Tango Topics | Exploring Your Dance

Today’s Tango Thought 089: The Bloody Toe

The fact is that while open-toed shoes can be lovely to look at, they have a practical downside that no one likes to talk about – one wrong move and you’re lookin’ at a serious injury!

To be clear, a Follower can have their toes injured in any number of different ways by a Lead who has not mastered Proprioception yet. And a fair number have not. How do you know ? Watch what the Lead is looking at! If they’re watching the floor/the follower’s feet…it’s a good bet that they’ve not mastered or even come close to thinking about mastering Proprioception! Failure to do that has real-world consequences as any Follower wearing open-toed shoes will tell you – the dreaded stubbed toe! 

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The problem ? Is that when the Lead momentarily lifts their gaze/head from watching the Follower’s feet, to watch the line of dance, this is when an injury can and does happen. That instant is when their eye/foot coordination goes right out the window and it’s so unpracticed that they misjudge where they are in space and time….and well…BAM! Ouchie!

Worse than the stubbed toe is The ‘Bloody’ Toe! What’s that ? It’s when a Lead quite forcefully, and they’re completely unaware of it, steps into their follower’s foot line, and their shoe (usually hard leather) comes into hard or harsh contact with the Follower’s Toe Nail! Ouch. There are 2 possible results here depending on the force that was applied:

1.) Chipping the Toe Nail – This happens quite frequently and while painful, it does tend to ruin the Pedicure that said Follower had done. 🙁

2.) Lifting, and then either jamming the toenail backwards, or worse…up! That tiny little lift is just enough to either lift the nail completely off. And not only is wholly unpleasant, it’s painful as the day is long. Trust me at that point, the Follower doesn’t feel like dancing or completing the tanda. The only thing that they feel like doing is

a.) Getting off the floor and holding onto their foot.
b.) stopping the profuse amount of blood at that juncture. and
c.) Reminding themselves why they bought open-toed shoes to begin with.

There aren’t enough 🙁 emojis in the world to cover this one.

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The Tango Topics OpinionIs this a usage case for Closed Toe Shoes ? Yes. Absolutely. However, most Closed Toe shoes don’t have the sexy appeal that the Open-toed shoes have. So it’s trade-off between sexy comfort and not sexy and safety. The choice is as always yours. You do what you want with that one. But just be aware that at some point, you’re going to run into this, literally and figuratively. 🙁 To be fair, Closed Toe shoes have another detracting factor, and that’s the narrow tip of them. Meaning they tend towards a tapered narrowed closure. And quite honestly, it’s confining and compressive. Your toes eventually adjust to being so cramped but facts is facts…it’s not all that pleasant. It’s just another of the trade-offs — Safety and a modicum of comfort (‘modicum’!) vs. the risk of a chipped nail, or worse a bloody stump!

One way that you can avoid or minimize the ‘Bloody’ Toe issue is to keep an eye on the Leads who watch the floor…just say “No” when the cabeceo comes. 😉 Mind you, it is not the only way to minimize the Bloody Toe syndrome, but it’s definitely one way.

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