Ballroom Dancing is the natural movement of two individuals, inspired by music and acting as a "Singularity". The key phrase here is "NATURAL MOVEMENT". When you see good Ballroom Dancing, the image you see is a graceful, "Singular", moving entity. Whether the "Singularity" is moving across the floor or dancing in place, the movements are fluid and seamless. One of the major contributors to this type of movement are Ballroom Dance Shoes. Ballroom Dance Shoes allow the "Two-Headed Four-Legged" entity ("Singularity") to move gracefully.
Consider the challenge of trying to move two humans with four legs and two bodies gracefully, powerfully, and under control. We need all the help we can get and Ballroom Dance Shoes are the first place to start. There are special shoes for running, walking, hiking, tennis, bowling, basketball, football, etc., etc. Each type of shoe has unique qualities for that particular sport. The sport of Ballroom Dancing has its own specialized dance shoes as well.
Not all DANCE SHOES are created equal. For example, you would never wear BALLET dance shoes for Ballroom Dancing. This is quite obvious, but I see people trying to dance Ballroom wearing running shoes, tennis shoes, boots, etc. all of the time. These types of shoes are designed to maintain sure footedness. This is not what we need for Ballroom Dancing. Ballroom Dance shoes should slide but not be slippery on the dance floor.
Ballroom Dancing requires unrestricted natural movement from a four-legged (Singularity) perspective. Ballroom dance shoes accommodates natural foot swivel on the floor. This results in a natural body rotation that extends all the way to the floor. The natural floor swivel lessens knee and ankle torque which is a huge bonus. The flexibility of Ballroom Dance shoe enables natural footwork. All the parts of the shoe are used in Ballroom Dancing: straight, inside and outside edge heels; balls, toes, flats; etc. The foot work is a result of the dancer's body position. The flexibility of the shoe makes the foot work a natural action. Ballroom Dance shoes are smaller and lighter compared to other types of shoes. This allows quick feet, quiet feet and comfortable free movement.
Ballroom dance shoes produce a small foot print, are light weight and allow agile movement. This accommodates the variations of four-legged movement required for Ballroom Dancing. The shoes enable the partners to develop the correct dancing positions. The small foot print enables a close frame relationship in Smooth and Standard dancing and the Latin dance shoe accommodates the Latin and Rhythm dancer's correct body position. The light weight allows easy control of foot movements and enhances compact rotational movement.
The men's shoe with a 1 inch heel is designed for Smooth and Standard dancing but can be used socially as a general purpose dance shoe as well. The men's shoe with the 2 inch heel is for Latin and Rhythm dancing only. The lady's closed toed shoes are for Smooth and Standard style dancing and the open toed shoes are for Latin and Rhythm style dancing. Either style can be used socially as a general purpose dance shoe. The lady's dance shoes are available in various heel heights but the 2 ½ inch heel is pretty much the standard. Ballroom Dance shoes will last a long time if they are only worn on the dance floor. Their effectiveness can be maintained by regularly brushing the soles and heels with a dance shoe wire brush.
Ballroom Dancing in street shoes or running shoes is surprisingly restrictive. The Ballroom Dance shoe's small size, light weight, flexibility, sliding action, and swiveling ability, all contribute to smooth, flowing, powerful, comfortable, and controlled dancing. When the Ballroom Dance shoes are right, the dancer isn't even aware that they are present. It feels free like being bare footed and all movements are possible.