If your child is taking Dance Basics class, tap and ballet shoes are required. The girls wear pink ballet shoes and black Mary Jane style tap shoes. Boys wear black ballet shoes and black oxford style tap shoes with tie laces or slip on jazz tap shoes. If your child is in Jazz 'n' Ballet class he or she will only need ballet shoes and athletic/tennis shoes. All other classes wear athletic/tennis shoes with the exception of the Darts Dance Team in which case please talk to Ms. Roxanne about the details.
When buying dance shoes, please make sure they fit properly and do not have a lot of extra room. Just as new sports shoes are needed when children's feet grow, the same is true for dance shoes. If ballet shoes are too big, teachers cannot see how the toes are working inside of them and the child will not be able to make the correct movements. When tap shoes are too big, the taps are not on the right part of the feet to be used properly. They can also be kicked off and become a metal missile.
If you cannot afford both ballet and tap shoes, I recommend getting the tap shoes first since they are so different from normal shoes and take some time to get used to walking and dancing in them. I also have parents who ocasionally want to sell their children's shoes since they outgrow them quicker than they wear them out. I pass the price they ask on to others who are in need of shoes. Every once in a while I have shoes donated to pass on to other students. If you are having a hard time purchasing shoes, let me know your child's size & I will let you know what I have available. Everything is kept private.
Mark your child's first name or initial & last name (not initial) on the inside of the shoes, not the bottom which will be noticible when dancing. Quite a few students can wear the same brand and size shoe so it's possible for dancers to mistakenly take them for their own. If there is a name in the shoe, it can be located easily.
Over the years I have seen the shoes needed at local discount and athletic stores such as Walmart, Target, and Academy. I'm not sure but boys' black ballet shoes may also be available there. Boys' oxford style tap shoes will probably have to be purchased at a dancewear store such as Backstage Dancewear in Webster on HW3 and Medical Center Blvd. It is always a better idea to go where the child can be properly fitted by a knowledgeable employee.
Please be aware that the house slipper style shoe found in some stores by the dancewear is not a ballet shoe. These do not stay on the girls' feet when they try to dance and do not properly or fit the foot. If you place them on the floor when off the foot they will curl up. These are not the right shoes. Please make sure the shoe is leather, not nylon or terry cloth.
If your child will be wearing dance shoes for class, please make sure he or she wears shoes that are easy to unfasten and put on independently. I promote children changing their own shoes in class due to time restrictions. Since we want to have as much time as possible to have fun dancing, we have minimal time for the children to change back into their school shoes and get to their classrooms. Please do not purchase the girls' tap shoes with the elastic that snaps across the foot unless she is capable of unsnapping and snapping the elastic herself. These shoes are even hard for me to snap and the foot will not go into the shoe without unsnapping the elastic. I prefer the shoes with the grosgrain ribbon that goes through the eyelets or the velcro strap. Your child's Dancemobile teacher will remove the ribbons in class and put black elastic through the eyelets and knot it so your daughter will be able to slip the shoes off and on herself. If your child takes a class that does not require dance shoes, tennis shoes are best. Please do not send your child to dance class in flip flops or Crocs. These shoes will have to be taken off for dance since they can be dangerous and cause ankle injuries. When children are barefoot, they may step on a staple or tack. They can also stub their toes or someone can step on their foot. Most day cares do not allow bare feet.