It’s worth taking care of your Latin dancing shoes – the most important tool for a dancer (besides your body)!
Did you know that Latin dancing shoes support your body while you’re swinging those hips and sashaying away?
They’re designed to withstand pressure and provide flexibility, so you can nail the twists and turns that come with the territory, without hurting yourself.
Everyday shoes don’t come close, especially if you plan on being a regular on the dance floor. It’s worth investing in a specialised pair that enables the best technique.
But this doesn’t let you off the hook completely. You need to take care of your Latin dancing shoes, to get the most value out of them.
This includes following the correct protocols for:
Wear your Latin dancing shoes with care:
It’s important for your chosen pair to fit as perfectly as Cinderella’s glass slippers. As obvious as this seems, you don’t want your feet sliding inside the shoe. Don’t be too hasty when getting ready – take time to fasten your buckles (women) and tie your laces tightly (men).
Be gentle when you put on and remove your Latin dancing shoes. Only wear them in the dance studio, and not elsewhere, since the coarse ground can damage the soles. Suede leather in particular can’t withstand dirt, moisture and rough floors, so never wear this style outdoors.
It’s worth buying another pair of dance shoes to switch between, if you can afford it. Not only does this give each pair a break, but different shoes work different muscles.
Finally, a good heel protector can act as a saviour. These slip onto your heel to guard against the wear and tear that comes with frequent use.
Storage matters – don’t throw your Latin dancing shoes into a plastic bag:
It’s tempting to throw your Latin dancing shoes into a bag, stashed out of sight, after a tiring session.
This is one of the worst things you can do. Plastic will cause your shoes to sweat, decay and stink. The same applies to all bags made from non-breathable fibres or fabric. Boxes are a no-go as well, since they create a damp environment.
It’s best to store your shoes in a dry location and leave them out overnight to air out. This is a good way to keep bacteria at bay.
Filling your shoes with newspaper will help to draw out moisture, if they’re really wet. Never use a hair dryer or heater to dry your leather shoes, since heat is damaging.
Cleaning your Latin dancing shoes:
If your shoes are made out of canvas, you may be able to get away with throwing them in the washer. Stay away from the dryer though, as this leads to shrinkage.
Other materials don’t fare so well in the washing machine, so you have to get creative.
You can use a damp cloth to clean leather dance shoes. Once completely dry, a small amount of wax or cream polish will preserve the leather.
Never use regular polish, if you have patent leather shoes. Instead, apply patent dressing when dry (after cleaning with a damp cloth). You can also use a soft cloth to add shine.
A clean toothbrush can remove dirt from suede dance shoes (brush from front to back). A suede treatment solution helps remove stains, but make sure the shoes dry completely before wearing them.
Shoes that feature suede soles should be cleaned using a suede shoe brush. If there’s dirt stuck on the soles, brush from toe to heel. This also adds traction, if the soles have become too flat or smooth. Brush carefully and keep your fingers out of the way, especially if the bristles are hard.
Satin dance shoes require a particularly gentle approach, since they’re quite delicate.
- Start by using a soft bristle brush to remove dirt
- Blot stains with a dampened cloth (cold water), from the top of the shoe to the bottom.
- Dab stubborn stains with a damp soapy cloth (hand washing liquid)
- Rinse the shoe straight away by patting with a clean damp cloth
- Pat your shoe with a hand towel to dry it. Do not rub the fabric, since this creates stains.
Get the most wear out of your shoes at Arthur Murray Latin dance classes in Sydney:
If you look after your Latin dancing shoes, they’ll look after you by supporting your feet.
When it comes to improving your technique, leave that to our instructors.
We teach latin, swing, salsa, waltz, tango, cha cha, ballroom, merengue, rumba and foxtrot.
Our studios are based in Bondi Junction, Crows Nest, Parramatta and Sydney CBD.
Feel free to contact us to find out more.