Foxtrot Waltz Tango Swing Rumba Cha Cha Salsa Wedding


How to dance so you don't get stepped on.

Q. How can I avoid getting my toes stepped on when I'm dancing.

A. Fear of being stepped on, or of stepping on your partners toes is one of the most common scary thoughts when you first learn to dance. Ladies who are new to dancing are often very excited about getting a new pair of shoes, but are usually far less excited about the idea of open toes anywhere near her partner's feet. At the same time men are often terrified that they are going to step on their partner and embarrass themselves, or worse yet, actually cause real damage!

Luckily, there are some easy steps you can take to make sure that this doesn't happen.

Stepping Backwards.

  1. Almost always it is the person who is moving backwards who is at risk of having their toes nicked. However, it is also the person moving backwards who has the most control to keep that from happening. The most important thing you can do to avoid being nicked is to move your feet and legs back properly.

    Extending your ankle joint as you move your leg back is the most basic thing you can do to solve the problem. A foot plunked flat on the floor is also known as a target! Ideally you want to move your foot back perpendicular to, rather than parallel to the floor. Doing this properly actually makes it impossible for your partner to step on you because there is nothing to step on. One trick to help make this happen is to imagine that you are trying to touch the top on your foot to the floor. Of course it will be impossible, but it gets your foot moving in the right direction.

    If you are a lady, transferring your weight slightly after the man completes the puzzle. If his foot is on the floor slightly before yours is then, again, it will be impossible for him to step on you. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially when you are a new dancer. If you keep your weight forward as you extend your leg back you will be in much better shape. Also, allow your foot to slide backwards as your partner moves you backwards to keep from stepping too soon.

  2. Dance Position and Tracking.

    Ideally you should never stand directly in front of each other when you're dancing, but rather stand slightly offset so that both partners are standing slightly to their own left. Looking down at your feet both men and women should see that their right foot is pointing between their partners feet.

    Tracking your feet and legs in dancing means that you move them forward and back in straight lines.

    Putting these two ideas together will help you to avoid stepping on your partner because your feet will (hopefully) be moving in their own 'tracks' and not in the same line as your partner's. When people first learn how to dance they often make the mistake of trying to avoid their partner's feet by stepping wide or 'cowboy stepping' as they move forward or back. This only makes things worse, because the final destination of their step is so unpredictable. Your dancing will be much safer, more comfortable, and more efficient if both partners are moving their legs in clean, straight lines.

Putting all of these idea together will hopefully make your first dance steps a lot more enjoyable and a lot more safe. It's never encouraging to see blood on the floor when you're learning how to dance!

Happy Dancing!


Dancing For Dessert offers online dance instructions for all ballroom dance styles. Learn dance steps for salsa, swing, foxtrot, waltz, tango, rumba, cha cha, and wedding dances. Our online dance lessons will have you dancing with confidence and ease.

How to dance so you don't get stepped on.
posted by Dancing For Dessert on 4/13/2006 09:17:00 AM

© 2006 Dancing for Dessert ™ All rights reserved. Designed by Kubix Media Inc. & Webdancer Studios.
Relentless Technology - Vancouver Internet Marketing Company