Feet. Our foundation. Our physical nadir. These tiny points of stability carry the whole of us from toes to arch to ankle. From delicate and curved to broad and flat. Strong and sensuous, the pads of our feet bear traces of every step we have taken. And for a dancer, they do so much more. They point and flex, stretch and kick, ache and bleed. Sometimes ugly, but always beautiful...
...aaaanndd finding the right dance shoes can be a real pain in the ass, y'know?
Luckily, the D.Webb dance family does everything from Salsa to Ballet to Heels and Hip Hop, so we have turned to these artists to find out what their tried and true favorites are, and the list ranges from well-known dance brands to bargain street shoes. You never know what your feet will love!
For example, the world renowned fusion artist Dalia Carella, Debbie's co-producer of Menagerie d'Arte, loves to wear her Sansha dance sneakers to teach dance intensives in, then perform cabaret in Capezio Can Can Boots or Tango in some LoLo Tango Shoes. However, the statuesque goddess that is Danielle Hutton prefers her custom Salamanca 4-inch heels.
Danielle Hutton captivating the crowd. Photo by Michael Ortiz.
Meanwhile, you might see "Jill-of-all-dance-styles" Danielle Albertina perform Samba at NYC's Red Room in her Brazil Carnival Shop heels, and she loves dancing Ballet in some Cynthia King cruelty-free ballet shoes. For Salsa, she loves rocking her Burju heels, along with Sol Dance Center's Karla Choko (who loves her Burju "Karla" lace-ups, and that's just too simpatico with the matching names, y'all...)
Dani dancing Fusion Samba in D.Webb Designs
And keeping on with the Burja fanfare, Salsero Gregory Kritsky likes their suede bottom shoes for performances, along with G Franco, and maybe a little Jose Botta and Manuel Reina when suede bottoms aren't needed. But when he feels like a little social Salsa, Bachata or Zouk, some Converse will do the trick (and this Salsera totally agrees, by the way. Converse forever!).
Karla and Gregory in D.Webb Designs at 2019 NYC Dance Parade.
Converse and other Skater shoes are also faves among our Urban dance fam. James Mota likes Vans, DC and Osiris, while David Machicado and Rafaela Oli go for Nike, Adidas and Reebok (if they're not wearing the Capezio canvas jazz shoe).
James in D.Webb Designs (and Debbie's Nikes). Photo by Monzeeki.
David also teaches and performs Heels, but doesn't "really mind about brand, as long as they are boots, between 12 or 15 cm heel, have good grab on the ankle and no platform."
David preshow at Menagerie d'Arte! Photo by ....
And as a personal request, if anyone out there knows of some brands with all that, adding "comfortable" to the list, comment below! Because even though heels are evil torture devices, I will conquer them someday!
For all you barefoot dancers out there, Donna Manalo has a little something to say: "I generally prefer to be barefoot for Middle Eastern/African dance styles, but as I age that's not working so well... I use Capezio jazz oxfords for "belly dance" intensives and days when I'll be dancing/rehearing for more than an hour. The lacing is preferable to a slip on for better arch support. I've started experimenting with the Apolla Joule to get more of that "barefoot" feel, and those are working out great."
Donna trying on some sassy pole dance heels with our teacher pant at Elevations Studio in Delaware! So Hot!
Thank you, Donna. Such a great point! For all us dancers out here who want to keep dancing long past the pseudo-standard "use by" date, finding ways to take care of our feet is essential.
Other alternatives when you can't go barefoot? Well, our fierce Brenna Crowley likes performing belly dance in Capezio Pedini Jazz Shoes for outdoor performances to protect her feet but still give her full range of motion. Then she'll switch gears and Vogue in some 4 inch stiletto peep toe booties by Michael Kors, Betsy Johnson, Thalia or Enzo Angiolini. She says, "I feel more comfortable with the stability those shoes give me around my ankles and the toe freedom." And that's not all, folks! She also does Spanish Arabic / Flamenco! Depending on the floor, she'll wear Menkes when flamenco shoes are allowed or Bloch character shoes when they’re not.
Brenna Crowley performing Fusion Vogue at Fission at Tribal Massive™
So, our dancers have given us lots of options for almost every style of dance to help keep your tootsies healthy and comfortable while allowing them to do the magic that they do, no matter what surface they are on, but out of all the answers we received, the one by Edenia Archuleta is my personal fave... Nike boxing boots! A fusion bellydancer who specializes in popping and locking, Edenia loves her Nike boxing boots for both practice and performance not only because they are comfortable and flexible, but they also look great!
Edenia's 2019 Promo Video filmed by her very own dad!! <3
I never thought of using my boxing shoes to dance in, but I may have to rethink that. As I said before, you never know what your feet will love.
So what about you? What are your go-to shoes for your favorite dances? Any other shoes you would recommend? Or have we given you ideas for YOUR next favorite dance shoe?
Until next time, it's all love....
Your D.Webb blogger,
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Meet Danielle Albertina, Debbie's right hand. The organizing, modeling, pattern cutting, inventory keeping, reminding Debbie to breathe Jill-of-All-Trades here at D.Webb Designs.
Dancing from the age of three (thanks, Grandma)....