TPF005: Finding the Perfect Shoe

Finding the perfect shoe

Image: Dance Shoes

This is a pretty long video – 8 minutes – for just talking about shoes. But I can’t shut up about shoes, and it’s all very important anyway.


Here’s what I cover:

  1. Shoes for West Coast Swing and other swing dances

These dances prefer flat shoes. I show you some options: Toms, Jazz shoes, and swing “sandals.” Why? Because these are ‘grounded’ dances that want you to stay close to the floor. I explain why that’s good for these dances, and how these shoes help you do that.

  1. Shoes for Latin dances

You can wear flat shoes for Latin dances – but a part of the reason Latin dances tend to wear heels is that these dances are “up.” The spins occur on the tips of the toes. Having heels on then means that you don’t have to go up and down and impose level changes (on yourself OR your partner) while you dance. You can put your heels down without losing three or four inches of height.

  1. Different kinds of heels

Some heels come down under shoes at different angles – and this varies, usually, by the company. You should find one that suits you well.

There are different kinds of heels – usually flare or thin heels. Thin heels are known for being harder to stand in, and they may be, but a high quality thin heel still provides a sturdy base off of which to stand.

There are  different kinds of straps. There are T bars, there are straps that wrap around the foot, straps that wrap just around the ankle, and straps that are less supportive.

When in doubt, err on smaller shoes rather than larger

When you try on a shoe, make sure that you are anchored and stand still very comfortably – otherwise, how will you be able to dance?


That’s it – please let me know if you have questions! I will also happily discuss different brands with you and help you find what works for you J

2 Comments, RSS

  1. […] I talk a bit in this video about why you, for the sake of your technique, may want to choose to wear high heels. But I also […]

  2. Sarah Broz November 18, 2017 @ 12:53 am

    I take issue with point 2. Some Latin dances require the follow to be “up” as you put it. This is true for NY style and mambo. This is not true for the following Cuban dances: casino and rueda. To dance these correctly, the follow’s weight should be down, to the ground, not up. Plus, in general I think heeled shoes are worn in Latin dancing for the appearance, to appear sexy. One can certainly dance follow with the weight on the ball (front of) the foot when wearing flats. It just requires the follow to transfer the weight to the front of the foot when spinning.

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