Lacing dance shoes provides a flexible fit with individualized comfort. Using different lacing patterns allows the dancer to adjust how snug the shoe fits on her foot.
When deciding which lacing pattern to use, consider your level of comfort and what type of dancing you will be doing. Lacing dance shoes is not difficult–it simply takes patience and practice.
Ballet lacing is very tight at the beginning of the shoe and looser towards the toe. This allows the dancer to use their feet completely, but still gives support for turns and other movements. Use this lacing pattern if you are an advanced ballet or pointe dancer.
With ballroom lacing, both sections loosen evenly towards the toes, creating a comfortable fit The ballroom lacing keeps your feet in place allowing you to perform multiple turns without restriction.
Use this form of lacing if you are dancing Latin American dances such as salsa, samba, rumba foxtrot etc… It also works well for English Country dance shoes because it provides reinforcement across the instep, as well as a more snug fit at the ankle.
Dance Sneaker Lacing
This lacing pattern allows the dancer to quickly lace and un-lace for quick changes during competition or practice. Use this form of lacing if you perform multiple styles such as contemporary, lyrical hip-hop etc…
The Dance Sneaker lacing is basically an intermixture of Ballet Lace and Ballroom Lace: The first section tightens like ballet lace and then un-tightens towards the toes like a ballroom. This gives the benefits of both types of lacings into one type. (the toes will be untied but it isn’t very noticeable)
A few examples of dance sneaker lacings:
Example 1 – Loosen the first section 2 eyelets and tighten the second section 3 eyelets. This will create a “ballet” lace look on both sections.
Example 2 – Tighten the first section 5 eyelets and loosen the second section 7 eyelets. This gives you an extra tight fit at the ankles like ballroom lacing, but also loosens up towards toes like ballet lacing.
Example 3 – A combination of different lacings. First tighten 3 in the front and then start tightening evenly in pairs (2- 2- 2) until all eyelets are done except in one or two in the back that remain loose for easy slip-on access.
A few tips:
- If you have a wider foot or anything that makes your foot look abnormal, it is recommended to lace the top two sections around the sides of the shoe. This way your foot looks more comfortable inside of the shoe.
- Lace dance shoes from the TOP DOWN so they are easier to adjust and tighten/loosen as needed.
- Practice! You may not get it right away but eventually you will be able to easily change lacing patterns in minutes time without even thinking about it. Just keep practicing, and remember there is no such thing as a “wrong” type of lacing, just a “different” one 😉
- If you need help, ask your dance instructor or consult the internet! YouTube has tutorials for almost every different type of lacing/tying.