Still doing some housecleaning--next on the to-do list is sort out the links list and even, gasp, update my template. This turquoise green number is getting awfully dated-looking. Old School, and not in a good way.
But first, I'm freshly returned from Minneapolis, where I spent the whole weekend with modern dancers and--by extension--their bare feet. This was actually a costume design project for a fundraiser for the Peace House school in Tanzania. But feet were unshod and I was looking to answer my questions about toe mobility. There certainly was plenty of evidence for the benefits of working without shoes to strengthen the feet.
As I watched the dancers balance and spin, adjusting the weight of a body on a foot by moving the third toe or stretching all toes apart to provide a more stable base, I was impressed by the awareness each student had throughout her whole foot. I watched them when they were getting their notes after rehearsal, and still their feet were constantly in motion--not big movements, but subtle adjustments and shifting. Even during the dance, in a moment of pause, a toe would wiggle here or lift there, in anticipation of the next move.
It made me think of days bygone in summer school classes. If a teacher was particularly boring, or an un-airconditioned classroom was particularly warm, my mind would wander and I often studied my fellow summer schoolers' feet (in those days, in horrid fascination). What was so amusing was how much their toes would move around when they were just sitting there. It was almost as if toes took on the unconscious movement that a tail would make, if we still had one.
I don't know, maybe every movement of a tail is purposeful, but it seems like sometimes my cats just switch or "tap" their tails because they aren't doing anything else with it. Is that what happens with toes in a loose, comfortable shoe? A little expenditure of energy because nothing else is really moving? It's hard to check on yourself, since as soon as you think about your toes, you are aware of their actions...but sneak a peak at some one nearby (trickier, these days, if you're in a hemisphere with late fall)--maybe in class, or watching television at night.
Thoughts? Any experts on toes (or tails, for that matter)? I hadn't thought about the toe-tail thing for awhile, but now I'm on a bender. I guess it's a good thing feet don't gross me out any more...