|My new Foot Gloves|
The problem is a shoe can change my dance, as I find myself using my feet differently as I subconsciously transfer my weight onto the balls of my feet, point my feet more and play with swivels and arabesques. But that's not always the look and style I want to go for, especially when dancing a more earthy style.
I've also been studying Hilal Dance. This is an extremely grounded dance that is much more flat footed and earthy than other contemporary styles. It uses a lot flowing of movement through space, including walks, turns, spins and spirals, and it's very important to have good contact to harness the energy through the floor. However, I've found the training to be a little harsh on my feet and by the second day of an intensive workshop weekend, I've had to tape over the blisters on my feet rather than resort to shoes.
So, I've just invested in a pair of Bloch Soleil Foot Gloves. I chose this kind of shoe because it both respects the shape of the foot and the need to go barefoot, whilst providing protection over the balls of the feet and, as a huge bonus, comes with a a nice big cushion underneath the big toe.
|Bloch Soleil Foot Gloves close up|
So I wore them for the first time in class last weekend and I think they worked quite well. They looked a little tight when I first put them on at first, but were comfortable enough once I got used to them. They also stayed on my feet the whole time, sliding down my feet only a tad, but not enough to cause any real difficulty. They helped to prevent the blisters I get from sticky floors and made the turns smoother and easier. The ease of movement against the floor did change my dancing a little, however, so I had to think a lot harder about my balance and adjust my steps a little to prevent sliding. As this natural floor contact is important, on the second day of workshops I kept my feet bare as long as possible, and only put the shoes on once we started drilling turns.
|Barefoot chic by Bloch|
Oh, and after I bought them I found out that they also come in lots of cool prints, including zebra, leopard, snakeskin, and even a version with a cute little band of henna drawn on! I might need to think up a reason for a second pair...
|Fuzzy pack shot shows the choice of prints|