, 2007 05:29 PM
another way to help toughen up your feet is to walk on cement barefoot... it helps me and my modern company. some of the girls can even do pirouettes outside in the parkinglot! lol
re: Foot wear and foot care for Modern Dance- the FIRST place to look....
By dancinbubblesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 126, member since Tue Apr 03, 2007
On Tue Oct 16, 2007 12:36 PM
i have danced outside on concrete barefoot to help toughen my feet.

as for the blister thing, with the string, i used it last night and it worked so well! Thanks so much for that VeniciaDansa!
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