Tap Dance Ankle Exercise

Tap Dance Ankle Exercise

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Loose ankles make it easier for tap dancers to execute tap choreography.

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Tap dancers got rhythm, striking their aluminum sole plates as they move to the beat of a song or tapping “a cappella” with their shoes alone. Their dance moves can be seen everywhere from Broadway to TV performances. If you want to tap dance, you'll be able to produce those syncopated sounds or taps as a result of strengthening and stretching your ankles. Ankle exercises allow you to reach top performance condition.

Do the Shuffle

Shuffles aren't just an exercise to loosen your feet and ankles. They're also routinely used to wow the audience in various tap dancing routines. Shuffles involve moving your feet in very small motions for the purpose of making syncopated noises with your taps. Start by holding your right foot up behind you. Then brush your foot forward while gently touching the toe of your right foot on the floor. Quickly pick your right foot up again. Continue repeating this exercise on both feet until your ankles start feeling loose and relaxed.

Rock and Roll

Tension in the ankles makes for unpleasant sounds when doing tap moves and limits your range of motion. Ankle rolls help isolate the ankle muscles from the rest of your foot and also loosen up the tendons, allowing for a wide ranger of motion. To do ankle rolls, stand straight up with your hands on hips and keep your body weight over one leg. Elevate your free foot and point your toe. Then slowly roll it in a clockwise motion making about 10 to 20 circles. Rotate the same foot in a counterclockwise motion making 10 to 20 circles. Repeat the exercise on the other foot.

Point and Flex

Another way to relax the ankle muscle is by doing point and flex exercises. To do this, stand on one foot with your hands on your hips. Keeping your standing leg straight, lift the foot of the other leg off the floor. Gently alternate pointing and flexing your foot by alternately pointing your feet upward and downward for 20 repetitions.

Flap it Out

The flaps exercise helps loosen the ankles so you can hear two distinct sounds with quick motion as you move across the floor. Stand on your left leg and brush the toe of your right foot on the floor. Quickly pick the right foot up by sweeping your foot back. Then transfer your weight to your right leg, brush your left toe on the floor and sweep it backwards. As your ankle gets looser, you'll be able to make smaller movements with your foot producing a cleaner sound with your taps and allowing you to move even faster. Repeat this exercise 20 times while moving across the floor.


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