Good Rules of Thumb (or Toe!) for Dance Shoes

One of the most exciting parts of a new dance season, whether it’s your first ballet class or you’ve been with Studio Dance Centre since the beginning, is finding the perfect dance shoes for your feet.

After confirming the type of shoes you need for your class with the SDC dress code where do you go from there?  Keep in mind these pointers while you look for the perfect pair for your dancer!

All dance shoes

  • Buying your first pair?  It’s recommended to go to a local store to be fitted by a professional.
    • If you can’t make it to a store in person, always review the brand’s sizing chart.  Most dance shoes are sized differently from street shoes, running 3-5 sizes small or have European sizes.
  • Try them on – both feet!  Stand in the shoes.  Walk in them.  Plié (bend your knees).  Bourrée (walk around on the balls of your feet).  Jump.  If they don’t feel right or slip off your heels, they’re not the ones for you.
  • They should be snug, but not tight.  It’s important to buy the shoes to fit your feet now, not for a growth spurt you’re expecting.  (See tap shoes for one exception!)
  • Write your name inside your shoes!  It’s so hard to tell them apart without names!
    • Don’t worry, we have a lost and found! 🙂

Ballet

  • Pull the drawstring of the shoe.  Not too tightly.  The shoe should not wrinkle and there should be no gaps between the shoe and your foot.
  • After you purchase the shoes, trim the drawstrings and be sure to tuck them in for class.
    • Keep 1″ – 1.5″ of drawstring!  You might want to loosen your shoes later and if you’ve cut too much, you won’t have much drawstring to work with left!

                      Perfect!                                                                       Keep looking!

                              

                               too big ballet 2


Jazz

  • The arch of your foot should feel supported.
  • Ms. Julie recommends a slip-on jazz shoe, so you don’t have to worry about laces!

                Perfect!                                                                            Keep looking!

Too Big Jazz 1Jazz Shoe R 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tap

  • Check to see if the taps are attached and/or included.
  • The shoe can have a bit of room to grow!  The shoe should be secure on your foot.
  • For younger dancers, instead of tying bows on your shoes, secure your shoes with elastics.  Check out a tutorial here.
  • Check to see if the taps are attached and/or included.
  • The shoe can have a bit of room to grow!  The shoe should be secure on your foot.
  • For younger dancers, instead of tying bows on your shoes, secure your shoes with elastics.  Check out a tutorial here.

Perfect!                                                                       Keep looking

Tap Shoe R 2

The signs of a too tight tap shoe are more difficult to see and that’s why it’s recommended to see a professional.  The shoe has a hard toe and heel cap which make it challenging to feel the end of a dancer’s toe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Correctly fitted shoes are important for proper foot support and development in a growing dancer.  Just like regularly worn shoes for school or other activities, dance shoes need to be checked for wear and tear and to ensure that they still fit properly.  With growing dancers, it is not uncommon for a pair of shoes to need replacing before the year is out.

If you ever have any questions about what kind of shoe to look for or if you would like the name of a local store, the SDC Staff is always ready to help!

Trip the light fantastic! ~Ms. Kerry

 

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