Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Different Types of Dance Shoes

Dance shoes are very different from regular street shoes.Dance shoes of all types are designed to be lighter and fit the dancer’s foot snugly. Dance shoes provide support and balance as well as protection from the shock of movements across the floor.Each kind of dance shoe tends to be used for one specific kind of dance.

Here are some of the more commonly worn dance shoes:

Tap Shoes

Tap shoes are available in a variety of shapes, styles and colors. Tap shoes are generally made of four materials including leather, canvas, wood and plastic. Young tapers typically begin with Mary Jane style of tap shoes. More experienced dancers typically prefer flat leather oxford tap shoes. Tap shoes with heels are also available. These tend to be a little more difficult to balance on because they put more weight on the ball of the foot and the toes. More advanced dancers usually opt for split-sole jazz tap shoes, which allow more flexibility for performing advanced tap steps.

Jazz Shoes

Jazz shoes are a type of dancing shoe which is manufactured in both low-rise and high-rise styles. The shoes are intended to provide dancers with the necessary foot flexibility to make the required dance moves on stage. Some shoes come with a rubber sole that offers extra cushioning and absorbs the shock during jumps and other advanced moves. Most jazz shoes are made of leather or canvas and are available as slip-ons or with shoelaces. Some jazz shoes may be more flexible than others and have split-soles, which will make it easier to ben and flex your toes.

Ballet Shoes

Pointe shoes are a type of shoe worn by ballet dancers when performing pointe work. Point shoes developed from the desire for dancers to appear weightless and have evolved to enable dances to dance “en pointe” or on the tips of their toes for extended periods of time. They are normally worn by female dancers; however, male dancers may wear them when men are performing as women in dance companies. They are manufactured in variety of colors, most commonly in shades of light pink.

Ballroom Dance Shoes

Ballroom dance shoes can be worn for Latin ballroom dance, Salsa and Swing dancing. This type of shoe will have a thinner sole than normal street shoes. Most dancing shoes have a steel shank for support and are manufactured using flexible and lightweight material. Ballroom dance shoes should fit snugly, but not be toe-crushing. Slim heels for women make turning and moving easier; however, flared heels are preferred for the Latin dances because they provide more stability. Non-slip soles are essential; however, rubber sneaker-like soles can stick to the floor and cause knee injuries, and leather soles can slide too much.

Having the right footwear for the dance style you will be dancing is essential to prevent injuries and to perform at your best.

About Wagner Dance and Music

Since 1989, Wagner Dance and Music, a performing arts school, has been teaching East Valley students. Our 3600 square foot Gilbert facility is conveniently located on the southeast corner of Gilbert and Guadalupe in the Big Lots plaza. We offer classes for ages two to adult in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Tumbling, Cheer, Musical Theater and Voice as well as adult classes. For more information about Wagner Dance and Music or to sign up for a class, visit or call 480-892-7179.

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