I live in on the east coast and have followed your articles for years. You are a great inspiration to me. I have a nagging question and just know you are the one to ask.
I am 41 years old and a pretty good dancer. I practice all the time. I STUDY dancing...videos, you tube, performances, classes, private lessons, etc. But you know what - my dancing SUCKS (well maybe doesn't suck, but is nowhere near as good) in HIGH heels. I have no fun. I can't spin as well. My dancing is less fluid and relaxed. I am more inhibited.
Oh, and I am a single mom. My time to go out dancing is limited....so I have to make the MOST of the FUN when I do have time to go out (I try to make it 1-2 times a week and am lucky when that happens). I have been dancing since 1998 (with a 6 year break while I was married).
When I take high heels off and use dance sneakers or practice shoes, everything changes (I have way better balance of course). I had this same problem when I was a ballroom dancer. Here is my question...
I have NO plans to dance on a team, dance professionally, etc. So I don't think heels are such a necessity for me. But I do want to be a great dancer in clubs. Would it be so horrible to just toss the high heels and just go dance in dance sneakers?. I just want to have a great time and I hate the inhibition I feel in high heels (don't get me wrong I love wearing them when I am just going out to look nice). Would I be really lame if I just stopped dancing in them? (the only bummer is that I have really nice legs so would not get to show them off... hahahah)
What are your thoughts on this? I'd love to know.....I feel such pressure to wear high heels (as in really GOOD dancers wear heels, blah blah blah blah). If that's true, so be it and I'll keep trying to dance in them. But you seem like the kind of person I could ask this. As you have said in your articles .... you have experienced EVERYTHING in Salsa!
Oh, and you are the best. I really admire you. I will be attending the NY Salsa congress at the end of the month and will be at all your workshops. I am very excited to see you in action live!!
- a Concerned Salsera
Dear Concerned Salsera,
I also had problems in high heels when I started at thirty years old.
You know what I did?
I wore my dance shoes LITERALLY EVERYWHERE. Omg. To work, to the store, to the bathroom, around the house, cleaning, you name it, there she was, “Edie” in her suede sole shoes in mud and leaves, and cement, and I did not care.
I normally where my dance shoes to the mall, grocery store, and airport. When you hang out a lot with your dance partner, they always want to try moves with you in the strangest places – like standing in line at a movie theatre, or at a pet shop. Then you really wish you had your dance shoes on so you can spin better, or “get the feel” better.
That’s why I rarely complain about slippery or sticky dance floors. I’m so used to every type of floor imaginable that it doesn’t bother me anymore. I’ve learned to control it – and my mind. There are Tantric meditation techniques for this.
I also wear four-inch platforms by Amanci Shoe Company that feel like you’re wearing only two-inch high heels! THEY ARE AMAZING!!! I totally swear by them. I can spin beautifully and dance for seven hours (with my Spenco inserts inside) with them, and walk the streets as well!
From all the wear and tear on my suede leather bottom shoes, yes, I do have to get them resoled more often than most. But it is well worth the cost – You can’t put a price on the valuable practice time in balance, and control just doing “every day” stuff around the house and work.” Get Spenco inserts – you will feel will feel like you’re wearing very comfortable tennis shoes!! www.DanceFreak.com
I swear by them. Every pair I bought has OUTLASTED THE SHOES!! I even switch them from one pair to the next when the shoes have just DIED from use.
Most men prefer high heels – but they don’t have to be that high. I feel great in one and a half inch heels, or even two inch high heels.
Three inches… mmmm… well, maybe, but very rarely.
Just go for the lower heel, and stand up tall, straight, and pretty – no one will ever tell. No one will even notice!
I have known certain men who refuse to dance with a woman in dance sneakers. Sad, but true. Can you imagine the pettiness of this? But that’s what they tell me, and you already know how tough it is to change a man…. Like anything in life, it takes a lot of practice and self-control. You have to REALLY WANT IT. Get used to it,. Mind over matter.
Hope this word of advice helped you.
Take care and keep PRACTICING!!
- Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!