Be it rumba, samba, salsa, or cha cha cha, Latin dances are known for their grace and sensuality. These dances are full of life and vigor, and require the dancers to execute complex steps while maintaining their balance. It is here that Latin dance shoes gain their importance. Not only do they have to look bright and beautiful to live up to the spirit of the dance and the dress, they also have to be flexible and sturdy at the same time. Latin dances involve a lot of footwork and it helps to wear the right kind of shoes so that one can get the elegance in one's steps that is associated with dance forms of the Latin world.
Heels form an important part of Latin dance shoes. It is not that these dances can't be performed in flat footwear. However, shoes with about 2-3 inch heels helps one to achieve the grace that is synonymous with Latin dances. Dance shoes for women include pumps or sandals with heels within the specified height range. Pumps are open at the sides. They have a closed toe box and have an ankle strap that secures the shoe firmly to the dancer's foot. However, sandals have straps and are open around the toe area.
Many women who are not comfortable dancing in heels prefer to wear low heeled shoes initially. However, if one plans to give a public performance or go for formal dancing, it is always good to wear proper dance shoes, as they accentuate the appearance of the dancer, as well as her steps, like no other footwear can. These shoes are typically lightweight and have suede soles. They are flexible so that they easily blend with the dancer's feet and are sturdy enough to help her maintain balance as she moves across the floor.
Men wear shoes with Cuban heels that are 1.5 inches high. Like shoes for women, men's shoes are also lightweight with a suede sole. They are flexible and provide a firm grip to the dancer. Men's shoes can be made from leather, nubuck, or patent leather. In contrast to women's shoes, dance shoes for men are somber in color. They usually come in black, white, or brown leather or may have a combination of any of these colors. Although even for men it is important to wear these shoes while dancing, they are usually only seen wearing them during competitions.
Taking Care of the Shoes
It is important to take care of the shoes in order to keep them in good condition. They should be oiled and polished regularly to prevent them from cracking. The suede soles should be brushed regularly so that they are not ruined from stones, pebbles, and dirt that get stuck to them. The best way to take care of one's shoes is to avoid wearing them when not dancing.
Buying the Shoes
With the advent of the internet, the trend of buying shoes online has caught up with people. However, it is always advisable that one buys the shoes in person, more so if it is the first pair that one is purchasing. These shoes are not just apparels that form a part of the visual appeal of a dancer, they play an important role letting the dancer perform his/her steps with elan. The shoes need to be a perfect fit. They should fit snugly onto the feet of the dancer, and at the same time should not be too tight to prevent the dancer from carrying out the steps. Before purchasing these shoes, one must wear them and perform a few steps to be able to pick the right fit.
The dance shoes have always formed an integral part of the various Latin dance forms. These jazzy shoes do more than adding charm to the dance apparel. They help the dancers perform the sweeps and turns that enable them to set the dance floor ablaze with life and passion.