Modern tango considers natural movement as the guideline for the tango dancer. Tango is a walking dance. Stepping onto the heel and transferring weight to the big toe as we project our centres forward in space is what we do when we walk down the street. The foot is designed to in this way so that we can walk, in particular the heel and the big toe.. If we lose our big toe due to a an unfortunate event, it would have significant. effect on our balance and ability to walk.
As we are transferring our weight forward when we dance we are using this connection between the heel and the big toe to reach our AXIS. This is the point at which we are perfectly poised to make the next movement, whether it be forward, spiral or circular. Most movements require us to be in our axis before we proceed.
Stepping onto our heel and transferring energy to the big toe provides the dancer with the maximum amount of stability, for leaders and followers. As an experiment, try to walk across the room on the balls of your feet and make your own judgement about how stable you feel. Can you feel where your axis is? Can you easily control the movement?
In the front ocho in particular, the heel provides a strong grounding point from which we can draw ourselves onto our axis while we start to prepare the pivot. Having grounded heel allows us to securely start disassociating with the upper body.
The exception is when we are taking several steps forward very rapidly. In this case we dont have time to connect with the floor for each step and need to use a very strong core and the right amount of relaxation in the knees and hips to be stable.