Can you tell someone's a dancer

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#1
... 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?
 

kckc

Active Member
#3
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.​
 

Warren J. Dew

Well-Known Member
#5
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.
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.
 

opendoor

Well-Known Member
#8
Feet do not lie

... Brand new shoes? .. spending money rather than time on the floor.
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!
 

waltzgirl

Active Member
#9
Brand new shoes? Newbie. Flashy, expensive shoes? Wannabe spending money rather than time on the floor.
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."
 

Lioness

Well-Known Member
#10
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.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#11
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."

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. :)
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#12
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!

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

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#13
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
 

3wishes

Well-Known Member
#14
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.
 

skwiggy

Well-Known Member
#15
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
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."
Ah, but if they were a real dancer, then they'd be wearing their broken-in back-up pair....:p
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#18
Ah, but if they were a real dancer, then they'd be wearing their broken-in back-up pair....:p
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'....
 

samina

Well-Known Member
#19
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.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#20
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:
 

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