Wednesday, June 16, 2010
ADVICE FOR BUYING NEW TAP SHOES
I don’t how many ill fitting tap shoes I’ve seen in class recently but suffice to say I’d be a rich person if I had $1 for each one I’d spotted.
It may be beneficial to give the following advice to your students either verbally or in one of your dance studio’s newsletters. Hopefully the message will get through.
Tap shoes are made from leather (man made or natural), canvas or plastic. Men usually choose black-tie Oxfords. Women's styles include Mary Janes or Oxfords in a variety of colors. Many dance schools choose the tan coloured tap shoes because they will suit any coloured costume students may be wearing. Other schools like to stay with the more traditional black leather.
Soles, which are made of leather or suede, can be either split, providing more flexibility, or full.
Heels are usually one or more inches high. Among the new innovations in tap shoe styling is the tap sneaker.
Capezio is one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of tap shoes. Other tap shoes brands include Bloch and Leo's. Tap shoes are more expensive than say, ballet shoes but can be cheaper than dance sneakers.
Taps are affixed with screws.
You can attach taps to street shoes yourself, take them to a shoe shop to have the work done, or buy specialty shoes with taps already attached to the soles.
Dancers often loosen or tighten screws to adjust the sound.
Many dance competitions don’t allow the taps commonly known as “jingle” taps.
Buying Tap Shoes
If you're new to tap dancing, it's best to buy your first pair of tap shoes in person.
Be sure to wear the same type of socks or stockings that you wear when you are dancing, and bring along any special inserts or innersoles you use as well. Look for a comfortable and snug -- but not too tight -- fit.
When you've narrowed your search to a few pairs, don't just walk around in them; try a dance step or two as well.
There is a tendency for parents to buy tap shoes several sizes bigger than the student’s foot so they “will grow into them”. While you want to leave a little room for growth – especially in younger children – too much room can be quite dangerous. There is an emphasis on the use of the ankle joint in tap dance and therefore good support of the foot is needed in tap shoes. If the shoe is too loose the student may sustain ankle injuries.
Good luck and here’s hoping that parents will start listening to our advice on fitting and purchasing new dance shoes.