Today’s post is all about flats that have their origins in dance shoes. I used to dance, and my poor parents spent the best part of fifteen years ferrying me to-and-fro from ballet, tap, modern and jazz classes. I wasn’t very good at most of it – I’m cursed with very tight hamstrings – but I was a pretty good tapper, and nearly qualified to be a teacher (yes, really!). I’ve even been to a few classes recently, digging out my old Oxfords for the occasion, so I was delighted when I stumbled across Labour of Love, a website littered with dance-inspired flat shoes. They make me nostalgic for the days when I spent Tuesday evenings perfecting the triple wing timestep…

Anyway, Here for your pleasure is a round up of some of the best dance-inspired shoes around at the moment.

Tap shoes

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my favourite of all the dancers, Gene Kelly

Tap shoes are effectively an Oxford lace-up, once you’ve graduated from the silver sandals you’re given when you first start. They should have a small heel of a couple of centimetres (a totally acceptable heel height for En Broguers). I love my new gold pair from Labour of Love, and am almost tempted to try fixing my Teletone taps to the bottom of them. They’re available in all sorts of colours, and many are now in the sale.

gold tone tap shoes, £150, labour-of-love-shop.com (BUY ME HERE!)
gold tone tap shoes, £150, labour-of-love-shop.com (BUY ME HERE!)
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red patent leather tap shoes, £150, labour-of-love-shop.com (BUY ME HERE!)

I’ve also found this lovely pair from Hobbs, a brand whose shoes I rate very highly on both the style and comfort scales. They describe them as jazz shoes, but with that heel height I beg to differ! Either way, they’re pretty cute.

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Carine shoe, £129, hobbs.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)

Jazz shoes

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Fred Astaire defying gravity

Jazz shoes are VERY similar to tap shoes, but with a lower heel and should be slightly more flexible. I’ve had the pair below from Office for years and I love them because they’re so versatile. Their soft nature also usually means they’re really comfortable and don’t require much wearing in.

my office jazz shoes
my office jazz shoes

Labour of Love know the difference between their tap shoes and their jazz shoes, and you’ll find an equally good selection of jazz shoes on the website. They’re a bit cheaper too (bonus!).

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green leather patent jazz shoes, £75, labour-of-love-shop.com (BUY ME HERE!)

Ballet shoes

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Remember when people first started wearing ballet pumps about ten years ago? Kate Moss was responsible as I recall. Anyway, I remember my first pair, and that it felt weird to be wearing so little on my feet in the winter! And that you could really feel the pavement through the flimsy sole. How normal then, now, to slip your feet into these easy little pumps. Where would we be without them?

Bloch have been making actual dance shoes since the 1930s, so who better to buy your ballet pumps from? Here’s my mum wearing a snake print pair which she absolutely loves. And below that, the brand that does exactly what it says on the tin: Pretty Ballerinas.  These in a new yellow patent polka dot design are really eye-catching.

Carina shoes, £140, blochshop.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)
Carina shoes, £140, blochshop.co.uk (BUY ME HERE!)
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patent polka dot pumps, €129, prettyballerinas.com (BUY ME HERE!)

And if that’s not enough to make you want to get up and do a shuffle ball change stamp, I don’t know what’s wrong with you! Happy dancing everyone.

5 thoughts on “ jazz hands at the ready! ”

  1. I love Bloch ballet shoes.French Sole do a nice shaped called Henrietta, too.Just the right depth at the front.I’m not too sure about ballet flats in Winter but I do seem to wear them all the time the rest of the year.

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