Daniela’s Foot Care Toolkit

Daniela’s Foot Care Toolkit

With all the time we spend in our high heels and investing in beautiful shoes for our tango journey I think the time we spend out of them is just as important. Here is a short list of things I do when I am not in my heels dancing to take care of my feet: my foundation to dance forever.

1) Rolling the feet
Foot RollerI love rolling my feet out. I use this great device that was gifted to me during my modern dance days. You can use a tennis ball, too. I use it often. Even as I write this blog. I take it with me on trips. It’s an essential for me. Roll roll roll and often!

2) Happy Feet socks or a similar version of Foot alignment socks.
Some of you know that I am currently enrolled in a Whole Body Alignment course, where I have been reintroduced to my foundation: my feet! And these great socks! The goal of the socks is to separate those toes and enervate some of those unused muscles: 26 bones, 33 My Happy Feet Socksjoints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and 1300 nerve endings per square inch of your sole (thanks to Theresa Perales, DPM). The foot is impressive! She recommends starting with about 30 minutes of wearing your Happy Feet socks per day and then gradually work up to sleeping in them. I remember when I first got mine, I could barely stand wearing them for 10 minutes! And I still can’t bring myself to sleep in them…but I notice a big difference in my feet overall. Using the socks has helped to relieve some stress and pressure in my feet. I can’t isolate all of my toes individually but maybe one day my feet will be as articulate as my hands. You can buy them on Amazon. (click on this link Foot alignment socks.)

3) Cold water soak
I never thought I’d become a fan of putting my feet in cold water but even in my early days of tango when I danced for endless hours in Buenos Aires I would find myself sitting with my feet in a sink filled with cold water in the early hours of the morning. And this remains a ritual. After dancing or even after a shower I stand in cold water for a few minutes or longer until my feet almost feel normal again. I always tell people to start off as cold as they can stand it and then stay in it for as long as they can stand it. This one takes some trust to believe that it will actually feel good at all, but it does. I got an email from a student in New Mexico who wrote to remind me that while I had been teaching there he had seen me stick my feet in cold water and therefore, remembering that he did it and found it very helpful to him in relieving his aching feet.

4) Arnica Montana
Arnicais a homeopathic remedy and before you stop reading, it does help some people with bruising. I find that rubbing it on my feet before going to bed also makes me feel relaxed. So this could be the fact that I have to massage it into my feet or that it provides some healing benefits. I believe it helps with soreness. I like to use the cream or the gel that I can find at my local Sprouts or Whole Foods.

5) Calf Stretch and / or Theraband (TM) stretch
Calf StretchThere’s a fabulous calf stretch that I have added to my bag of tools. It too is from the Whole Body Alignment course. I take a towel and roll it up and place 1 foot with the metatarsals on the towel and the heel on the floor. I stand straight with the weight in my heels and then I slowly begin to move the other foot on the floor passed it. I keep my feet in a parallel position, weight in the heels and aim for the rest of my body to be in alignment, in a plumb line, and breathe into this stretch and then change feet. When you do this check to see if your but is sticking out or if your ribs are or what about your chin? Make adjustments to put them back in place and over time see the benefits of this one.
I also use my Theraband or use the towel and place it under my metatarsals and pull my feet towards me. Your feet will be flexing at the ankle joint. Do this with your knees straight and go easy – just a little at a time. I do it lying down and sometimes sitting down. Either way, remember to go easy.

And finally,

6) Massage and Elevate
Better yet, if someone else massages for you, with some arnica or with some lavender lotion. Or I invest in some reflexology or some Thai massage sometimes. Or stick your feet up on the wall for a little while: lie on a bed or the floor and raise them onto the wall and just breathe…..

You can find information online about these ideas and more. Don’t hesitate to ask me about them to or I can show you a demo. That’s the next step – on video!!!

What do you do for your feet?



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Sedona on the 16th – Come and dance!

A Tango Salon*
*Salon: A fashionable assemblage of notables (artists, dancers, statesmen)

The Dream: to create a cohesive community of Tango dancers in Northern Arizona who are interested in improving their dance systematically, consistently, and with commitment.

The OfferingOn Saturday February 16th at the Adult Community Center at 2615 Melody Lane, Sedona we welcome Daniela Borgialli, Director, Educator and Performer… teacher extraordinaire of all dance levels  who is committed to furthering the dance level of our community.  She will hold two classes as follows:

: Semi private group lesson for “oldies” (those with some experience dancing tango)

3-4pm: Beginning class for “newbies” (those who want to learn basics of tango).

4-6:30pm there will be a guided Practica for all levels!

All classes and semi-private lesson are on a sliding scale of $7-$15.
Practica free with the lessons or Practica only is $5.00.

There are two slots open for privates on Saturday February 16th from 11-12; and 12-1 and on Sunday. February 17th from 12-1.

Please contact Jessica Sierra at (928)204-1360 to arrange for privates, and/or  for any questions or concerns.

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Necking? or are you a chin jutter?

My students will often ask me when we start working with the embrace, “where do I put my head?” And this is such a great question. In our desire to have the cuddly tango feel inside the embrace we often sacrifice our posture beginning specifically with the head. I see it in followers who reach their necks to search for the leader’s cheek or the leaders who cock their heads either towards or away from the follower to the same end. I used to be one of those followers, jutting my chin forward to get just a little closer to my partner.

Ouch says her neck

Ouch says her neck

Ouch says both their necks

Ouch says both their necks

Besides being out of alignment it’s disrupting proper functioning of the organization of my cervical spine. What to do?


Graciela had 1 image for followers that I have worked with and now with my Restorative Exercise Specialist (TM) training that I am doing, it all ties in. Don’t squash your neck vertebra. Graciela’s image that I adopted, that some of you have probably heard me say before is “the fountain”. The idea starts farther down the body but the ending image is that there is water that shoots out the top of your head – if you aim your head correctly you will shoot water over your partner and not get yourself wet. I know that Homer & Christina have been heard to say “nose back”. And in the end if none of those work for you just consider dropping your chin. I think this works effectively for leaders as well.

When you get into your embrace consider your person and your alignment in relation to the other person. As opposed to reaching for them with your head or neck. Arms are made for reaching, touching, embracing, not the face…

Just right!

Just Right!

In proper alignment we want to have our ears in line with our shoulder. Or imagine your head like a ball and roll it so you are looking down and placing your chin on your chest (if you can get it there) then roll it back. So next time you get into embrace don’t be so eager to snuggle, take your time and go for long necks and proper placement. Your body will thank you over the long run.

Thanks to my models: Acacia, Ganesh, Tyler

REMEMBER: Leader and Follower technique class this Saturday!

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Fun Milonga with Fundraiser TONITE

Sponsored by ASU Argentine Tango Club with a theme of the Malt Shop Oldies – polka dots and poodle skirts anyone???

8pm – 12am
Rhythmic Expressions Dance Studio
617 McClintock Dr. Ste 3
Tempe  Arizona  85281


6:30 – 7:30pm Basics Class
7:30 – 9:30pm Milonga (Argentine Tango Social Dance) For those new to the dance or just starting out.
$12 class + milonga
$6 milonga
$10 class
Rhythmic Expressions 617 S. McClintock Dr. Ste 3, Tempe, AZ (Just north of University on the East side of McClintock. Look for McClintock Center)

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That Magic Pill….

Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it. (Amy Cuddy)

Last week one of my newest students to Argentine Tango said that he would just like a magic pill to learn tango. And then I received a link to an inspiring Ted Talk video by Amy Cuddy entitled: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are. I received it as a link from several people as it was blogged about in several different arenas including health. Besides the fact that Ted Talks are usually captivating and moving, Cuddy’s talk made me tie it to tango.

As a dancer I have always been interested in body language. From a young age I found myself observing people and their curious behaviors. I remember being a good mimic when I was little, which became useful during my brief stints as an actor and then again as a choreographer. So the idea of body language changing and shaping behavior was not new to me.

Amy Cuddy in her Ted Talk discusses not only how our bodies can change our minds but that our minds can change our behavior and our behavior changes outcomes. She conducted studies to test hormonal levels of testosterone and cortisol when people were feeling powerful and when they were not. She had them embody poses, what she calls powerful poses and lower power positions. Several experiments were conducted and there were noticeable differences in testosterone and cortisol levels. Those people who spent 2 minutes in a power pose prior to the task of participating in a job interview showed a rise in their testosterone levels and their cortisol levels dropped. Whereas those who were asked to spend 2 minutes in a low power pose had a drop in testosterone and an increase in cortisol levels. Please see her video for her explanation and her statistics from her studies.

So how does this relate to tango? I am so glad you ask!!!

I have been adapting what Maestra Graciela Gonzalez refers to as the lion and the lioness in my tango teaching, which I have been referring to as our tango attitude.  We can act and embody the idea of a confident lion moving into space or a lioness about to devour her prey in our tango. Tango attitude is about walking and claiming space with confidence. If you can do it in other aspects of your life you can bring it to your tango. For both roles we want to embody presence, passion, enthusiasm, authenticity and confidence, words used in Cuddy’s presentation as well. I challenge all of us to spend 2 minutes in power poses before we tango. See how it feels. Let me know.
See how my ASU Tango 2 students embody power poses.
powerpose1 powerpose2 powerpose3




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