The No. 1 question asked when coming to our dance lessons is "What do I wear?" Below you will find our recommendations on clothing and shoes
Ladies ONLY Latin Dancing
These classes are designed to get your heart pumping and your body moving, you probably will work up a sweat, so wear layered clothing. Its not uncommon for some of the ladies to wear shorts, singlets and whatever allows them to move with ease.
Ladies ONLY Latin classes will have you highly mobile for almost one full hour, so you want to wear comfortable shoes that have some degree of slip and are flexible on your foot. Our teachers and experienced students tend to wear flat jazz shoes. If you dont have flat jazz shoes, bring a pair of thin ankle socks and try them out on the floor. You will know after your first lesson what will work!
Make sure you wear layered clothing. You may start the night off quite cold but as the dancing progresses, you may want to remove a few layers. Generally the evening group classes are "smart casual" morning classes tend to be more "workout" kind of gear
Make sure you wear whatever is comfortable for you, usually guys wear pants and a shirt to the evening classes. Please avoid wearing thongs as these make dancing very difficult.
Please dont be afraid of bringing an extra shirt if you tend to perspire. A small hand towel placed discreetly near the dancefloor can help with removing any social awkwardness due excessive perspiration. Ladies will love you for it!
Shoes that work best are those that are able to slide on the floor. Avoid rubber soled shoes (runners, gym shoes, thongs). These make turning, sliding and general movement difficult.
Ladies, most types of dress shoes are suitable for social dancing. Its important to wear something you feel comfortable in and you can have a high degree of control over. Sandals, boots, court shoes are all suitable options.
Avoid wearing overly strappy shoes that provide little support. Platforms are extremely dangerous for dancing. Avoid slingbacks and mules, any type of shoe that does not cling to your foot whilst dancing.
Ladies Dance Shoes
The best shoe to dance in is a dance shoe. Dance shoes are completely different to street shoes in many ways and they have been purpose designed for just dancing! Wearing dance shoes whilst learning, practicing and dancing can improve your ability drastically.
Often issues with balance and co-ordination are directly related to your footwear. Below is a little information about why dance shoes are different to street shoes.
- Structurally designed to handle the rigours of dancing
- Soft sole to allow the foot to move (huge impact on your balance)
- Enclosed heel - alot of ladies latin dance shoes will be open at the front but keep a closed heel. This ensures the shoe stays on
the foot and you get complete control over it
Straps - straps allow the foot freedom so the toes and bones in your feet can help stabilize and allow full movement
- Heel height - This is important, avoid wearing a shoe that is too high for you. It effects your balance, control and ultimately your learning. If you are not used to high heels, start with a 1.5 inch heel
- Suede sole - Dance shoes have a suede sole that ensures the base of the shoe remains soft and flexible, enhancing movement. However, suede soles mean the shoe is exposed to moisture and as a result, dance shoes should not be worn out on the street where they could get wet.
- Leather v Satin. The new range of satin dance shoes is fantastic news for your feet! The suppleness of satin means you can avoid the uncomfortable phase of wearing a shoe in, avoiding blisters and other potentially damaging conditions.
- Color - Satin shoes are great because they can be died to match your outfit perfectly! They are most commonly found in flesh, white and black
Mens Dance Shoes
If you are comfortable with the concept of wearing mens dance shoes, then you will get so much more out of your dance. The control you get over your feet (and subsequently your dance) is astounding.
If you are ok with this idea, dont waste time, go and buy them now, you wont regret it. Mens latin shoes are great, you can have any color you like as long as its black!
DANCE101 now has a large selection of Funky Dance Gear and Latin Shoes for men and women. CLICK HERE to view our products.
Tip of the day
There are two main types of shoes you can purchase. There are some great quality shoes from the Internationally recognised brands such as Supadance, International, Ray Rose, Dance Naturals. These are fabulous shoes and they are wonderful to dance in but they are for professional or competition use. They generally cost on or around the $200 mark. If you're a beginner, purchasing these shoes is overkill.
The second type of shoe that is more common and easy to find is the Chinese Copy. It looks similar to the real deal, professionals and competitors can tell the difference but to the untrained eye, they look similar. Now there's nothing bad about these shoes, they're just cheaper, made from less quality material but they function well and do a great job for the price. They should be around the $80 mark.
So BEWARE there are suppliers selling Chinese Copies for the same price as the top of the line shoes. Now personally, we don't care if you want them because of the color, style, availability, we just want you to know the difference so you don't get ripped off!
Now go and have some fun shoe shopping!