Welcome to your flexible shoe dance class! You will learn steps that are common to dance styles such as Ballet, Praise, and Contemporary. Proper dance shoes are not required, but you’ll enjoy the class much more if you buy dance shoes
Shoes and Dance Floor
Dance shoes that work well for this class include any variety of ballet shoe, and soft-soled styles of Irish, Jazz, Broadway or Theatrical. To search for the least expensive shoes, try “beginner ballet shoe”. There are also reasonably priced flexible sole shoes that look like sneakers or boots. Try search: “Broadway Jazz Boot” or “Dance Sneaker”.
Any shoe with a soft sole should get you through my “flexible shoe” dance class just fine (even bare feet, socks, or ballet style slippers), but proper dance shoes are more fun, and basic flat ballet or jazz shoes are recommended. You will be able to see and feel the shape of your foot, which will help you practice your steps and will help you achieve toning, fitness, and form.
More ballet shoe options: styles vary widely, from simple soft-soled shoes with an elastic strap (affordable and recommended), to shoes that require you attach straps yourself in a criss-cross pattern across your foot, to expensive Pointe shoes that allow a dancer to stand on their toes (NOT recommended for this class, as we won’t be doing any steps that require you to be on your toes, and improper usage of this style of shoe can injure your foot).
My favorite brand of dance shoes is Capezio, regardless of style of shoe, but you may hold a different opinion. Shoes run from under $20 for basic beginner shoes into the $100s. $20-$40 is an average range for decent flexible dance shoes.
Find your shoe personality by searching for dance shoes online and reading the product descriptions, as well as the customer comments/reviews. I have several pairs of dance shoes. I love to try different styles! Eventually you too might want to own more than one kind. I’ve purchased shoes through discount outlets as well as major retailers. It doesn’t seem to matter, as long as I know which type of shoe I want and pay attention to product and customer reviews that describe the brand’s sizing (True to size? Runs big/small?).
Next, let’s talk about your dance floor. You can, of course, just use your regular floor, but you may not get the “slide” feeling to the steps, especially if you are on carpet. A great option is what I use: a lightweight portable dance floor over carpet. It’s easy to store behind a bedroom or closet door, and it’s inexpensive. I’ve had no issues with it sliding around, but you’d want to make sure that your board is firmly secure and safe. Having a dedicated dance floor makes the experience feel authentic and inviting.
This is the specific board I use as a personal portable dance floor:
$5.28 7/16 CAT Utility OSB, Application as 2 x 4, Item #907230, Model #1366091, Easy to handle pre-cut panels, from Lowes:
I didn’t do anything to finish the board off. I use it “as is” and store it behind a bedroom door. If this board seems too small for you, you may choose to buy a larger size. I’ve also owned commercially-sold tap boards. They’re larger and padded/finished on sides/bottom of boards (a finished surface is better for ballet style shoes/steps). It’s an option if you want to upgrade from a basic unfinished board. Search for “tap dance boards” for ideas, even though you’d be using it for soft-soled shoes.
Learn at your own pace. Relax and have fun. Be joyful, be free!
Be inspired to dance!
/See next documents: Class Syllabus and Lessons/