Step 6: … in heels!
Mimi says, “Balance is especially important for the follows because you’re wearing those super tall heels!”
I’ve always had feet problems. When I was 22, I actually had foot surgery and was laid up for 4 weeks. Navigating the “El” train in Chicago every day on crutches was a lesson in composure. My friend Jeremy actually made me a mix tape (yes, that would be cassette), titled Feets Problems. I gave up rollerblading because my feet couldn’t take it.
So now I tango. In heels. 5-8 hours a week. Ha! Ironically, my tootsies are loving it!
Well, perhaps “love” is an exaggeration. What I’ve found is that my feet and legs, even my stomach muscles are much stronger. My balance is much better.
My friend, Devon says that maintaining one’s balance is the most important life skill. Imagine if we always acted from that place of perfect balance; if we made every choice, uttered every word, took every step from that feeling of deep composure and surety.
I’m finding that balance is learned, through practice. And I’m finding through dance that balance as a life skill can be learned by practicing balance as a physical skill. 5-8 hours a week on heels is not only strengthening my feet and my legs and my stomach, but it’s strengthening my intuition. Now, I can tell when I feel off balance mentally or emotionally. It’s a feeling not unlike when I’m teetering precariously on those heels, having forgotten to “grind my feet into the floor,” as Mimi constantly reminds us.
I can feel it when I allow myself to be pulled off-center by an incident with my children or a friend or a colleague. Now, I self-correct much more quickly, asking myself, “What am I trading for balance here?”