Sole Food Dance Shoe Reviews: Half-Sole/Lyrical Shoe

Welcome to Sole Food, a new review segment on finding the best shoes for your dance needs. While many belly dancers love performing in bare feet, the harsh reality is that the performance spaces we utilize (restaurants, Ren fair stages, hookah bars) are often equipped with the floor equivalent of war zones, from still-smoking hookah coals to broken wine glass bits to mud. Depending on your dance style, costuming, and venue, you need to find the right shoe for the job. Like any costume element, make sure to practice in your shoes before hitting the stage.

Without further ado, here is the first shoe review!

Half-Sole/Lyrical Shoe

Half-sole/Lyrical shoe

Half-sole/Lyrical shoe

What is it? A half-sole (or lyrical) shoe protects the ball of the foot and allows for an improved turning surface while leaving the toes and heel uncovered.

What’s it made of? Leather, suede and elastic. When purchasing dance shoes, always try to go with synthetic materials, as they will breathe when you sweat and will better adjust to your foot shape and size than synthetic materials.

What kind of dancers will wear it? Anyone! These are especially great for practice as they can be slipped on and off. These shoes are a little earthier looking, so they may not coordinate as well with high-glitz cabaret-style costumes.

What kind of surfaces can I dance on with it? Excellent for hard, smooth, clean surfaces. Do keep in mind that your toes and heels are uncovered and exposed to whatever may be on your dance space’s floor. Not recommended for grass, turf or textured surfaces (blacktop, etc), as the suede and leather on the bottom of the shoe will get damaged.

Who makes it? All the standard dance brands including Bloch, Capezio, Leo’s, etc. Different brands have slightly different widths and styling.

Sizing tips? Half-sole shoes often run smaller than street shoes. Make sure to consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart, or try on a pair before purchasing.

Registration open for belly dance classes in Princeton, NJ

Belly Dance class with Najla

Belly Dance class with Najla

Shimmy it up in P-ton this fall! A brand-new 10-week session of beginner-level classes starts October 4 via the Princeton Adult School. Registrations have only been open for a few days and the class is already filling up, so register now at the PAS website to secure your spot!

Najla’s Beginner Belly Dance at the Princeton Adult School

Community Park School
372 Witherspoon Street (room location TBA)
Princeton, NJ

Tuesdays starting October 4, 2011 (no class Nov. 1); 7:30-8:30 pm; 10 weeks

After a conditioning warm up and technique drills, students will learn the foundations of Egyptian-style belly dance (raqs sharqui), focusing on isolations of the hips, torso, arms and upper body. In the second half of the class, students will combine these movements and set them to music by learning a short choreography. Appropriate for all ages and fitness levels, no prior dance experience required

UPDATE (10-3-2011): The class is now full! A big thank you to everyone who signed up. There is now a waitlist button on the PAS website if you would like to try to join this term’s class.