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Chicago has become a mecca for flamenco dancing. From festivals to dance schools to professional companies, the art of flamenco continues to grow in popularity. One of the most identifiable traits of flamenco dance is the intricate footwork. The correct shoes are very important for any kind of dance, but even more so for flamenco. The shoes are the instrument and you create the music. There are many styles and brands of flamenco shoes to choose. This article will explain the differences between novice to professional and which shoes are best for each academic level of flamenco dance.
Character Shoes: An inexpensive alternative to flamenco shoes, between $38 to $78, character shoes are best for beginner flamenco students. The one con is that character shoes do not have nails on the soles and therefore footwork is harder to hear.
Novice Flamenco Shoes: Sansha Sevilla and Miguelito’s Sevilla, are two good brands of novice flamenco shoes. Both are considered novice because they are not handcrafted by artisans in Spain and the construction is not as strong as a professional. These shoes are best for beginner to intermediate students who are committed to continuing flamenco in the future. Also, these have nails on the sole providing sound for flamenco footwork. These shoes range between $50-$80.
Semi-Professional Flamenco Shoes: For intermediate to advanced students, semi-professional shoes provide precise sound and quality construction. Ranging between $98 to $120, they are handcrafted by artisans in Spain. Artisans create each shoe with great detail such as hammering each nail strategically for the best sound. There is more support for hard footwork with a strong sole and cushioned insole.
Professional Flamenco Shoes: Have all the qualities of a Semi-Professional plus more. These shoes are best for serious students and professionals. The most noticeable difference between semi-professional and professional is that the professional has stitching on the bottom of the shoe to provide extra support and strength for the sole. Professional flamenco shoes are made to last and withstand the abuse done by vigorous footwork. Since there are more colors, fabrics, and styles to choose from, professional flamenco shoes are perfect for performances.