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Dance sneakers are a type of footwear designed for dancing. They are specially designed to support the feet, but still allow for bending, spinning, and movement. Dance sneakers should only be worn for dancing; they are not intended for general use, because they often do not provide enough arch support for daily walking.
There are different dance sneakers available for different types of dance, such as jazz and hip-hop. These sneakers may be purchased at athletic supply or dancing supply stores, and are generally not found in general shoe stores. They may also be purchased online, but it is a good idea to ask for assistance from an employee before purchasing a first pair of dance shoes.
Often, dance sneakers are designed with a split sole. This means that there is sole support in the front, underneath the toes and ball of the foot, and the back, underneath the heel of the foot. There is no sole in the middle of the foot under the arch, however.
This split sole design allows the foot to bend much more freely when dancing. Some feature straps along the side to give the arch a small bit of support. Other types of dance sneakers have a very thin, extremely flexible sole over the entire sneaker.
Dance sneakers typically only come in a few colors, including black, pink, or white. This is because many dance schools have strict rules regarding attire, both for practices and shows, and brightly colored sneakers are not often allowed. In addition, depending on the type of dance, some schools require students to wear a leotard and tights while practicing.
Some dance sneakers feature additional benefits, such as smooth spots on the soles to make spinning easier, or notches in the heel to make it easier for a partner to lift another dancer. Sneakers are typically lace-up; slip-on shoes are not common. The sneakers are typically made of leather, canvas, or suede; leather and suede shoes tend to be more expensive than others. Again, the style, type, and features of the shoe vary depending on the type of dance for which it is intended.
Remember, dance sneakers should never be worn for anything other than dance. Not only can this damage an expensive pair of dancing sneakers, but it can cause injury or pain in the legs and feet. For walking or jogging, choose sneakers designed for the purpose, with a complete sole and full support for the arches.