Dance Shoes: Dancing is a great way to express yourself. The beauty of dancing is finding a dance style that allows you to do so. That being said, all dance styles are different that require certain dancewear to pull off certain techniques and looks.
One vital staple of dancewear for any dancer is their shoes.
Learn why dance shoes are important, so you can ensure you use the right shoes for whatever dance style you enjoy the most!
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The Purpose of Dance Shoes
Dance shoes are meant solely for dancing in mind. They are built to last longer than regular shoes since they’re supposed to handle constant, prolonged movement. Furthermore, dance shoes are designed to make applying proper dance techniques to your steps easier. Whatever dance shoes you require are supposed to help you become more aware of your footwork, which is useful when you wish to excel further in your dancing or hope to improve.
Drawbacks of Improper Dance Shoes
Some might be apprehensive about purchasing dance shoes. After all, shoes, in general, can be rather pricey. However, not having dance shoes can prevent you from reaching your potential as a dancer.
When you use regular shoes, they can hold you back from your ability to dance by making it more difficult to pull off techniques—for example, trying to do certain choreography with regular shoes. Regular shoes can cause your steps to be slow and clumsy, which can mess up your timing when doing choreography.
If you’re unable to do certain techniques, this can seriously impede how you learn and make it harder to develop strength for them—for instance, the ability to flex and point your toes to achieve a good technique. Regular shoes might not be able to accommodate and can be uncomfortable as a result.
Essentially, you won’t be able to progress as much as you want without the right dance shoes.
Types of Dance Shoes
Various dance shoes exist with their unique composition. Finding the right one is imperative to becoming a better dancer. In which case, you don’t want to get the wrong ones!
Here are a few of the different types of dance styles that require certain dance shoes:
Ballroom & Latin Dance
Ballroom and Latin dancing are dance styles with a lot of aesthetic appeals. Their dance shoes are meant to reflect their dances’ elegance and exquisite nature but still offer the right comfort and ability to dance. You can expect ballroom and Latin dancing to wear heels of varying heights that can be open-toed, close-toed or semi-open.
You might think heels would be difficult with dancing. But with Latin and ballroom dancing, their heels have a softer supple sole and bridge than a normal one. This design helps as it makes it easier for feet to flex and stretch and allow them to breathe.
Alternatively, mainly for men, their ballroom shoes are made from leather and suede. They have a special sole, so it is easier to grip the floor while allowing enough fluid movement to dance, spin, and glide.
If you do tap dancing, you can’t go long without needing tap shoes. Your regular shoes cannot achieve what tap shoes can do. After all, tap dancers are meant to use the sounds from their shoes as they dance. Tap dancing has been used in musicals. As you can imagine, they didn’t wear regular shoes to perform. They got proper tap dancing shoes.
Your standard tap shoes typically have a metal on the heel and toe. As you learn to tap dance, the shoes create your desired sounds. Depending on some tap shoes, they can have varying sounds. In which case, it’s good to check in with your instructor on what would be the right sound for your tap shoes.
Ballet shoes are probably the most recognizable dance shoes out there. However, various ballet shoes exist based on certain uses. For practice, ballet dancers use ballet shoes since they’re lightweight. Meanwhile, for performances, they will use a ballet slipper – usually a signature ballet pink look. The slippers have a little cotton thread inside the rim, so you can tighten or loosen it as you prefer.
For more experienced ballet dancers, it’s required they have pointe shoes. These shoes make it easier to balance on their toes by having an in-built box and shank that protects the feet. It helps to give the ballet dancer that distinct foot silhouette.
Jazz dancing requires a lot of rhythms. If you wish to dance to jazz effectively, you need to know what shoes are suited for it.
Typically, dance shoes for jazz are low, supple, and can be tied up or elasticated. You can expect them to come with a rubber sole to help give good traction as you dance.
Interestingly enough, there are also jazz sneakers available. Beyond jazz, they can also be great for hip hop or funk dancing. These particular sneakers are supportive and have flexible but thick soles.
Depending on what kind of dancing you’re doing, you must find the right dance shoe. Dance shoes are vital to learning and becoming a better dancer. Without it, your dancing potential is limited. You can trust that you can do so much more with the right dance shoes!