Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dressing Your Feet

Watching dancers, as in the west coast video in the post below, it is amazing to see dancers slide across the floor as they were dancing on ice. While 95% of this ability is skill, ballroom dancers do get a help from their shoes.

Unlike ordinary heels and dress shoes, ballroom shoes have a suede soles that allow for gliding. Suede is ideal because it slick but not, lose control of your limbs, fall over on your bum slick.

Dancers keep control of the smoothness of the shoes by brushing the suede after dancing. By brushing the the soles of their shoes dancers pull up the suede making it rougher and increasing the friction the suede has with the floor.

Dance shoes are also different in the way that they fit. Toes, when in dance shoes, should extend all the way to the edge of the shoe, so that the dancer has complete control over the every inch of the shoes. This connects the dancer to floor by allowing them to feel every point of contact with the floor.

Both men’s and women’s dance shoes have substantial heels. This is so that the center of balance is moved forward in the body and pressure is placed in the ball of the foot. Here the dancer has the greatest control and movement.

Although dance shoes have many benefits, they can be expensive. Most shoes run around from $80 to $130. Many beginners choose to dance in socks, ballet shoes, and bowling shoes. While others simply find dress shoes that have fairly slick soles.

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