SHOES…can you walk in others, as well as your own?


I have been on a budget for many years, mirroring my financial situation changes. So, when I began running, I put on my K-mart tennis shoes. I am 5’9” and believed that size 71/2 fit me well until I began to acquire black great-toe nails. I did not want to buy the next size larger, an 8. I valued my smaller more feminine size at the time. As I grew emotionally, I gave up this insecurity of appearances for REAL running shoes, Adidas size 8…still from a discount store. Running marathons up and down hills continued to blacken my great toes, until I gave up that long-distant need for recognition.

I have substituted running with my love to dance, which was not permitted while growing up due to mom’s strict religious beliefs, until I could become more secure in my own beliefs that dancing is good despite its part in “worldliness.” Then, I provided dance lessons for my daughters, as well as tap dancing for me. Tap shoes were my first REAL dance shoes, but those you do not wear in public. I wanted to dance socially, so began swing dancing in 1992, using saddle shoes from PayLess. And, wore whatever regular street-shoe that I thought was cute.

After 2000, I branched out to salsa and ballroom, and in 2003 met the challenge of argentine tango. I was still wearing street shoes, and couldn’t imagine myself wearing the 3-4” heels that is expected in true Argentian style. After all I would be 6 feet tall…and would my partners want to dance with me? Besides, REAL argentine tango shoes cost over $100 dollars. Yikes! But, as with any love, you breakdown and do what is best for your partner, my feet. I learned of an online store where tango shoes are made special for Tangueros, and credit-carded over $100 to buy 1½ inch tango shoes, black of course. They have served my dancing feet well…but the beautiful look of the higher heels kept calling to me. In 2006, I traveled to Buenos Aires, for the REAL tango milongas, and could not avoid the handmade tango shoes sold there. Still, I was not above a 3” heel.

2010 took me to a higher place, and a higher price, a turquoise and royal blue Gretaflora design with a leather flower attached, 3 and ¾ inch black heel, (I just went upstairs to measure it) near $200 dollars, I am embarrassed to admit. Yet, I have lost my embarrassment while dancing with all heights of men partners, while in our tango embrace with the love of the dance.

(Tomorrow is Halloween, and I am wearing ballet shoes along with a tutu, being the child dancer I was not allowed to BE.)