Most frequently asked question is what makes dance shoes different from street shoes.
All dance shoes, both ladies and men’s have non-slip suede soles, a metal shank in the arch for support and they are very light-weight and flexible. They are simply put, made to dance!
Men’s dance shoes are typically black lace-up Oxfords with a flat heel for standard dances and a 1 to 2 inch heel for Latin dances.
For women, form is almost as important as function, and shoe styles are as varied as dance categories
Basic designs include open- or closed-toe pumps and sandals. Heels in women’s shoes are slim or flared and generally range in height from 1 to 3 inches.
Slim heels make turns and other moves easier. Flared heels are preferred for the Latin dances because they provide more stability.
As you become more proficient, you can add more styles to your wardrobe.
Ballroom dance shoes come in a variety of colors. Nude is the most popular. Many women choose flesh-color
ed shoes, which help extend the leg line, for competitions. There are also black shoes, colored or adorned with Rhinestones
Ballroom Dance Shoe Construction
Non-slip soles are essential. Our Fred Astaire Shoes have suede 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 mu
ch. So a proper dance shoe will give you just the right amount of traction to move around the floor and practice your dance skills without having to think about your shoes.
Dance shoes have thinner soles than normal shoes and a steel shank for support. The shoe material is flexible and lightweight.
For Ballroom Dancing, A Good Fit is Essential
Choose a snug, but not to
e-crushing, fit. Feel free to try on several styles and make sure to ask your expert Fred Astaire Staff for help on fitting. Your new pair of Dance Shoes should be both comfortable and functional.
Maintenance and Repair
Don’t wear your ballroom dance shoes on the street. Rough surfaces , water and dirt will wear them out quickly. Carry them in a bag and put them on when you get to class or to the ballroom.
It’s important to polish your patent shoes on a regular basis in order to keep them in top condition. You might also consider applying silicon-based oil occasionally in order to prevent cracking. Proper care of the suede soles is important, too. Be sure to brush them regularly to remove any dirt or wax buildup, which will cause the soles to wear faster
If you need your shoes repaired, call before you drop them off at your local shoemaker to be sure the shop is familiar with handling dance shoes.
Should I buy Rhythm or Smooth Dance Shoes
Generally, dancers use open toe shoes for Rhythm and closed toe pumps for Smooth.
Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Foxtrot are defined as Smooth dances.
Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba, Mambo, Swing and Salsa are defined as Rhythm Dance. In Rhythm dancing, partners perform tightly choreographed routines in which they must project energy and passion. in Smooth Dancing the movements are more sweeping across the floor and ofter a lower heel and closed toe boxes provide more support and enable more movement across the floor. The pair’s appearance, including costuming and shoes, is important to the success of the routine.
Women’s Rhythm Dance Shoes
For Rhythm ballroom dancing, women usually wear sandals with a 2- or 3-inch heel. You may want to choose a lower height if you are not used to dancing in heels. Sandals are strappy and open-toed.
Women’s Smooth Dance Shoes
For Smooth ballroom dancing, women usually wear close tie pumps with a 1.5-2.5” heel. Thew closed toes and lower heel provide more support on gliding across the floor and as heel steps are an important part of smooth dancing, the lower heel will make it easier to propel forward.
Most often made of leather and satin, women’s dance shoes are lightweight, flexible and have suede soles, which provide the right blend of grip and slide while moving across the floor.
Look for a fit that is snug and hugs your foot, but is not too tight. Shoes that are too tight can cause blisters; those that are too loose can make you trip. For Rhythm sandals, the woman’s toe should be as close as possible to the front of the shoe. Some women prefer to have their toes extend or hang over the edge of the shoe so that they can point their toes more easily and feel the floor.
Men’s Rhythm Dance Shoes
Men’s Rhythm dance shoes are typically lightweight, flexible oxfords with a 1.5 inch “Cuban” heel and suede soles. Styles include white, black, two-tone spectator shoes and other color combinations.
Men’s Smooth Dance Shoes:
Mens Smooth dance shoes are also lightweight oxfords but with a lower heel than a Rhythm Dance Shoe.
The shoes can be made of leather, nubuck or patent leather. The fit should be snug, but not too tight.
To browse through some of the options at your Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Warwick visit us at the studio and check out some examples online