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Ballroom dancing is vibrant heart-pounding, and exhilarating – and that describes how the audience feels as they watch dancers move across the dance floor executing unimaginable footwork. Imagine the uncontainable excitement dancers feel as they perform! Dancers aren’t afraid to give their shoes credit for their performance.

Shoes make all the difference in a performance and how dancers feel before, during, and after they step on the stage. In this blog, we will discuss the different styles of ballroom dancing and the importance of finding ballroom dance shoes for men to elevate every performance.

Why Shoes Matter on the Dance Floor

Men should look good as they grace the dance floor. A man who looks good feels good, and this elevates his performance. Shoes are an important aspect of his appearance. Specialty ballroom dance shoes provide men with the style they want to look and feel their best, plus the unique features dancers need to move eloquently across the dance floor.

Ballroom dance shoes enhance a dancer’s performance by providing extra heel and ankle support, added comfort, and flexibility, allowing him to move freely and step to the beat with the precision ballroom dancing requires.  A man suffering from achy feet cannot perform at his best. Ballroom dance shoes take away that risk, delivering top-notch comfort and support.

The History of Ballroom Dancing and Popular Dance Styles

Ballroom dancing began sometime during 16th-century England. Originally performed at small social gatherings, ballroom dancing caught the eye of royalty and patriarchs who appreciated the beautiful attire dancers wore, but more importantly, the graceful movements and intricate footwork that it embodied. Over the centuries, ballroom dancing continued to impress a who’s who list of individuals from around the world.

Ballroom dancing evolved and diversified in time, taking influence from various cultures, each bringing unique character and charm to the world of dance.

Some of the most popular styles of ballroom dancing include:

  • Salsa: Originating in the Caribbean, Salsa music is passionate, energetic, and enthusiastic.  It’s more than just a dance style, it is a celebration of life, love, and happiness. Salsa dancing embodies synchronized steps, playful movements, and spontaneous passion. Men move close to their partners, requiring intricate footwork to dance in rhythm and embrace the sensuality of the dance.   Men who perform Salsa-style ballroom dancers need shoes that help maintain the intricacy and authenticity the dance requires.
  • Cha-Cha: Lively and playful, the Cha-Cha dance style originated in Cuba during the 1950s. It fuses several dance rhythms and distinctive steps that require sharp footwork and skilled hip movement, accomplishable only when he wears ballroom dance shoes designed for his unique steps.
  • Tango: A dance style developed in the 19th century during the early days of ballroom dance, Tango is bold, dramatic, and assertive. Characterized by distinctive walking steps, intricate footwork, and dramatic dips, Tango dancers embrace one another and dance passionately.
  • Foxtrot: Another classic ballroom dance style, Foxtrot emerged during the early 20th century in the U.S. and Europe. Foxtrot is toned down, sophisticated, and charming. It combines several dance styles to create old-world charm. The result is an elegant dance consisting of flowing movements. Partners share a close connection during Foxtrot ballroom dancing. One of the key features of this dance style is the rise and fall movement.

What Sets Ballroom Shoes Apart From Other Shoes

Executing the dances above is not easy, especially without the right shoes. At first glance, ballroom dance shoes look similar to dress shoes men wear every day. Look closer, and you’ll notice the differences in the shoes. Put them on your feet before heading out to the dance floor, and there is no comparison.

Dancers need ballroom dance shoes because their specialized features set them apart from regular shoes. Men can execute the necessary movements ballroom dance requires thanks to the improved flexibility, support, and comfort ballroom dance shoes offer.

Unique features found in men’s ballroom dance shoes include:

  • Leather Uppers: Most ballroom shoes feature leather uppers with good reason. The material is superlative to others, as most of us know, but on the dance floor, leather uppers are extraordinaire. Leather uppers give the shoes sophisticated elegance, but more importantly, they can withstand the rigorous movement on a dance floor. The flexibility of leather allows unrestricted movement and comfort, plus breathability that helps keep feet cool when it is most important.
  • Low Heel: A low, one-inch heel is ideal for men’s ballroom dance shoes. The slight elevation of the heel improves posture and balance while helping him easily maneuver his best steps.
  • Lightweight Materials: Ballroom dance shoes must feature lightweight materials that are more flexible than everyday shoes, yet durable enough to handle unrestricted movements for easy turns.
  • Suede Soles: Rubber soles like those found on traditional shoes aren’t made for the dance floor. They restrict movement, may cause foot, leg, or ankle injuries, and otherwise are just a bad idea.  Ballroom shoes feature suede soles that help grip the dance floor, preventing accidents and helping them glide and stride easily.

How to Choose Ballroom Dance Shoes

Now that you understand the importance of wearing ballroom dance shoes, use the following tips to find a pair that helps you step to the sound of the beat.

  • Dance Style: Choose dance shoes based on the dance style you perform most often since different shoes feature unique characteristics that allow you to execute steps eloquently.
  • Brand: Some brands specialize in ballroom dance shoe construction and design. Specialty brands use their expertise to create well-crafted shoes meant to excel in your dance style.
  • Recommendations: Friends, fellow dancers, and online reviews can direct you toward ballroom dance shoes perfect for your unique dance style.

Step Into The World of Ballroom Dancing

Ballroom dancing speaks to the soul, filling the body with radiance and freedom of expression regardless of the style you find most appealing. If you want to step on the dance floor with passion, ensure you do it with a great pair of ballroom dance shoes guiding the way.

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