Three Toe Base for Spins

Three Toe Base for Spins

All spins should occur on the ball of the foot. More specifically, we say that the spin happens on a three toe base: the area of the foot that stretches from the ball of the foot to the big toe and the two toes next to it.

The primary reason dancers emphasize the three toe base is that it keeps your weight over the inside of the foot.

Especially when spinning, it is easy to let your weight shift to the outside edge of the foot. The outside of the foot is less stable than the inside, making spins more precarious. Focusing on the three toe base keeps the ankle stable and in turn improves the stability of the spin.

TAKE ACTION> Download our #1 drill for improving your spins

How to find the 3-toe base?

Hold onto the back of a chair so you don’t have to worry about balance.

Now spread your toes apart as if you were trying to make a shoe tree out of your foot. Better yet go ahead and take your shoes off so you can see the difference.

Now press the 3 toes (Big one & next two) down into the floor.

Check on your little toe. You should not be aware that the little toe exists.

Now move up and down through control of the ankle with a focus on the connection of your big toe and the two toes next to it, into the floor. This is your 3-toe base!

TAKE ACTION> Download our #1 drill for improving your spins

Rotate From the Inside of the Foot

 

Most dancers don’t know how to use the floor to create power during spins. In this drill, you’ll practice engaging the leg from the arch of the foot all the way up to the inner thigh in order to work off the floor during your rotations.

The Drill: To learn how to use the floor in spins, we’re going to practice simple quarter turns in the direction of the forward foot. So, if you are standing on your left foot, you are going to practice turning left a quarter rotation; if you are on your right foot, you will do a quarter turn to the right.

For this turn, stand with your feet together. This position makes it harder to create torque through your body because your hips are square. Normally, we wouldn’t want to stand like this while spinning, but for this drill it will help us isolate the leg action that creates rotational power.

Put your weight entirely on one side. Practice turning in that direction for a quarter turn, and focus on powering the turn by digging into the floor with the inside of the weighted foot. As you engage the foot, you should feel the muscles running along the inside of your leg all the way up to the thigh. These are the muscles you will use to power the turn.

As you rotate, you should feel a pulling action, as if your foot is pulling itself in the direction of your spin and your inner leg muscles are transmitting that rotation up to the rest of your body. Think of your foot as a corkscrew, twisting into the ground and pulling your body into the spin.

This technique can generate a lot of power. Keep practicing until you can do a half rotation without using other rotation through the body (i.e., no prepping an open side, using the hip, or using the arms). When you add this technique to your other sources of spin power, you should have no trouble generating the force to do several spins.

Improve your spins with this drill!

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