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How to Pick Cha-Cha Shoes

Learn how to pick cha-cha shoes in this Howcast video.


Christina: Hi guys, I'm Christina.

Aaron: And I'm Aaron, here again with Dance Times Square, in New York City.

Christina: We're going to talk a little bit about how to choose a great cha-cha shoe. So we're going to talk about the ladies' choices of shoes, and then Aaron will jump in and talk about the guys. So ladies, when you're a cha-cha dance shoe or a shoe for any Latin dancing, you want to make sure that it has a strong metal shank that is in the center part of the foot, which provides a lot of good support.

In the front part of the shoe, you want to make sure that it's flexible, both when you point your foot but also flexible back the other way, just so that you have maximum movement in your feet, and you can really use and work the floor. Ladies, you want your toes to come right to the edge of the shoe. You don't want your toes necessarily hanging over.

On the other end of that, you don't want your shoes having too much shoe left from where your toe ends, because that can roll under as you dance and trip you up. Some really great dance shoes are Supadance, Dance Naturals. In New York City, Worldtone is a great shoe store that has a lot of different varieties, from competition shoes to just kind of a social shoe if you're just going to go out dancing. There's a lot of different choices in terms of straps.

Some ladies have straps that are lower across the foot, some ladies prefer straps that are more around the ankle. Important to keep in mind, you want to elongate your leg line, so you want the shoe to be an extension of your leg and of your foot, so keeping them kind of in a neutral skin tone color that's appropriate to you, to give you the longest look possible. So those are some things for the ladies, and I'll turn it over to Aaron for the guys.

Aaron: All right, guys, it's going to be a little bit easier for us. We can pretty much get away with dancing with just about anything we're comfortable in, from flats to a Cuban heel. So what I'm looking for when I go out is something with a sueded bottom, something that's going to have a little bit of grip on there, that's going to allow me to not slide out on those hardwood dance floors or whatever type of floor it may be.

Also, any kind of dress shoe, even sneakers work guys, for us. But we want to look a little more classy, a little more dressed up, which really fits the style and characteristic of these dances; I mean let's be honest. What I look for when I go in for a competition shoe is something more in the line of the men's sort of Cuban heels, which is pretty standard in the dance sport world. You'll see all the men out there competing in Latin dancing wearing. They're always pretty much going to be your standard black, but they do come in other styles, as well. That's pretty much it for us, guys.

Christina: For the ladies, in terms of heel height they range anywhere from 2 inches to 2 1/2 to 3 inches. You really want to kind of cap it off at 3 inches. Anything above that will put your weight forward which is good, but the higher the heel the more forward your weight is, and then sometimes it's just a battle between you and the shoe to keep your balance.

Another great option for ladies is Phil LaDuca. He makes great shoes for Latin dancing, as well as character shoes. If you guys have any questions for us here at Dance Times Square, you can email us at info@dancetimessquare with any of your shoe questions or dance questions, and we'd love to hear from you and respond back, and hopefully see you in our studio.

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