When you start dancing, you want to find shoes that will help you stay centered as a dancer. We do require them for any classes after Basic Beginner classes. Latin dancing requires a shoe that provides excellent support (heels, ankles and arches should be supported) while providing some flexibility.To achieve the correct stance, dancers wear a heeled shoe to elevate the back and transfer weight placement onto the ball of the foot, while still maintaining weight on the entire foot, to allow quick and easy movement.
Salsa dancing shoes have soles made from suede. Suede soled shoes allow the dancer to feel the floor for increased control over movement. Suede soles are only suitable for indoor use on hardwood floors. This enables the dancer to perform spins and shines without sticking to the floor. When you’re spending long periods of time on your feet, the right shoes provide endurance and prevent injury. Too much grip can cause ankle, knee and hip injuries. Muscle cramps, strains, tendon damage, shin splints, and stress fractures are common injuries caused by dancing in poor quality or ill-fitting shoes.
Since you’ll be dancing more forward on your foot, the correct fit for Latin shoes is having your toes at the very edge of the shoes when standing, in fact, even about 1/4 inch past the shoe is desirable. A dancer will now be able to “use the floor”, remaining grounded with the inside edge and ball of the foot.
Choose a heel size based on your comfort level. 2.5 or higher is recommended but this also depends on the type of street shoes you have worn previously.