Students taking our Intermediate classes or those who choose to compete are required to have appropriate dance shoes. At the beginning of each term, the Ballroom & Latin Dance Team will do our best to organize two shoe runs. We go to Very Fine Dance Shoes, where our members can choose from a large selection of men's and women's Ballroom or Latin shoes for about $50 per pair (with our club discount).
If you can't attend either of these shoe outings, here are some additional shoe options:
The Dance Store (thedancestore.com) sells shoes for as low as $20. Carina, our usual Latin teacher, highly recommends them for inexpensive shoes. Very Fine Dance Shoes (veryfineshoes.com) has a "buy one, get one free" offer for our members at their warehouse (located at 4920 Santa Anita Ave, El Monte, CA). With this discount, you can expect to pay about $50 per pair.
For a little over $100, you can purchase dance shoes from Elegance Shoes (recommended by Lorena, our Smooth teacher). Let her know a few days before you go, and you will get a 20% discount on the shoes. Elegance Shoes can be found online at eleganceshoe.com or visit their store at 14006 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, CA. Character shoes and Jazz shoes are also acceptable options for dance shoes. These styles were not specifically designed for Ballroom or Latin dance, but are good all-around dance shoes.
What to look for when purchasing shoes:
For Women -
You do not need to wear high heel shoes to dance. Ballroom shoes have very good balance, and you may find that you are comfortable with a higher heel than you normally wear, but it is OK to dance in flat shoes. The most important thing is to wear a shoe that is comfortable and stable.
There are also different heights and styles of heel. For example, a thicker heel can provide more stability. Latin heels can get as high as 2.5 to 3 inches, while Smooth heels tend to be a bit lower, at 2 to 2.5 inches. You can find shoes with much lower heels if these are uncomfortable. Again, the most important factor is your comfort and stability!
If you are competiting, it is recommended (but not required) that you select flesh-toned shoes.
For Men -
Men's dance shoes are black, and have a bit of a heel (usually 1 inch for Smooth, but as high as 2 inches for Latin). As for women, the most important factor is your comfort. If the heel is too high for you, select a style with a lower heel.
Both Men and Women -
Be aware that your dance shoes will stretch. If you buy a comfortable fit today, in a week or two they will be loose, and it is very difficult to dance well in loose shoes. At the store, the shoe should be slightly more snug than you are used to.
Dance shoe vendors will usually have a square of wood or other hard flooring for you to test the shoes. Take advantage of this! Practice a few steps (forwards, backwards, sideways, turns), and make sure the shoes are comfortable, stable, and not likely to cause blisters or other problems.
A final note - Shoe Brushes and Heel Protectors
If your dance shoes have suede bottoms, we recommend that you purchase a shoe brush. This is used for brushing out the suede on the bottom of the shoe after you dance. If shoes are left too long without brushing, the suede gets compacted and polished, creating a very slick and slippery surface. Regular brushing will help you maintain good traction and balance. Heel protectors are mandatory for women with spiky heels on most floors. You can purchase clear plastic ones when you buy your shoes, or come talk to a club officer and we can provide you with black suede heel protectors.
- Latin: Mondays starting Jan. 26
- Samba, Jive
- 7pm - 9pm
- Location: PED Group Exercise Room (Basement)
- Smooth: Wednesdays starting Jan. 21
- Waltz, Viennese Waltz
- 7pm - 9pm (tentative)
- Location: PED South Gym (2nd floor)
- Open Practice
- Friday: 7pm - 9pm PED Basement