I prefer bare feet for my modern and contemporary classes, but lately my students have been wearing FootUndeez or Dance Paws (the ones with stripes, polka dots, sparkles, etc) to class. I feel like an old lady but I tell them “when I was your age, those shoes didn’t exist and we toughened our feet by dancing barefoot. We we proud of our callouses”. In college, we were not allowed to wear them and quickly adapted to dancing on marley barefoot.
Then my students laugh at me and pull on their rainbow colored modern “shoe” over their tender, un-calloused feet. So here’s my question to you, dear reader:
What do YOU wear on your feet to modern / lyrical class?
Or if you’re a teacher – what do you allow your students to wear in class? For performance?
If you’re not sure of what I’m talking about, they are little shoes that slip on over your toes and just over the ball of your foot to reduce friction and help with turns.
As a teacher, I allow my recreational students to wear them in class and in recital, but they must be skin-toned for the recital. And they must make a choice – whatever they plan to wear for the show, they must wear for class.
For my competitive students, I do not allow the to wear them for modern dances and for lyrical, I make a decision on the day of competition based on the surface of the stage. For slippery stages, they go barefoot.
As a dancer, I don’t like the feeling of things between my toes while I dance. I have a wide foot and the “Pawz” and “FootUndeez” cut off the circulation to my pinkie toe – does anyone else have that problem? I think I might like the half-ballet shoe (top row, middle), but for now I will remain shoeless.