When you’re in that zone – feeling the music in your bones, while dancing with your partner, you can be sure no one is looking too closely at the placement of your feet.
But make no mistake, your feet form the foundation of your technique. If you’re serious about learning this form of expression, it’s wise to choose a Latin dance shoe that supports your feet, while enabling maximum flexibility.
If you’re just starting out and want to wear something you already have at home, you can, as long as your avoid certain shoes.
Options for women who don’t want to buy Latin dance shoes:
Dressy sandals with straps
The straps will keep your foot secured in the shoe. A small wedge heel works well, but flat is fine too.
High-heeled shoes with a strap and ankle support
You need a strap and ankle support (no backless) to easily move your feet. Stay away from very high heels! Even if you’ve mastered the art of strutting in stilettos, your dancing heel should be no higher than two or three inches – if you want to keep your balance and preserve energy.
Spectator shoes or lightweight boots with a smooth bottom
Flat, or with a small heel. As long as they’re not heavy winter boots!
Options for men who don’t want to buy Latin dance shoes:
Dress shoes with a small rounded toe and shoelaces
These shoes work well, as long as they’re not heavy and your feet can’t slide out.
Tennis shoes or sneakers that have a flat rubber bottom
Choose a pair that’s fairly lightweight, with no bumps or ridges on the sole. Women may prefer to dance in these too.
Although the above options provide adequate flexibility and support, you may be ready to take your skills to the next level. If your relationship with Latin dancing is more than a fling, it may be time to purchase dance shoes.
What to look out for when purchasing Latin dance shoes:
You can’t go past dance shoes if you want the highest level of support, protection and freedom of movement. They’ve been designed to help you master all manner of pivots, turns and spins – while preventing injury.
Most dance shoes come in either suede or leather – for utmost flexibility – so you can step and spin with ease.
For men and women alike, it’s important to choose a pair with a wide and moderate heel (1 or 2 inches), as well as raised arches. This helps with toe leads, hip movements and weight shifting.
And for ultimate comfort and protection, look for something that has inner cushioning through the entire shoe.
A few options:
- Dance sneakers (unisex)
- Ballroom or Latin practice shoes (women)
- Latin high heeled dance shoes (women)
- Men’s Latin dance shoes (with a Cuban heel)
Your nearest dance shop might stock these shoes, or you can look online. It’s a good idea to ask your dance teacher if you’re not sure where to start! And if you want to get the most worth out of your Latin dancing shoes, there are a few things you can do to take care of them.
At Arthur Murray, we teach ballroom, latin, swing, waltz, salsa, cha cha, tango, merengue, foxtrot, and rumba. Feel free to contact us if you want to start learning latin dancing.
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