There are a few things that can ruin a perfect pair of ballroom dance shoes. In our industry we don’t have much equipment, we actually just have two things that make us dancers: our feet and our shoes. Yes, we also have pounds of hair gel and glitter but we all know that you can have perfect hair and an amazing dress but that doesn’t make you a great dancer. Having bad shoes though… that can hinder any professional as nothing can disguise a dancer with painful blisters. Showtime Dance Shoes is committed to helping you not only find your perfect shoe but also making them last as long as possible. We have some tips on how to do so. See our blog post on how to cure Stinky Dance Shoes!
1) Finding the right fit for practice and performances.
Some dancers have wide feet, some narrow, some have weak ankles, and others need a lower heel. All of these things matter and we have practice shoes as well as competition shoes for any foot type. Getting a good practice shoe is probably more important than the performance shoes because 1) you can keep the competition shoes in better condition and 2) you can keep your feet more comfortable for hours and hours of practice. See all practice styles here.
2) Cleaning your suede soles with a sole brush
This is a huge recommendation for anyone with shoes that have a suede sole. Make your shoes last and brush the soles! Brush the suede of your shoes after every practice session, social dance, or competition, especially if the floor isn’t clean. Without brushing your shoes, dirt will work its way into the shoe and make it wear out more quickly. This can also be hazardous because shoes get slippery when they aren’t clean. Shop Sole Brush.
3) Shoe Disinfectant & Deodorizer
Far too often people worry about the outside of their shoes. But sometimes what is on the inside really does count, especially if the inside smells like rotten eggs. Using a simple deodorizer and disinfectant can get rid of any embarrassing order and also kill bacteria where mold will likely grow.
4) Lincoln E-Z Suede Cleaner
We have seen people try to wash their shoes with detergent, dawn, and many other products and it results in them buying a new pair of shoes. If you use a proper suede cleaner you can bring out the dirt without worrying about staining or permanently damaging the suede.
5) Heel Savers
Heel saver prolong the life of your heel tips. Many dancers also find they like the additional grip. We understand you have to be in your shoes in order to wear them in, but don’t destroy the heel in the process. Heel savers are the cheapest way to keep your shoes in top shape. Shop Now.
The results are in!
We had our dancers rank our ballroom dance shoes for five different categories:
Comfort, Affordability, Best Straps, Best Practice, and Best Men’s.
It can be hard to navigate shopping for ballroom dance shoes when you have so many choices! The best thing you can do is listen to other dancers who have tried a lot of shoes, then talk to a fitting specialist from Showtime Dance Shoes about their recommendations for your foot type. They have been fitting shoes over 10 years for professional dancers on the phone and at competitions.
Due to the social media wave, a first dance can now be seen by thousands who were not at the wedding or for that matter, don’t even know the couple. Some couples are quite uninspired by the idea, while others are purely motivated by this, so they rush to their ballroom dance class and prep for the big dance. With that being said, first dances are now extravagant displays of entertainment, even groomsmen, and guests are getting on the choreography train. It is almost like a concert… or… I KNOW, a ballroom dance competition! Yes, brides and grooms are looking more and more like ballroom competitors on their big day and we are loving it because the passion for dance is NOT dead.
Ballroom dance is a fabulous introduction to marriage, helping the couple work towards a common goal, communicating, and having fun. It also provides a time for the couple to escape the stress of wedding planning while getting their groove on. With that being said, some couples forget to look natural, they forget to have fun, and they are so concentrated on their dance moves that they look like programmed machines rather than two people celebrating a lifetime of happiness.
So where is the balance? How do we teach our couples to look less stressed during their dance? Well, we should probably tell them that the best choreography comes from within our cores and not in our arms and legs, when we dance with a partner we need to mirror their core movements and don’t forget eye contact. That is how we get chemistry, that is how we create a beautiful dance unique to the couple. Do not let them worry so much about their feet, also minimize dips and twirls if it’s a slow song. Allow them to find their feet and try not to force their every step. Yes, we may break a few “technical” rules but that is exactly what dance is suppose to do. Some of these first dances are so awkward it is hard to watch so lets give them a little wiggle room and force the important things like chemistry, core movements, and eye contact. Dance is FUN, especially for newlyweds!
Also remind the bride that she may need to change shoes before stepping (or slipping*) on the dance floor. There are a ton of amazing shoes out there that are great to dance in. We would recommend Benjamin Adams shoes with the mid heel and possibly some straps! Benjamin Adams is a high end bridal shoe designer and has been recognized by the RBA as the best shoe designer of 2014. We have picked some favorites for you but the list goes on. (Benjamin Adams Styles: Catherine, Lawrence, Astor, Blake, Preston, Mia)
Now some people want extra comfort while they practice their dance and even may continue dancing after the wedding. This is when we would recommend the bride investing in a pair of ballroom dance shoes. http://www.showtimedanceshoes.com has all heel heights, wide and narrow fits as well as split soles and practice shoes. Speaking to their customer service department about fitting options is highly recommended prior to ordering your shoes!
Ballroom dancers all agree on the same exact pains in dancing. Blisters on your feet, swollen ankles, toes that look like they have been run over… oh the many joys of dancing. It is estimated that 90% of dancers will suffer from an injury and 50% of those will be related to foot and ankle. Aside from band-aids, wraps, and hydrocortisone creams, which only help with rashes and itching we are pretty much hopeless in the fight against foot pain on the dance floor. Or are we?
Here are some tips for muscle soreness and inflammation:
- Applying the acronym athletes know well — RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
- Remember to stretch the muscles in your feet (5 finger toe spread and the toe release)
- Rub the muscle that feels tight with goldbond pain relieving foot cream
Though some of this may only be a temporary relief, it is certainly better than ignoring the pain or giving up on dance.
We can not promise zero pain, but at Showtime Dance Shoes we provide custom fitting. We often times see dancers wearing shoes that cause more problems rather than eliminating issues. We see dancers with high arches in shoes with no curve, we see wide feet in narrow shoes, toes pushing out of the shoe bottoms, and weak ankles with no ankle straps. Then comes injury, about 60% of dancers who quit, walk away due to injury. Which is why we stress to our professional dancers, teachers, and studios to inform their students of the importance of a great fitting shoe. A great practice shoe will keep a dancer focused in practice, and not complaining about their feet.International, Freed and Supadance Dance Shoes
Men’s Practice Shoes: Supadance
I remember being young and impressionable. Watching MTV and taking my social ques accordingly. Well, nowadays kids seem to learn everything from media, whether it is youtube, cable TV, or movies. That includes “dance moves” and thus we have the trend of twerking.
You know, that dance move that evolved from grinding?
That dance move that Miley Cyrus has perfected.
And this is not a jab at twerkers, honestly, I don’t even know how they do it. This is simply an applause to a teacher in Ohio who saw a need for a better way to educate her students about dance before throwing them on the dance floor for prom. She noticed that none of them really knew how to dance and the ones who thought they knew, were just as awkward as Miley. So she gave them free Ballroom dance lessons and started a dance club, where students could meet after school and practice their moves. She gave the girls a new way to feel confident without being objectified and well… she gave the guys a lesson of chivalry. There are about 10-15 students involved and I hope they get more. I really believe that all schools should have a “social dance club”.
Ballroom dance shoes can be found at http://www.showtimedanceshoes.com
For the past few years we have developed a very deep respect for our sponsored couples. We love their passion and dedication so as a tribute to their work we have put together a little synopsis of each pair.
Every one of our professional dancers has their favorite practice shoe and their favorite competition shoe. See below for a few top rated items that the pros love!
Anna Harwood & Jeremy Gatlin
Claire Hansen & Richard Tonizzo
Katusha Demidova & Arunas Bizokas
Katya Kanevskaya & Egor Abashkin
Susie Tsang & Lonny Tsang
Viktoriya Kleyman & Stephen Smyth
Practice Shoes approved by the pros:
Top rated competition shoes: