It’s T-Tapp Time: Do You Know Where Your Shoes Are?
by Charlotte Siems
Back in the early 1960’s, we had a black-and-white television. I clearly remember getting our first color TV when I was eight years old, and boy, that was pretty fancy. I even remember when the late television shows were over and the networks would actually sign off for the night, not to show programming again until early the next morning (you know, Jack LaLanne and Romper Room with Miss Fran). Every night at about 10:00, a Public Service Announcement would solemnly question: “It’s 10:00. Do you know where your children are?” I think it might be good to bring that one back.
My question for you is: “It’s T-Tapp time. Do you know where your shoes are?” When I teach a T-Tapp class or form clinic, there is usually a participant or two who does their workout barefoot. While you shouldn’t let shoes come between you and a good set of Hoe Downs or some bedtime floorwork, you should usually wear shoes to do your workout, especially when you are still learning.
You may be thinking, “Hey! I thought T-Tapp had a barefoot workout!” You’re right, Barefoot Basic is a great workout after you’ve been T-Tapping for a while (six months?). Here’s the description from the T-Tapp store:
Although it is highly recommended to wear shoes while learning the Total Workout or doing any T-Tapp exercise that involves balance, this clinic workout teaches the primary principles of how to maximize muscle activation and safely do the Basic Workout Plus without shoes. Application of these techniques can also be done while wearing shoes to increase intensity and effectiveness of ANY workout you do!
Why wear shoes, you may ask? One of the biggest reasons to wear shoes for T-Tapp is to give your feet support. Muscle imbalance in the knees and feet can be rehabilitated by T-Tapp, but only if you are keeping knee out to little toe. The muscles in the arch of your foot need support and help to build strength when you are beginning T-Tapp.
You don’t want your tootsies gripping the floor and stealing your core work. Doing Instructional #2 barefoot? Don’t try this at home (or anywhere else for that matter).
Feet come in all shapes and sizes, widths and arches. Many T-Tappers prefer Skechers Energy 2250 (with a red tab on the tongue). It’s important to find crosstrainers that give good lateral support of the feet. You don’t want a running shoe with a lifted heel that keeps you out of alignment.
My first few days of T-Tapp were done in cheap mesh-sided athletic shoes and my feet began to really hurt. I soon switched to Skechers and never looked back. There have been several instances of T-Tappers I know personally who got relief (and a better workout) when they started wearing them, too.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to spend time working out and sweating, I’d like to get the most results possible for my efforts. Taking the time (and yes, money) to care for your feet with good shoes can make a difference. The feet are the foundation for your body, so start from the ground up.
In an old forum post, one T-Tapper said, “Tapping without shoes is like sitting in the back row of an opera house and trying to watch without those little binocular glasses things. You can get the basic gist but it’s a whole new world when you put those glasses on….”
Or maybe it’s like the difference between black-and-white and color. To get the full effect and get your T-Tapp groove on, get some shoes on!