Dance Shoes are Essential
Dance shoes. Now there is a controversial subject for you. Just ask a dancer, any dancer and you will find that they all have their "favorites". I am no different and while I do not profess to be an expert, I will tell you, with no doubt, that you DO need "Dance Shoes"!
Trying to dance in "street" shoes is sort of like trying to swim in "street" clothes. You can do it, but it is a struggle, it takes more effort and is by far more difficult. Dance is just like any other sport. You need the right "tools" to be successful. You would never wear soccer shoes to a bowling alley and you wouldn't wear golf shoes to play basketball. Dance is no different, you need the proper shoes.
That being said, I will fill you in on my own personal experience with dance shoes. Once again, I am NOT an expert in the area, and I am NOT Cinderella……… so I welcome any additional guidelines, or opinions.
I only wear the Very Fine brand of shoes because they fit me well, are reasonably priced and hold up to the beating I give them! I have two favorite styles.
The best pair that I have found for Ballroom Dancing is Style C1620. I have them in practically every color, but the Red Patent Leather ones are my favorite. What I found when trying on different styles of shoes is that I really needed a pair that I was able to adjust to my foot. I have a wide foot and long toes and needed the ability to adjust them in more than one area. This shoe has two adjustable buckles so it works great.
The pair I wear for Swing Dancing is C1670C. They have a broader, wider, lower heel and are great for West Coast Swing.They also have the strap that goes under the shoe and over the top of the foot, as opposed to just around the ankle. Luckily with the strappy style, they seem to fit without having to be able to adjust them. Both pairs are flexible and light weight. Dancing in heavy, stiff shoes is not only hard on your feet and legs it takes the joy out of dancing.
When I began dancing and got my first pair of "real" dance shoes, I was smart enough to start wearing them around my house before taking them for a spin on the dance floor. I would actually put on a pair of socks and wear them in 15 minute increments to "break" them in. Just like any new pair of shoes, chances are that they will hit your foot in different places than your street shoes, so it is wise to get your feet accustomed to your new shoes before dancing the night away.
Of course, one of the greatest features of "real" dance shoes is the suede soles. The suede soles are important for dancers to be able move and dance easily around the dance floor, as opposed to sticking to it. You are able to spin, turn and slide with grace. Because the soles are suede, you must take care and never wear you dance shoes outdoors. Wear your street shoes and change into your dance shoes once you arrive at the dance venue.
Now if you are dancing at a bar, you must be careful to avoid dancing in all the spilled beer and cocktails and consider dedicating one pair, just for the Honky Tonk, leaving your newer, better pair for those great wooden floors of dance studios or dance halls. I seem to have an ever rotating cycle of shoes, from new, (only for the best floors), to slightly used, (regular, everyday dancing), and almost trashed, (for the late night, club and bar dancing).
Take care of your dance shoes and they will take care of you. Be sure and use your suede brush regularly. Be sure and sign up for our free "Tip of the Week Newsletter" to receive additional care and information on how to find the right dance shoe just for you.
Remember you need the right tools for whatever you do and dance shoes are essential in becoming a great dancer. Consider them an investment in yourself and money well spent!