Can you tell someone's a dancer

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by pygmalion, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    ... without even asking?

    I have a friend who swears she can tell, whether it be at a bar or a ballroom, just by looking at the shoes.

    Her theory is that, for a night of real dancing, real dancers have dance shoes that are broken in and not too flashy. According to her? Street shoes? Dead giveaway of a non-dancer out on the town. (I assume salsa and swing dancers are exempted from the street shoe caveat.) Brand new shoes? Newbie. Flashy, expensive shoes? Wannabe spending money rather than time on the floor.


    Just curious. Do you think she's out of her mind, condescending, right, or other? And do you have a litmus test you use to distinguish dancers from non-dancers?
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    depends on the venue...but yes...there is a grain of truth to that
  3. kckc

    kckc Active Member

    I work out at a national fitness chain for women (starts with a "C"- not sure if I can say it or not). Anyway, I have had many women ask me as I am working out if I am a dancer. Apparently I am very graceful with my arms and I have a lot of musicality at the aerobic stations and I tend to work in dance movement wherever I can. So I guess the answer might be yes, some people can tell a dancer from a non-dancer.

    I also notice newbies who come to a dance class in 3" stilettos (anything higher then 2" is a stiletto to me) and assume they haven't been to a dance class before.​
  4. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

    I can tell by the way a person walks
  5. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Sounds right to me. If I'm looking for a good smooth or standard dance, I'll definitely look for ladies in court shoes - the more worn, the better.

    Supadance once ran an ad showing a picture of a pair of beautiful legs - with the words, "the first thing he noticed was her Supadance shoes". That pretty much nailed me.
  6. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I wear flip flops for dancing. Does that make me not a dancer? I don't think you can tell by footwear.
  7. wonderwoman

    wonderwoman Active Member

    I occasionally dance in flip flops when my feet start to get tired of being in heels.
  8. opendoor

    opendoor Well-Known Member

    Feet do not lie

    Interesting, but, concerning tango, I cannot confirm that theory, for shoes are a real f etish for female tango dancers. I´ve often seen flats where more than 50 paires were draped on shelves along the corridor with spotlights, or were arranged in glass cabinets on red velvet. Really a lot of tangueras that dance in jeans or tracksuits, never would stint on shoes.

    But I think the direction is correct. If I want to know if a girl´s a dancer (whatever barefoot, in flipflops, sneakers, or on 90mm/3.5" Comme-il-Fauts) I do look at her feet!
  9. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl New Member

    Of course, those who spend *really* a lot of time on the floor wear out their shoes and have to buy new ones from time to time. So you might be fooled by an apparent "newbie."
  10. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Perhaps how comfortably they wear the new shoes is a better indication. If the woman (or man) looks really comfortable in the heels, then they're most likely an experienced dancer. If they look a bit awkward wearing them, then they might be new.
  11. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    True. :cool: And I break in my new shoes at home. I'd never take them out for a night on the town. I think my friend has a nugget in there, somewhere. I don't think she's completely right, but I think she's on to something. *shrug*

    Personally, I think you can tell dancers by their posture. But that's just me. :)
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Yes. Tango is different. Tango dancers and their incredible shoes! Legendary. I guess there should be a different shoe-rule for tango. :wink: :cool:
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    for me, if it is a dance studio, I can tell alot by their shoes, otherwise, I can tell by posture, by what they have chosen to wear, etc
  14. 3wishes

    3wishes Well-Known Member

    hmmm, interesting. I had heard this before (original post to this thread). Then I noticed - on purpose - the shoes ladies were wearing, as an experiment - during a non-dance studio social event. I got 80% correct of dancers/non-dancers correct by the shoes. Very weird assumption. Even weirder, I'm in jeans, flip flops, t-shirt, pony tail, with jacket over arm - leaning against my hotel room entry door waiting for others. Several people come down the hall after check in and look at me and say "your a dancer". Now THAT was weird.
  15. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    Years ago when I used to dance lindy hop regularly, people would always look at a new person's shoes before asking him or her to dance. I picked up on that quickly, and as soon as I bought the "proper" shoes, I got asked by experienced dancers a lot more often.
  16. v22TTC

    v22TTC New Member

    Ah, but if they were a real dancer, then they'd be wearing their broken-in back-up pair....:p
  17. flashdance

    flashdance Active Member

    legwarmers
    singing in the car
    work as a welder
    moonwalk with their trolley in the supermarket
    sweatbands
    white socks
  18. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Only if they're social-dancing. (And not even then. I may wear my new shoes next time I hit the studio party, just to break them in a bit more.)

    As for stilettos? I wear 3" slim heels ("stiletto" is not only height but width--3" flares aren't stilettos.) And have been known to whine and moan when I think the shoe height isn't a true 3". And am definitely not a n00b! As I'm a hair under 5'4" in my bare feet it's a good thing NP is 6'....
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    if someone doesn't change into their dance shoes wherever they're out dancing'... newb.

    i know some excellent social dancers (leads) who don't look "dancery", but they all have been around long enuf to wear good dance shoes.
  20. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    A decade ago, when I first started dancing, I took lessons at a social dance studio where none of the students knew their butts from a hand-basket, when it came to actual dance. (Not being mean. Just putting it out there. There are such studios, and they serve a purpose, IMO.)


    But I'll tell you what. I have never in my life seen such beautiful shoes. The ladies, especially, would take road trips to the closest dance shoe shop and buy half-a-dozen pairs of the most gorgeous dance shoes they could find. Wealthy women. Lots of shoes. Mostly Latin shoes, because appearance was what mattered. Nobody bought court shoes. Waltzing in 3.5", leopard-print flare heels? Uh huh.

    I do think that my friend is on to something. :cool:

Share This Page