Note: these are excerpts from article that is an opinion piece by Bert Frahm, a man from a different tango community. They do not necessarily represent the opinions of IslaTango, however, they provide a forum for discussion.

by Bert Frahm (excerpts)

“When people first start with dance lessons, they often ask why it is necessary to go out and buy dance shoes when they seem to be doing fine with the shoes they have. My reply is that for every sport you have specific shoes… rugby boots for rugby; tennis shoes for tennis… even cyclists have special shoes these days. You wouldn’t wear high-heels on to a squash court… right? Why would dancing be any different? Why would one want to wear squash shoes or soccer boots to go dancing?

The mistake people often make is this. They think that if the shoes are comfortable to walk in then they will be perfect for dancing. Well, “flip-flops” are great to walk in… but try dancing in them…!

As a man, trying to lead a woman through a wonderful journey on the dance floor, I find it very annoying when my lady is distracted by the fact that she has to grip her shoes with her toes in order to keep them from coming off. How can she have fun when her feet are balled up in a spasm trying to keep her shoes on?…

…Wear shoes that make your dancing look good.

… and what about the gent who comes dancing with what I call “Judge Dredd” shoes?

You know the ones… they have under soles as thick as two standard bricks and look just as heavy. These shoes have very little flexibility…

What makes a dance shoe a dance shoe…?

Well, it’s the studs underneath the boot that make it a rugby boot, and it’s the non-slip sole underneath a shoe that makes it a squash shoe.

Underneath a dance shoe you will find a leather or suede sole. The leather seems to work brilliantly on a dance floor to give the dancer enough traction to step without sliding away, but also enough slip to be able to pivot on the balls of her feet. This is very important… try doing “Ocho’s” with rubber soles that stick to the floor and you’ll know what I mean.

A dance shoe must sit securely on your feet. A lady shouldn’t have to be trying to hold her shoes on with her toes while she is dancing… so make sure they strap, comfortably and firmly, to your feet.

A dance shoe should also be comfortable. If your shoes make your feet sore because they’re too tight or cutting into you… you’re not going to enjoy your dancing and you won’t be dancing very much that night…

As Dancers, we need to look after our feet… cause without them we don’t have much fun. So make sure you find yourself a good pair of shoes, that are comfortable to dance in, will protect your feet, and bring out your own special brand of “Bling”.

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