What to do when your 'planta tacón tacón' is all tacón and not much planta

There are some footwork steps in flamenco dance that appear over and over again and can be used rhythmically in many different ways. Planta tacón tacón is one of those steps.

Let me clarify that I am referring to the step that is planta and tacón on the same foot and then the third tacón comes from the other foot being lifted up and back rather than when the foot stays connected to the floor.

This step is great because you can do it in place or you can use it to move around the floor. To move like that though you need very strong technique.

What we often see with beginners trying this step is that they are all heels and that students struggle to get the planta (ball of the foot) back into the floor. This comes down to a few things;

  • not lifting the feet to the back
  • not separating the ball of the foot from the heel
  • not emphasising the planta each time it connects with the floor

Lets take a look at the different stages of this step below.

Before every step the foot must be lifted towards the back of the body. As the step becomes faster the height of the foot drops to suit the speed but it is always lifted to the back.

The ball of the foot (planta) is then strongly pushed into the floor and at the same time the heel of the foot is lifted as high as possible.

The heel of the foot is then pushed into the floor and at the same time the other foot is lifted straight up and to the back to prepare for the second tacón.

The foot comes down to strike the floor with the tacón. The foot is flexed throughout this movement.

This is the trickiest part of the step. After the second tacón you must lift the foot up quickly to the back to prepare to start the step on the other foot with the planta. This planta must be strong with the heel lifted etc..

To give yourself the best chance of having a strong planta you must lift the foot to the back.

Making sure you emphasise and accent the planta will keep you in compás. 

Take a look at the video below to see an example of this step. This video does not show the step from the back because you can't really see the important parts of the technique from that angle. The first part is the step at a faster speed and then in the second half at a slightly slower speed.

The step is in triple time (1 and a 2 and a ...) over a 6 beat cycle, I'll let you see you if you can work out the rhythm of the last planta tacón of the step.