Tap dancing is so much fun and can be so energizing. But the shoes you do it in make a huge difference in your performance. After all, you can only tap dance in specialty tap shoes. You can practice your moves in ballet slippers initially, but before you go on stage, you will need your own pair of tap shoes. Here are a few tips to help you select the right ones.
Opt for the Mary-Jane Shape
There are two basic shapes of tap shoes. The first shape resembles that of a Mary-Jane shoe. The toes of the shoe are rounded, and there is one strap that comes across the top of the foot. The other type of shoe is shaped more like a loafer with a heel. While you will see more mature, experienced dancers wearing the loafer-style shoes, the Mary Janes are almost certainly a better choice for your first pair of shoes. They are easier to balance on, and they do not move around as much so you can focus on your moves, rather than on your shoes, when dancing.
If Between Two Sizes, Choose the Smaller One
Always try the tap shoes on before buying. The sizes can be a little different from those of street shoes, so you might end up needing a size larger or smaller than what you typically wear. For example, if you usually wear an 8, be prepared to try on a size 7, 8, and 9. The shoe should fit snugly with just enough room in the toe area for you to move your toes a little bit. If you feel like you're between two sizes, choose the smaller one; the shoes will loosen up as you dance in them a little.
Keep Your Budget Modest
This is not the time to spend $300 on tap shoes. Chances are, what you like in a shoe will change in the coming months as you advance as a dancer. You might find, for instance, that you want a shoe with a larger tap plate or one that is a little tighter. Don't buy the cheapest shoes available as your first pair, but try to stick to middle-of-the-road brands for now.
With the tips above, you should be able to select a good pair of tap shoes. For more tips and advice, reach out to your tap dance teacher, who should have plenty of their own experience buying shoes. Contact a supplier of tap shoes in your area as well.