Instep Dance Magazine Articles
Reprints of monthly column as first appearing in Instep Dance Magazine (no longer in print).
June 2001Error processing SSI file
What Is A Good Latin Dance Shoe?
By Rick Allen, DC
"Better health leads to better dancing."
This month's article is a short one for three reasons: (1) The keys to good shoes are similar for Latin and ballroom dance shoes. (2) The ballroom dance shoes I covered last month for ladies are the same shoes ladies use for Latin dancing and (3) I am headed off to Colorado Springs for advanced chiropractic training and a quick stop at the US Olympic Training Center. I am burning the late night hours knocking out articles and reports before flying out for a fantastic, fun educational week in the mountains. I'll be back with more skills to better serve and help my patients! I'll give you the details in a future article.
As I mentioned previously, common problems include metatarsalgia (pain in the ball of the foot), plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, and bunions. Having a good, solid foundation is a key factor for proper gait, posture, support of the back and neck, and, of course, dancing. As my professor repeated once again this weekend as I continued my 100-hour certification course in Applied Kinesiology, "The gait of man is the fate of man." In other words, if you don't have proper gait, you will have lots of other problems. These will be primarily biomechanical in nature, but can even include overall, secondary health challenges.
Five Keys to a Good Latin Dance Shoe
There are five factors that I consider keys to a good Latin dance shoe:
- Shank – A solid steel shank will be good arch support. Test the shank by pressing into the arch of the shoe. The shank should not collapse.
- Counter – The counter should be solid and built straight on the heel.
- Laces – Men's Latin dance shoes often have five eyelets, which should be sufficient.
- Heel – Men's Latin dance shoes have higher heels than ballroom dance shoes, typically 1-1/2 to 2-inches.
- Fit – The counter should be snug, the longitudinal and metatarsal arches should feel supportive, and there should be room for toe movement. The shoe may be snug at first. Ask your salesperson how much the shoes will stretch.
Good brands include Supadance, Capezio and Diamant. I suggest you check with the stores listed below. In the Internet web, I found a number of sites offering men's Latin dance shoes for about $99 to $125. Personally, I prefer to buy shoes at a local store where I know I can rely on being fitted correctly. If you have a challenge, I suggest you contact Art's Dance Shop at 425-814-9191 in Kirkland, Washington for custom made shoes.
Northwest Dance Shoe Stores:
The Glass Slipper - 503-282-0069 at 3106 NE Broadway in Portland, Oregon
The Emerald City Dance Boutique - 253-946-4080 or 1-888-446-4080 in Federal Way, south of Seattle, Washington
Special thanks again to Michelle Uttke, Owner and instructor at Fancy Feet Grand Ballroom, located on the third floor of the Oregon City Elks Lodge, phone 503-722-9922, for her help with this article, including lending a pair of men's Latin dance shoes for the photographs.Next article: Let's review footwear for Western dancers. If you have any comments or suggestions regarding dance shoes that I could incorporate into the upcoming articles, please e-mail or call me.
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