A dancer’s shoe is one of the most important things to them. So, making sure the shoes are properly cared for will help to provide the support and protection that a dancer needs to perform at their best.
Dance shoes should be kept in a cool and dry location when they are not being used so that they have the opportunity to dry completely before they are worn again. This practice will increase the life of all of your dance shoes.
Wearing The Shoes
When putting your footwear on and taking them off–be gentle–expectually when wearing lyrical shoes like toe paws. The life span of these types of shoes can be greatly affected by how carefully you put them on and remove them. Also, make sure that you are wearing the proper clothing with your shoes. For instance, wearing socks with your tap shoes can help prevent the growth of bacteria. Make sure you don’t dance on broken or small shoes. Dancing on broken shoes can cause serious damage and consequences. It is important to get fitted by our experienced fitters in the store because there is a fine line between properly fitting shoes and shoes that are too small.
Now each shoe has a unique way to take care of them. This is why I will go through and explain some of the key points that will help you take care of your shoes no matter which kind you have.
Ballet/ Lyrical Shoe Care
Ballet and lyrical shoes come in two different types–leather and canvas– and there are different ways to care for each. Canvas shoes can be put in the washing machine. You can put them in a pillowcase and wash normally, but do not put them in the dryer because they will shrink if they do. For leather shoes, you can use a cleaner like a Magic Eraser to rub out some dirty spots, but do not put them in the washing machine because they will shrink.
Tap Shoe Care
Tap Shoes are unique because they have the metal on the bottom that you need to take care of as well. These shoes are made out of leather so just like with leather ballet shoes these shoes should not be put through the washing machine. Most Tap shoes have the metal pieces attached by screws (although some of the beginner tap shoes have the metal pieces nailed into the shoe and not screwed in). This presents a unique set of challenges when caring for your shoes. When a tapper dances the vibrations of the metal hitting the floor can make the screws and nails loosen. Dancers should check their shoes to see if the screws are loose and tighten them accordingly. If the screws are loose it could change the sound of the taps and the dancer would run the risk of losing the screws during class.
Jazz Shoe Care
Jazz shoes are typically leather shoes, but there are some canvas jazz shoes that are required by some studios. Just like with canvas ballet shoes, canvas jazz shoes can be put into the washing machine, however, again they should not be out in the dryer as it will shrink. As for the leather jazz shoes, you can use a Magic Eraser to get rid of dirty spots. Just like with leather ballet shoes you do not want to put these in the washer.
Now one thing to remember for each of these shoes is that they are not meant to be worn outside of the studio. By making sure to take off your dance shoes after class and putting them away, you will increase the life of your shoes.