Jazz boots/shoes are a thing of the past, good only for beginner jazz dancers or when necessary for a certain “look”. Most of the dance world has moved onward and upward to the next and best creation in dance wear for the feet: with no specific name to use across the board, we can come up with our own… Toe Pads, Turners, Half-Soles, etc.
This style of shoe (which has been around for over 10 years now!) is perfect for jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and even some musical theater numbers. Only covering half the foot, this shoe offers relief on slippery surfaces and also allows the dancer to “feel the floor” and spread the feet to create a better sense of balance and connection.
There are a few different variations of this style, one covering the entire front half of the foot with a strap (or 2) which secures around the heel. The other variation is strapless and covers the pad of the foot, leaving the toes out.
Here is a list of the TOP 5 BEST CONTEMPORARY JAZZ/LYRICAL SHOES you can buy, according to personal experience along with the help of the opinions of dancers from around the country:
1. Adage “The Turner” – $34.99 at www.shop.justforkix.com – Sizing: YOUTH: CS(10-12.5), CM(13-1.5), CL(2-3.5) ADULT: AS(4-5), AM(5.5-6.5), AL(7-8), AXL(8.5-9), AXXL(9.5-11), AXXXL(11.5-13) MEN: order 2 sizes up. **Wide feet- order 1 size up**
2. Bloch “Eclipse” (Canvas or Leather) – $13.60 or $19.55 at www.discountdance.com – Sizing: WOMEN: XS (3), S (3.5-4.5), M (5-7), L (7.5-9), XL (9.5-11) MEN: order 2 sizes up.
3. Bloch “Foot Thong III” – $13.90 at www.discountdance.com – Sizing: WOMEN: XS (3-3.5), S (4-6.5), M (7-8.5), L (9-10). MEN: Order 2 sizes up.
4. Capezio “Pirouette II” – $12.75 at www.dancewearsolutions.com – Sizing: WOMEN: XS (4-5.5), S (6-7.5), M (8-9.5), L (10-11.5), XL (12-13). MEN: order 2 sizes up.
5. Angelo Luzio “Twyla II” (Canvas) – $15.05 at www.discountdance.com – Sizing: WOMEN: Order 2 sizes down from street shoe size. MEN: Order street shoe size.
There you have it! Good luck in finding YOUR perfect Contemporary Jazz/Lyrical Shoe! 🙂
~ Miki Hegg, Assistant Director, ECSOD