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Fitting Shoes for a Performance

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

When it comes to performances, we all want things to run as smoothly as possible. It’s the time when you finally get to display all of the hard work you’ve put into class and behind the scenes, so it’s important that you look and feel your very best. In this post, we’ll break down how we like to fit shoes for performances so that you can let your talent shine.

Whether it be a competition, recital, or exam, having a baggy shoe can be a hindrance. Big shoes can mask good technique and cause judges to dock marks. They can also be a tripping hazard which can be dangerous for you and your fellow dancers.

Baggy Fit Performance Shoes

A baggy shoe, shown above, could cause judges to dock marks.

When we fit shoes for a performance, we try to have the shoe fit like a sock or a glove. We want to have little room in the shoe, but don’t want it to be too tight on the foot. Canvas and especially leather will stretch with time and use, so sometimes they may feel slightly snug when you first get them so that they’ll feel great once you actually hit the stage.

Below is a list of reasons why it may be advantageous to have fitted shoes in certain styles of dance:


For a highly precise and technical style like ballet, it’s very important that the shoe fit snugly to display that technique properly.

Ballet Shoes for Performance

A fitted ballet shoe will show off your technique and hard work.


In a dynamic and explosive style like jazz, details can sometimes take a back seat. Make no mistake though, when compared to each other, dances where the details are polished definitely leave a better impression than those that focus only on the big moves. A shoe that displays a strong point cleans up the overall image of the routine and generally results in higher scores from the judges in a competition.

Performance Shoes for Jazz

A jazz shoe fit for performance can lead to higher marks from judges.

Lyrical and Contemporary

In a style like lyrical or contemporary, dancers often wear turning shoes like Twylas, FootUndeez, or Dance Paws that match their skin tone to give the illusion that dancers are barefoot. Having a shoe that fits beautifully against the foot will help accentuate the beauty of this style and lengthen the lines of the dancers.


Having a well-fitting tap shoe means clearer and more accurate sounds, again resulting in higher scores and better performance overall.

Hip Hop

When it comes to hip hop, having a shoe that fits nicely is more for your own well being than for the visual effect. Typically in sneakers, hip hoppers with big shoes put themselves at risk of tripping and injuring themselves or their fellow dancers.

If you have any questions about how to have your shoes fitted for performance, feel free to give us a call, email, or visit to speak with a dancewear professional.

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