Dancing has existed for centuries, and each style of dance requires a specific type of shoe to increase performance, add stability, and ensure comfort. The shape of the shoes, the materials, and the overall construction can determine the difference between a stellar performance and a mediocre one. Quality dance shoes are available from noteworthy brands like Freed, Capezio and Equity.
Ballroom Dance Shoes
Ballroom dancing is all about grace, poise, and flowing movements across a dance floor. Many versions of ballroom dance exist, including the waltz and the foxtrot, but most use similar types of ballroom dance shoes. Women generally wear low heels between 2.5 cm to 3.5 cm. The shoes have a stiff structure with metal shanks to help support the dancers, and most ladies opt for lightweight shoes with thin straps. The shoes have a formal appearance and keep the feet cool.
Latin Dance Shoes
Latin is actually a version of ballroom dancing, but the movements are much quicker, more acrobatic, and less formal. Rather than long gowns, women wear shorter skirts so their movements are clearly visible. Latin dance shoes look like ballroom shoes with heels and a strappy design, but they feature slightly taller heels up to 5 cm and a more flexible structure. The shoes require more flexibility so dancers can point their toes.
Ballet Dance Shoes
Although ballroom dance shoes resemble traditional high heels, ballet shoes are completely unique from anything worn on the street. They feature soft, flexible exteriors made of leather, satin, or canvas; very thin leather soles; a few stretchy straps; and sometimes reinforced toes, depending on the skill level of the dancer. Ballet pointe shoes have hardened toe areas that allow the dancers to move around on their toes. However, beginners only wear soft ballet shoes.
Tap Dance Shoes
Tap dancing involves tapping out rhythms with the soles of the shoes on hard floors. Famous dancers like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Ginger Rogers made history with their choreographed tap routines in musical films. Tap shoes have low heels, enclosed exteriors, and soles with metals taps on the bottom. Shoppers have a choice between leather or PVC tap shoes. Leather is more flexible, ages well, and allows a wider range of motion. PVC is more affordable than leather, but the material is also stiffer and does not last as long. Beginners often start with PVC shoes and upgrade to leather as they advance in their classes.