Do You Need Any Special Or Preferred Shoes For Dancing?
By: Loc Tran
I received a question from one of the members of our Facebook group (Adam) recently who asked:
“Hey do you need any special or preferred shoes for this?”
The short answer is no, you can wear whatever shoes you want to, however dance shoes do make a huge difference, if you watch people on a dance floor you will notice that the ones who look like they know what they are doing are usually wearing some form of dance shoe.
Here are some reasons why you should consider investing in a pair of dance shoes:
- Most women’s shoes do not have the strength, fit, stability or comfort suitable for dancing, so instead of concentrating on their partner, the dancing and the music they end up worrying more about trying not to fall over and their sore feet.
- The uppers of their shoes may stretch and break.
- The shoe fronts may be too pointy and squeeze the toes too hard. Choose a snug but not toe-crushing fit.
- Open toe shoes may have too large an opening, allowing the foot to slide right through the front, which is not cool at all. Latin dancers typically wear open-toed shoes or strappy sandals with a 9mm flared heel.
- Heels often break or slant to one side and are usually too high and thin.
- Most dancers soon realise that heels higher than 65mm make energetic dancing for long periods of time a painful experience. Slim heels make turns and other moves easier. Flared heels are preferred for the Latin dances because they provide more stability.
- With men’s shoes, usually they tend to be too bulky, too long and too heavy.
- The soles are too rigid and do not have enough slip to spin and slide properly. Non-slip soles are essential, look for sueded soles which provide the right combination of grip and slide. Rubber sneaker-like soles can stick to the floor and cause knee injuries and leather soles can slide too much. Dance shoes have thinner soles than normal shoes. Most dancing shoes have a steel shank for support. The shoe material is flexible and lightweight.
There are many different types of dance shoes to choose from so be sure to choose the right ones for your preferred dance style:
- Pointe shoes (for ballet).
- Ballet shoes.
- Jazz shoes.
- Tango and flamenco shoes.
- Ballroom shoes – traditional ballroom and Latin American.
- Dance sneakers also known as dansneakers.
- Foot thongs also known as dance paws, foot undies and foot paws.
- Tap shoes.
You can purchase dance shoes either online or from your local dance supplies store. Be sure to have a chat to the storeperson to make sure that you choose the right pair for you and remember dance shoes are not as durable as normal shoes, rough surfaces and dirt will wear them out quickly, so don’t be expecting to wear them everywhere you go, keep them in a carry bag and put them on when necessary, that way they’ll last a lot longer. If you need your shoes repaired, call before you drop them off at your local shoemaker to be sure that the shop is familiar with handling dance shoes.
You can expect to spend about $100 for a good pair of dance shoes and whilst they come in a variety of colours, black is the most popular colour. Many women also choose flesh-colour shoes because they help extend the leg line for competitions. Try on several styles before purchasing, dance shoes should be both comfortable and functional.
If you are inexperienced then be sure to buy in person the first time until you know exactly what you want before purchasing from an online store. An experienced salesperson can help you find the proper fit and style. Also, you can ask your dance instructor or experienced dancers at your dance school or club where to buy locally.
So, while dance shoes are not completely necessary they certainly do help because they are designed for dancers and will ensure that you have a lot more fun!
P.S. Got a question? Hit me up at loc(at)adelaidedance(dot)com.
About the Author
Learn To Salsa For $3 Every Friday Night At The North Adelaide Community Centre!
Adelaide Dance – News, Reviews And Events.
(ArticlesBase SC #2645646)Do You Need Any Special Or Preferred Shoes For Dancing?