This is one of my favourite footwork exercises to do.
We spend a lot of time thinking about the planta (ball) and tacón (heel) of the foot but we also need to think about the big joint that is just above the foot - the ankle (tobillo).
For accurate fast footwork you need to have both strength and mobility.
Strength we attain by working and exercising the muscles and the foot (legs and the rest of the body).
Mobility which refers to the ability to move or be moved freely and easily, we get this by doing exercises that encourage the use of a range of motion that we need for the movements we want to do.
This exercise has a bit of both.
Take a look at the first video below.
This is the basic step we are going to practice which we'll then incorporate into different exercises below.
First you need to understand this basic movement and be able to do it with control of your balance and the sound of your feet.
The step consists of planta, planta, tacón, tacón, planta, planta.
The second planta is obviously not the same as the one you start with since you are lifting the ball of your foot up and then lowering it with your heel fixed to the floor.
The sound of the 6 beats should be continuous and even.
Start slowly, think about where your weight is and if you fall over take a breath and start again.
I am significantly weaker at this on my left side and you'll notice if you listen carefully that sometimes the sound I make with the 2nd version of the planta is weaker.
That's ok, we are all a work in progress!
The 3 exercises below are all in the compás of tangos.
Exercicio de planta, tacón y tobillo #1
The first exercise is suitable for beginners if you have mastered the basic step in the video above.
It starts with a beat on each count for 1 and a half compás and then goes into double time for the last half of the second compás.
Exercicio de planta, tacón y tobillo #2
The second exercise is a variation on the first one but you'll need your wits about you to make sure you get the coordination of the feet for the first part of the step.
The first 1 and a half compás are in double time and it changes to triple time for the last half compás.
Exercicio de planta, tacón y tobillo #3
The third exercise is a further variation on the first and second exercises and you'll need even more concentration for the feet for the first part of the step but if you give yourself time, wyou'll get there.
The first 1 and a half compás are in double time and it changes to triple time for the last half compás same as the second exercise.