Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Walking-Forwards Shoes

Three or four months ago I did a class (on how you physically go about expressing musicality) in which I was required to walk around to the music, without a partner, with variations in how the free foot moves in relation to the standing foot and in relation to the beat.

It was a very useful exercise in lots of ways, but one of the things I learnt from it was that, although I was now rather good at walking backwards in high heels, my walking forwards in high heels was, frankly, not so hot. You don't walk forwards very often, following; it's just the occasional step here and there, mainly in turns, so that you can go for a long time without noticing that those specific steps are a bit clumsy.

This, it seemed to me, was one of those little problems in life that can be solved by Shopping. So here are my walking-forwards shoes. They're higher than I would normally wear in real life, but I chose them because I like them so much I actually do wear them; at weekends, to any special outings, or even to work when I'm feeling a little defiant.

I could dance in them - they're well-balanced and the soles are smooth, and street shoes you can dance in are very useful for outdoor festivals. But they're patent leather, so they stick to each other when I collect my feet. My teacher says that happened to him once in a performance, before he knew better, and tripped him up; but he adds that there's stuff you can buy to put on patent leather and make it unsticky. What's it called, where do you get it? I'll have to pop in to a shoe shop and ask.


Anonymous said...

Just to pick up on y our first paragraph ... in your experience what's the best way to teach/learn musicality.

Regarding your shoes, try popping into a dance shoe shop and ask them .. they seem to be staffed by fairly knowledgeable people.

Jo A said...

On Strictly Come Dancing they said they put Vaseline on patent leather to stop it sticking. Ick.

Character shoes from a dance shop are the thing. I'd love a pair, except I don't do the right sort of dancing to justify them. There are some great shops on Drury Lane. Dancia were very helpful.

msHedgehog said...

Anonymous - I haven't taken many classes focused on this subject in general as opposed to dealing with a specific kind of music, but the one I'm thinking of worked very well for me. I'll describe it in a seperate post.

Jo - Oh, I have several pairs of proper dancing shoes. I would only dance in these ones if I couldn't wear those. My teacher suggested vaseline as well, though!

Psyche said...

Vaseline's what I've always been told. I don't own any, so I use an old Lipsyl. Works perfectly and you only need a tiny bit to achieve the desired effect.

tangobaby said...

I've never had any patent leather dancing shoes, but those are really cute ones so I'll keep the Vaseline tip in mind for future.

Anonymous said...

Ms. H - just came across this post. I actually had the patent leather trip up scenario myself with my partner at the time. I'D taken care of MY shoes, but he didn't tell me he was going to wear HIS... We almost killed each other.

A tiny dab of anything greasy (vaseline, chapstick) on the inner big toe joint and the outer little toe joint should do the trick.

HoneyHoneyNY said...

Use a bit of silicone-based stuff. It's not as icky-sticky as vaseline. Just be careful that you don't get it on your soles, it's very slippery.

cindy said...

i love the shoes! would you tell who they're made by?