Do I Need Dance Shoes?

There are 3 options for what to wear on your feet. Let me start by saying that skating with hobnail boots is counter-productive and so is dancing with rubber soles or tread or platform shoes to name a few.

My students are encouraged to bring 2 sets of shoes; one for the dance floor and one for the street. This not only protects the beautiful hardwood floor from street grime but also assists the student in proper turning ability. You will be asked to turn on one ball of foot from 1/4 to even 4/4 of a turn to the right and the left. Don’t worry, it will be fine.


  1. Real dance shoes with a suede leather bottom can be purchased at Dance Essentials in Kelowna. They have men’s and women’s shoes at around $100. They also have a website to look at the shoes.
  2. If you have a favourite shoe that you don’t mind turning into a dance shoe then consider taking that pair of shoes to Cannery Shoe Repair in Penticton or perhaps one in Kelowna. They will shave off the bottom rubber and/or tread of your shoe and glue on to the sole and heel, a split leather cowhide with the fuzzy side down toward the floor for the best performance.
  3. If the women and men students have a pair of shoes with a slippery plastic bottom or leather bottom, then that will do for now. Do not stress over having to have the perfect set of shoes for your introduction to dancing. Do the best you can for now and then eventually you will see that the proper shoe will be a great asset from the foundation up just like any house that is being built.

Ladies should also wear a shoe that straps your heel in. Open toed shoes can also be a hazard. Consider having a shoe that covers your toes for safety reasons. Shoes that have no higher than a 2″ heel are preferred. If you ladies are considering a real dance shoe then consider what is called a “dance work shoe”. That is what I call it and most women call it that too. There are several shoe makers that have different brand names. It looks more like a man’s Latin cuban heel shoe. You say ugh! Consider again that  90% of serious dancers choose these shoes. They cover Latin, swing and ballroom dancing for a “one shoe fits all”.  They come in black or cream. Typically women who dance have those shoes plus 2 or 3 more depending on the dance genre and sex appeal of the shoe. I am sure the clerk will fit you well no matter what you choose. Shelly Gottfred is the owner and she is expecting you.

One last thing. Ladies: Dress casual to my classes. A dress or skirt with movement or slacks is just fine. We are just learning and practicing after all. My studio is also scent free too please.

Dance Essentials

Kelowna  – 250 – 868 1417 – open 7 days a week plus 12 noon – 3pm on Sundays  #8 – 1960 Springfield Rd –

Cannery Shoe Repair

Penticton – 250 492 5501 – #307 1475 Fairview Rd