Dancing is a hugely popular pastime in England, made more so since the success of TV programs. But even before that, millions of people have enjoyed all kinds of dancing at local clubs. Dancing is not just good for your heart and bones, but also a good way to improve posture and enjoy good music. For older people especially, dancing is a great way to meet new friends.
However, most dancewear on sale is made from nylon or polyester (which deposits microplastics in washing machines). And many ballet and other dance shoes are made from leather or suede, which causes animal suffering.
types of dancing
Choose the style you prefer, then find local classes:
- Ballet is good your posture (look at any older ballerina)
- Ballroom is also very good for posture
- Modern jive is easy to learn and great fun
- Line dancing is easy to learn, if you like country music
- Irish dancing is foot-stomping fun, especially for the men!
- Scottish dancing involves crossed swords, with hands in the air!
- Tap dancing needs special shoes (see below)
- Belly dancing is very good for fitness
- Jazz dance combines tap and ballroom
- Wheelchair dancing is for everyone (to dance together).
- Salsa & Zumba are Latin-American influenced
- Flamenco accompanies guitar, with foot-stomps and clapping!
- Street Dance offers hip-hop music and breakdancing
- Contemporary dance is ‘anything goes’!
sustainable dance wear finds
You could just choose organic cotton t-shirts and hoodies. If you buy from specialist companies, go for biodegradable materials (cotton, linen, hemp) over ‘recycled plastic’ as these do just as much damage in the washing machine, by releasing microplastics into the machine and into the sea.
Cloud and Victory is one of the first companies to offer organic dance leotards, skirts and ballet tutus. What’s great is that models used are not anorexic, but of ‘normal sizes’ to encourage dance to get fit, not skinny. Not everything here is organic, so check before purchase.
where to find vegan dance shoes
If you don’t want animals to suffer just to tap your feet or point your toes, you can buy quality dance shoes from:
- Ethical Wares (Wales) sells jazz and ballroom shoes with ‘vegan suede’, made locally or in Europe to good ethical standards. Profits help to support rescued barnyard friends.
- Basilica sells pink vegan ballet slippers for adults and children. These have pink lace effect with split sole style and canvas shoe. The cross-over elastic and traditional drawstring ensures a perfect fit.
- So Danca ballet shoe offers a vegan version with micro-suede sole and split sole feature in elasticated binding. Super lightweight.
- Nicole Dancewear has a fine line of vegan shoes, and can make any of shoes in vegan versions, at no extra cost. Includes heeled ballroom dance shoes.
how animals dance to communicate
Many animals dance to communicate or attract a mate. From spiders to birds. The Blue-Footed Booby is a tropical bird with blue feet, who shows his feet to a potential mate with a dance. Whoever has the most-blue feet gets the girl! Humans, too. Recently, a man ‘danced his way from London to Norwich’, echoing the journey that William Shakespeare’s clown undertook back in 1600!