When preparing for dance classes, the shoes you wear are extremely important. You cannot wear your everyday shoes while dancing, as they may strain your feet, cause injuries, and make it difficult for you to move freely. Even with dances like hip-hop or tap dance, there are specific shoes that are required to allow for proper movement and protection. How do you choose the perfect dancing shoe? Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
Choose Shoes That Allow for Better Movement
Dance shoes are made with different materials that make them more flexible. The suede or leather sole also helps to give your foot more freedom to move, while securing your heel. When executing turns, this solid heel helps to provide stability.
Determine the Dance Style
Shoes for ballet are designed for a different purpose than shoes for salsa dancing. One of the first steps when choosing your dance shoes is knowing what dance style they are for. You can also get a shoe that serves multiple purposes for different dance types, but if you are a beginner dancer you may need to ask your dance class instructors for some advice.
Find a Dance Shoe with the Right Fit
Your dance shoes should fit snug but not too tight. The ankle should fit perfectly. After use, the shoe will stretch a little, so try to find a size that is as true to your foot as possible—not too tight or loose. The right fit will allow you to move better as you step on the floor, and help you focus on the music and your dance partner, instead of how your feet feel. Regardless of whether you are a new or experienced dancer, your shoes should be comfortable, allowing you to practice and perform to the best of your ability. Quality shoes can even increase your confidence as a new dancer, by allowing you the stability and balance you need to practice each move accurately.
Decide Upon the Material
The most common dancing shoes on the market are suede/satin and leather. Some brands have also begun to develop vegan leathers as well. Suede shoes fit comfortably like a glove, as they conform well to the shape of each dancer’s feet. They can also be dyed in different colours to make it easier to find a pair that matches your dance outfit. Leather, on the other hand, is a breathable fabric that stretches and conforms with use. Although there are vegan alternatives, they will not stretch like authentic leather.
Choose Between Open or Closed Shoes
Open toed shoes make it easier for female dancers to point their feet and articulate dance steps. Closed toe shoes support movements that flow and are more appropriate for dances that require a lot of footwork. They also offer protection from stubbing your toes or hurting your feet. It all depends on the type of dance—if you dance the Waltz and Foxtrot, closed toes shoes are recommended.
Choose the Right Type of Heel
Depending on the type of dance, you will need to choose the right type of heel. Salsa shoes for women have a heel for better balance and to create a clean line. The most common sizes for this type of dance are between two and three inches, but you can get heels as low as half an inch or as high as four inches. The higher the heel, the most weight will be pushed forward to the ball of the foot. If you are a beginner dance, you should stick to the lower sizes until you can solidify your balance. There are different shapes of heels as well—flared heels provide more stability. For men, a half inch heel works well for ballroom dance styles, and a one-and-a-half-inch Cuban heel is perfect for Latin dance styles.
Keep in Mind the Cost
Dance shoes can be expensive, depending on the brand and style, so if you are a beginner, do some research about the different options available within your price range. Good-quality dance shoes are between $150 to $200, but you can find good shoes for as little as $80. Premium dance brands can cost upwards of $300.
Consider Their Appearance
Your dance shoe should match your outfit, or be neutral enough to wear with multiple outfits. Your shoe is the most important item you will be wearing, so don’t compromise on the quality just because of appearance. Your shoe should feel comfortable, whether it catches the eye or is discrete and conservative.
Buy Your Shoes Online or In-Store
Before buying shoes, online or in store, be sure you get a chance to try them on. Sizing varies in each brand, so something that may work for you with one type of shoe, may not work with another type. Try comparing different brands, sizes, and models to find the best shoe for you.
How Performing Dance Arts Can Help You
If you consider the points mentioned above, you will have a much better time finding the right pair of dance shoes for you. Once you find the right shoes, the journey begins! Developing your dance skills with proper training is the key to developing into a good dancer. Are you looking for the right dance studio in Toronto to get started? Look no further than Performing Dance Arts! At our Vaughan and Etobicoke dance studios, we offer trained instructors with years of industry experience and skill, and who care greatly about the progress and happiness of our students. Our outstanding dance classes in Toronto/Etobicoke inspire creativity and our instructors will motivate your child to dance with passion, creativity, and excitement.
Our programs cater to children of all ages and skill levels, so contact us today to enroll your child or learn more. If you want a firsthand idea of what our dance studios are like, simply pay us a visit!