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Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?



A guide for men’s dance shoe heel types

In dancesport, there is a tight connection between comfort and performance. As a result, this directs us from a very young age towards particular brands or models that make us feel good and therefore perform better. If you remember in my previous article, I discussed how tail suits need to be made to fit you perfectly. Even the shirt you wear under the tail suit impacts the end result. That said, when it comes to dance shoes, each dancer has their own preferences. 

In this article, we will only compare the different types of heels and try to determine which is best for you.

Traditional heel

The traditional heel – also called the “Oxford” or the “Gibson” – is timeless. It’s the heel that has never changed along time. If you are old enough, this is surely the heel you started dancing with and maybe still use to this day.

Nothing special has been added to this model; it’s comprised of a flat base, a suede bottom, and a slightly rounded and slanted top to be as ergonomic as it can in its simplicity. Despite the limited comfort this heel offers, it’s very stable and quite durable.

Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?

Rounded Heel

As ballroom dancers gradually increased their dynamic on the floor, they required a heel that allowed for easier movement. More specifically, they wanted to be able to create a larger movement with a lesser risk of sliding out of control on the parquet. 

Dance shoe manufacturers solved this issue by rounding the edges and lifting the suede sole. By losing a small portion of the standing area, greater control is achieved  when using the heel. Furthermore, the edges won’t wear off as quickly as the traditional one does.

Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?

Slanted Heel

We see a similar idea in the slanted-heeled shoe; the back has been inclined to offer  better control when making a big step through the heel. But where the suede in the rounded shoe is lifted to cover the rounded edges, the suede in this shoe simply follows the slant of the heel

This heel is a good compromise for those who like the stability of a traditional heel but are searching for better comfort and control when increasing the size of the step.

Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?

Cushioned Heel

Lately, placing a layer of soft rubber between the suede base and the heel itself has gained popularity. This shoe’s comfort is second-to-none, especially the “noiseless”, soft-touch feeling that you get in every step, even if you don’t do a perfect bodyweight transfer (with a traditional heel, you would make a horrible sound that everyone in the hall would hear)! 

For some dancers, the cushioned heel might feel less stable than other models, but if it’s comfort you’re looking for, this is the heel for you. But, beware:the soft layer wears off quickly!

Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?























Other Available Options

Of course, you can find numerous other kinds of heels, especially in rubber and other, less traditional materials with shapes that can vary significantly from those mentioned above. Many dancers prefer to use these only for teaching. Standing and working for many hours can be difficult; it can tire you if not you’re not using comfortable and ergonomic shoes. Some models of this kind of shoe may be suitable for competitive use. 

Which Heel is the Best for Ballroom?

Just try them yourself and find the one that suits you best!

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What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?



Everyone knows that dancesport is glamorous, and that’s mainly due to the beautiful dresses we get to wear for competitions and shows. In my other article, I had put together different types of dresses and what they say about your personality. In this article, I am going to discuss what style of dress you should wear for each of the five Latin dances

Before I start, I want to mention that during a competition, it would be impossible to change the dress style for each dance, so stick with one. Nevertheless, for shows, you can feature all five dress styles. 


Cha-cha is all about being flirty and having fun. It’s quite a sexy dance, and at times, is even provocative. For that reason, when you say “a cha-cha dress”, you automatically think of fringes. Because of the fast and dynamic hip actions that this dance has, it’s best to highlight your hips even more by adding fringes to your dress. 

Of course, there are different types of fringes. You can have elastic, colorful fringes, or for extra spark, beaded or stoned fringes. 

As cha-cha is a flirty dance, it’s only suitable to have a short dress, or even a separate skirt and top. 

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– Sensu –


Samba is all about show and spectacle! It’s about voluptuous movement, and most importantly: BOUNCE! And how do we emphasize that bouncing movement we work so hard on? By wearing the correct style of dress with the right materials, of course.

Boa feathers and individual feathers will synchronize their motion with yours. They bring extra volume to your bounce and hip action. 

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– VESA –

If you simply don’t like feathers but still want volume, opt for a dress with horsehair braid hem. It’s a special type of stiff tulle added to the skirt’s hemline to give structure and fullness.

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– Vakhner design –

Furthermore, if you want to create the full samba look, mix brightly colored feathers with the horsehair braid hem to your skirt; finish it off with a headband. There you go – all set to light up the atmosphere!


Rumba is about romanticism and daydreaming, but it’s also about sensuality. For that reason, your rumba dress needs to be a bit revealing, but in a  delicate way. Rumba movements are fluid – the hips move in a figure 8. Consequently, the dress’s material needs to either be skin-tight or to wrap around your body (like silk, for example).

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– M-Design by Michael Chen –

Extra tip: If you really want to accentuate your body actions, use AB Swarovski stones. They catch the light in a spectacular way and add dimension to your rumba movements.

Paso Doble

Paso Doble is a dance of pure Spanish passion. It’s the dance of the matador, the cape and the flamenco. In order to bring the audience into that mindset, you’ll need to incorporate a few elements of Spanish culture

How can you make your dress look Spanish? Add some of the following:

  • Polka dots
  • Flowers
  • Longer skirt
  • Red color
  • Epaulets
  • Heavy ornaments

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– Abraham Martinez –


This is a tricky one! Why? Because jive, as a dance, derives from the jitterbug, a swing dance that originated in the 1930s. But usually, when you hear jive music, you think about the 1940s or 1950s; the fashion of those later decades was very different from the fashion of the 1930s. 

Therefore, I would say that the most accurate way to dress for jive is in the “cabaret/burlesque” style: beads, fringes, short skirts, and gloves. 

What Style of Dress Should You Wear for Each Latin Dance?
– FATI Couture –

Now, how you choose your competition dress it’s a whole different story. It depends on many things such as age, level, body-type and so on, but here are some pieces of advice from Jordy.

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How To Measure and Control Perfectionism?



Perfectionism in Dancing

One of the biggest assets but at the same struggles of ballroom and latin dancers is perfectionism. If they aren’t born with a natural inclination towards perfectionism, for sure dancesport will develop it for them. 

Due to the fact that adjudicators pay attention to the whole package of a dance couple, the dancers need to pay attention to a lot of aspects. For example, they not only have to master the physical performance but also the artistry and musicality. Furthermore, their image – composed of costumes, make-up, tan and hair – need to be perfect. 

Dr. Jerry Lynch – Coach, Mentor, and Teacher 

But how can we measure our perfectionism so that it will not take a toll on our mental state? For this, we had Dr. Jerry Lynch as a guest on our podcast to explain how we can control perfectionism. 

You Aren’t a God

Dr. Jerry Lynch, being a mentor and a coach for athletes, assures us that the element of perfectionism is present in every sport and in every element of performance. He views it as a trap because we always tend to ask ourselves why don’t we do things perfectly. The answer is simple: we’re not God. 

“It’s something like if I were a God, yes, I could have been perfect. But I’m not a God. I’m a human being. And not a human doing, as I like to say.”

The Focus on Outcomes

The reason why athletes, including dancers, are obsessed with perfectionism is that they’re focusing on outcomes and results. They have high expectations from themselves and their partners. The issue with focusing on outcome and results is that to a certain extent, you cannot control them.

“An athlete, or a dancing athlete, has to understand that their performance is not controllable. You can influence it, but you cannot control it… If you could control the outcome, then why isn’t every dance recital perfect?”

The Brain Influences the Body

When we’re focusing on outcomes and results, we also know we cannot control that. Dr. Jerry Lynch explains that when we try to control the results by being perfect, our body gets tight and tense. We cannot dance beautifully and be tight, tense, stressed and anxious. 

The Control of Perfectionism

“So my way of helping a dance athlete is to get that athlete to focus on all the little things, which I call “the essential absolutes”, all the essential little things, one of which is preparation, of course. But in the performance itself, what are the little things that you can control?”

Dr. Jerry Lynch’s advice for dancers is to do the little things – the essential absolutes, how he calls them – brilliantly, rather than doing the big things marginally.

“So you have these little things that you bring into your dance and this is what you’re going to focus on whether is your breathing, your movement, your eye contact. Now what happens is “Wow I can control those things”. Yes, you can and now you start to relax, you start to feel a little bit calmer and more focused. Your confidence goes up”

So, as a dancer, of course, you still need to master all of those things we discussed at the beginning of the article. Nevertheless, when it comes to your performance on the competition dancefloor, don’t let perfectionism become the enemy!


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Why go to a Training Camp and Which International Training Camps are the most famous for Dancers?



In addition to daily training, specific preparation for a Competition or for a season is essential for an athlete. Usually, before the competition season starts, there are several Training Camps organized by great dancers or clubs. What is pursued by attending a Training Camp level is to closely observe other couples how they execute their technique and also receive valuable details of the main international coatches in thematic group classes, and in case you choose a particular class, get the «tailor-made» advice of a coach specifically understood in what you want to improve.

The aim of the Training Camps is therefore to help each athlete to become a better dancer through mastery of the technique and learn the key principles of Dancesport from the best teachers.

In recent years, we have seen a significant change in the Dancesport Approach. Currently you have the opportunity to be observed, analyzed and corrected by the world’s leading specialists. You just have to know what you want to improve and which teacher is ideal for you.

La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas de pie, calzado e interior

La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas bailando, calzado e interior

A level Training Camp must be well planned, structured. Group classes must touch different aspects and each teacher must contribute that subject or aspects in which it is more specified. The role of the organizer is essential by selecting the most suitable and elite International Coaches Panel. Not only choose specialists in Latin and Standard. There are coatches specialists in pure technique, others in the artistic manifestation, others scan you and tell you clearly in which aspects of the many that there are more lazy and you should improve, or in which dance you are below the others, perhaps because the choice of some figures that are not correct for your characteristics as a dancer. Sometimes the characteristics of the boy as a dancer are not ideal for dancing with the girl with whom he dances or vice versa. This happens because there are different «types» of dancers and sometimes in the couple «he is not for her and vice versa».

This has two solutions: that someone who understands you say it – difficult because it is a delicate matter – or be in the hands of a great specialist who knows how to look for the right figures and the correct execution of them to try to «join the water with the oil».

There are international teachers like Ilya Danilov who is a living Scanner. That is why they call it «ORACULUS». If he wants and you ask him, he can revolutionize your life in an instant. I could tell you: he is not for you or you are not for her. In 1 minute of your dance vision, he will know more about you than you can ever imagine. I could also tell you which figures are not for you and configure a program according to your characteristics. But be careful if you ask for maximum sincerity: you can leave a class confused with him.

La imagen puede contener: 2 personas, personas bailando, calzado e interior

It is better that you go with the very clear ideas of what you want to ask the teacher. The 45 minutes run very fast and are very expensive. The best thing is something specific, convey what you need in a specific way in the first minutes of the class. Before you, you must have made a reflection of the most important thing you need and the exhibition begins must be clear and concrete.

If you do not go with the concrete ideas, the teacher will give you a generic class that may be more successful or less, and you will know little by little. It’s up to you that the class is worth it.

A great international coach (not everyone) knows how to do this, but of course, it will not be easy to be offered or offered at the first. It is something that goes out of the ordinary, you will need an approach to that teacher to enter that field.

The normal dates to attend a Training Camp is in summer to prepare the competition season that begins in August-September. Also at Christmas-New Year. But there are other Training Camps at other times of the year that are very interesting to attend.

In a few years, we have moved from a few closed camps, focused on training, to several camps each month with the best teachers and couples from around the world.

So you understand that you can get a good Training Camp. I mention below the pros and cons of a Training Camp point of view of a dancer:

1. Time saving
You can have lessons with many teachers in the same place. You save money and time, compared to the previous system in which we needed to fly or drive each teacher separately.

2. Increased motivation
You can find a larger group of dancers to train. Your presence will inspire you and motivate you to do better. You will hardly find elsewhere the same adrenaline and energy you get during resistance training in a training camp.

3. Expand your device
You can expand your group of favorite teachers. In fact, it can sometimes happen that I book a lesson with a teacher just because he / she is on the training camp list. But in the end, you can get an unexpectedly surprising lesson. Then you wonder why, until that moment, you have never considered studying with that teacher.

You can also read our other article on how to find the right teacher for you here.

4. You will be noticed
Compared to competitions, the atmosphere in a training camp is generally more relaxed. The people around you have more time and will look at you with different eyes. If you really are a good dancer, but you still don’t have a large audience, during training camps people will notice you and start taking you into account.

5. Make friends
In a training camp, dancers can let others see how they really are in normal life. Teachers and other dancers can sometimes have a distorted idea of ​​you if they only met you during competitions. During a training camp, you have a good chance to turn your enemies into friends.

6. Level up!
It is very common to see a couple improve their level day by day during a training camp. Be it the amount of information, the quality of the lessons or the contagious emotion, the truth is that the training fields help you grow and improve. The truth is that it happens often and that is one of the main reasons why so many dancers attend training camps.

1. A training camp can be really expensive
A training camp can be quite expensive. If your budget is not large enough to be free-minded and simply take and leave, try to plan ahead. Start saving money!

2. Overprice
The actual price you will pay per lesson may be higher than usual. In fact, most of the time, you will have to pay an additional price that goes directly to the organization … This surcharge allows organizers to pay for plane tickets, accommodation and transportation for teachers.

3. The energy level.
The quality of the private lesson you get can vary greatly. As teachers are working up to 12 or 14 lessons per day. At the end of a long day, your teacher may not be able to give his 100%.

4. It will affect your program
As a training camp is generally not planned for weekends and lasts several days, it can be a problem for those who cannot easily get free time or reorganize their schedule.

5. Contradictory information
The amount of information you are going to get is huge and everything happens in a very short time. This will usually create some problems. Sometimes the information you receive is contradictory. A teacher will say one thing, and the other exactly the opposite. The funny thing is that both things may be true, but it is difficult to combine the information. You have to let the knowledge be absorbed.

In addition, it may not be easy to practice all the knowledge you acquired before starting the next lesson. Therefore, you can easily forget what you just learned.

6. Too easy? Too hard?
Very often you will see that there are different levels of participants, from juniors to seniors, from beginners to advanced. The teacher has to find a way to run a workshop that is interesting for everyone. But, this is going to be a problem for you.

Sometimes, they organize different groups for younger students or for older people. However, sometimes this is not happening and the group lesson ends up not being useful. For example, if you are a beginner and the teacher is playing a topic that is too difficult to understand or, conversely, if you are a high-level couple and the topic is too simple for you, time and money are you investing It won’t be worth it.

Once analyzed what can be useful to attend an International Training Camp, we will mention below the main International Training Camps both WDC and WDSF.

1. THE CAMP – Wuppertal, Alemania

But what makes this Training Camp so good?

First, it has some of the best teachers in the industry and the location, the Historic City Hall, is absolutely stunning. Everything is very well thought out and the purpose is to leave Wuppertal inspired and focused.

Here is the list of teachers of the 2019 edition

¿A qué campos de entrenamiento de Dancesport debes ir?

2. Dancing Superstars Festival – Bremen

In 2019, the Dancing Superstars Festival will be in its sixth edition and is announced better than ever. The coaches who will organize the workshops are some of the greatest legends: Slavik Kryklyvyy, Catia Vanone, Fabio Selmi or Julie Fryer, to name a few.

3. Summer Dancecamp – Dinamarca

What is a summer without this Training Camp? Well, the perfect one would be Summer Dancecamp. Why is it perfect? They are, as they say on their website, an «independent dance camp for federations, dance schools, clubs and organizations: all are welcome regardless of their affiliation.»

World champions Kristina and Peter Stokkebroe and Frank Høgh are in their eighth year organizing this camp for all dancers of any level to come and learn from the best. For us, it seems the perfect environment where every dancer will feel welcome.

NOTICIAS ¿A qué campos de entrenamiento de Dancesport debes ir?*F

4. Edita Daniute International Training Camp – Trakai

It is organized in Lithuania between July 14 and 21, this Training Camp is organized by Edita Daniute, one of the best names in the world of Standard, is intended to develop all aspects of the Standard. You will have morning jogging, aerobic exercises and stretching, conferences and resistance practice.

Coaches: Edita Daniute, Mirko Gozzoli, Fabio Selmi, Pietro Braga, Salvatore Todaro, Catia Vanone, Alexey Silde, Alessandro Firmo, Marek Chojnacki, Michele Bonsignori, Anastasia Titkova.

5. Team Vivo Latino with la Grande Orchestra Italiana – Italy

Between July 19 and 21, in Italy, Team Vivo Latino is organizing the largest Training Camp for international training and competition in southern Italy. The Training Camp and the sson competition in Mariotto, which is 30-40 minutes away by car or transfer from Bari-Palese airport.

The Vivo Latino Team Training Field has one of the best coach selections.

6. S&F Camp – Moscow

The Training Camo S&F is organized by Alexey Silde and Anna Firstova, mainly dedicated to Latin. It is held at the Crocus Expo usually in early January and the second time is at the end of August and lasts 5 to 6 days. During these days, the schedule looks like this: in the morning you have stretching sessions, around 4 PM you will have general physical preparation and in the evening there are practice sessions.

7. ZK Camp – Moscow

The ZK camp is organized by Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova and is dedicated only to standard dancers. Like the S&F Camp, it is celebrated in Moscow at the Crocus Expo. The first ZK camp is in early January and the second time is in September and usually lasts 3 to 4 days.

The schedule of the day is divided into two parts: physical preparation and practice sessions at night. In addition, there are separate groups for children up to Junior II and separate groups for young people. In charge of these groups are the teacher assistants: Matteo del Gaone, Evgeny Nikitin and Anton Besedin.

🔵🔴⚪️ZK SUMMER DANCE CAMP ⚪️🔴🔵Every Tuesday 10:00-2:00pmAge 3-6 WelcomeHoly Cross Church Hall, CH49 7LS£10 per child Contact Zacc for more information ZK SMASH THE SUMMER 2016 ☀️☀️☀️

Posted by ZK Studios – School Of Dance on Monday, July 25, 2016

8. International Championships Preparation Quality Camp – Warsaw

It is organized by Lukasz and Aleksandra Tomczak from September 13 to 16 in Warsaw, Poland. As the name implies, this Training Camp is dedicated to those who are preparing to do their best in the International Championship that normally takes place in October of each year.

9. Mabo Training Camp – Italy

The third week of September you can usually participate in the Mabo Training Camp and receive valuable information from some of the biggest legends in the industry.

¿A qué campos de entrenamiento de Dancesport debes ir?

10. Transylvanian Grand Prix

The Transylvania Grand Prix is one of the most important dance events in Romania. The best WDSF couples from around the world attend and fight for a place in the final. The best thing about this event is the Transylvania Training Camp, which brings together teachers such as William Pino, Pietro Braga, Barbara Ambroz, Giordano Vanone, Colin James and many others.

11. Royal Dance Summer & Winter Camp Spain

Organized in the first week of January in winter, and in the first week of August in summer, the famous international coatch Karina Rubio organizes one of the most outstanding Training Camps, which also advances in prestige at times.

The cast of teachers that come is fantastic. It is a Training Camp especially prominent for Latin dances and very well organized.

La imagen puede contener: 14 personas, personas sonriendo

12. Master Evolution Benidorm -Spain

Organized by a group of teachers such as Piegro Braga, Valeri Ivanov, Frederic Mosa, etc. (Dance Sport Team), a very special Training Camp is organized in Benidorm in January, just before the prestigious DANCESPORT CUP International Competition.

The organization works to create 2 specific events within the Training Camp itself: Mater Evolution Latin and Master Evolution Standard.

The cast of top-tier coatches is spectacular.

La imagen puede contener: 11 personas, personas sonriendo, texto

La imagen puede contener: 10 personas, personas sonriendo, texto

La imagen puede contener: una o varias personas y texto

13. Gold Camp Bilbao -Spain

In the middle of October of each year the Bilbao Dancesport Cup International Competition is held in Bilbao- Spain.

Just a few days before, a prestigious Training Camp is also organized, which every year enjoys a presence of couples and category.

La imagen puede contener: 18 personas, incluidos Mirjam Zwijsen, Barbara Nagode Ambroz, Ilya Danilov, Larisa Davydova y Raimonds Pisevs, personas sonriendo

Por Frank Gascón –

fuentes:  dancesportlife

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