Going barefoot has gained a great deal of popularity in recent years. You see more barefoot runners than ever before, and its proponents will tout the many benefits of barefoot running. Dancing barefoot offers many of those same benefits and, like the runners, barefoot dancers wouldn’t think of dancing any other way.
Barefoot dancing can start at an early age. Many dance instructors like this style because it means that they spend less time tying the shoes of younger students, leaving more time for dancing. Another issue with younger dancers is that when one child needs to remove their shoes, they all want to.
According to creative dancers, much of the art is the ability to imagine feeling a particular sensation in their feet, and that being barefoot enhances that ability.
Aside from the creative aspects of going barefoot, some doctors say that there are many physical benefits as well. Going without shoes can help strengthen and develop the ligaments and muscles of the foot, as well as promoting a stronger arch. Being barefoot also increases your awareness of where you are in relation to the space around you and contributes to proper posture. When a young child walks without shoes, they get more feedback from their feet and don’t tend to look down as often. Looking at their feet as they walk will often cause a child to lose their balance and fall.
We all know that when children are outside, their feet need to be protected, but choose shoes that are non-invasive and flexible. Children, and some adults, love to go barefoot, so embrace it. When they are in a safe environment, you can let them take their shoes off and you’ll actually be promoting the natural development of their feet.